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Project Log:  Saturday, November 7, 2009
Home Page > The Project > Project Logs > 11/7/09

My original plan had been to continue work inside the hull and clean up the after sections of the boat, inside the cockpit lockers and engine room.  However, I erred and failed to order in time the fresh supply of flap wheels that I needed, having exhausted the supply last weekend and not counting on these discs needing to come from a one-day more distant supplier warehouse than I expected.

It was just as well to go in a different direction for a change, so I decided to sand the hull.  I was growing truly sick and tired of the existing appearance, with old, tired paint, charred gelcoat, and hairy, burned fiberglass shards a-hanging, and it seemed as good a time as any to begin the exterior hull work.  Besides, I needed to build some staging soon to allow me to work comfortably on deck, and it'd be more convenient to have the hull sanded before I restricted access by building staging at deck height.

I began on the port quarter, where I just quickly sanded the charred and buckled gelcoat on the counter to clean it up and remove loose material, more to allow me a better opportunity to see what I was working with than anything.  Plus, just removing some of the charred material made things look better, though of course there would be substantially more work required in these stern sections.

Once I moved past the areas with obvious heat and fire damage, I continued forward, sanding first with 40 grit paper to remove the bulk of the paint and primer beneath, and finishing up with 80 grit to remove the remaining primer and smooth the surface. 

The gelcoat beneath the paint was a light-ish blue similar to the color of the paint I was removing.  The hull was generally a mess, with constellations of previously-filled dings and scratches and lots of pockmarks in the gelcoat.


I sanded from the gunwale to just below the waterline, and eventually continued past the stem and down the starboard side, proceeding as far aft as my rolling staging would go before running into jackstands and the wall (the boat was fairly close to the wall of the shop, though far enough away for the permanent staging I planned to build).


At this point, I returned to the stern and sanded the starboard quarter far enough to get past the badly damaged areas.  It was a relief to remove the dry, charred fiberglass strands that I'd been staring at for years, and while the laminate beneath showed signs of additional damage that I'd be dealing with during the stern repairs, the boat looked much happier to be rid of some of the outward burdens of her past.  A happier boat means a happier owner.  Still, there was  abundant work ahead to rebuild the damaged stern, and the sanding today didn't begin to address the real repairs required.



The bottom appeared to have several coats of ablative paint (a red signal coat with shark white over), all of which had been applied atop a barrier coat.  I sanded an inch or two below the level of the old boottop.  The old bottom paint was in generally good shape, and I began the internal debate over whether or not to remove all the paint and barrier coat, or whether to simply heavy-sand the bottom and go from there.  But that was a decision for another time.  I'm not fussy about bottoms, but typically like to start from square one during a job such as this.  Still, why strip all that paint if it doesn't need it?  It's not like bottom stripping is a fun diversion, and I'd certainly rather not do it.  Is vanity and seeing a bare bottom worth the effort?  Time would tell.

The day's work produced a large pile of exhausted sanding discs and some blue dust.


Total Time Today:  6.75 hours

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