- Removing the Bottom Paint - Applying Barrier Coat - Repainting the Hull
Removing the Bottom Paint
The bottom paint had to come off in order repair the through-hulls and because it is flaking off. Also the boat has been out of the water for years and I don't know if this paint is any good. Removing bottom paint is a tough job and there is not simple way to do it. Strippers are messy and expensive and when the do work you still have some grinding and scrapping to do. I was lucky that the boat is in a shed in my back yard. So, everything is right here. I am pretty much in the shade and its early April so the weather is pretty good.
I looked into strippers to remove the bottom paint. But, I thought I would try grinding to see if it would be feasible. I have never had that much luck with strippers so grinding seemed worth a try. I was pleasantly surprised. My arms are tired for sure but the bulk of the grinding on the starboard side was done in two hours. It took two more hours just to grind off the top three inches of bottom paint that ran along the waterline. But I felt like I got off easy compared to what some folks have gone through. I did not attempt to grind off the barrier coat. It was very hard. I ground it off in a few places to look at the gelcoat underneath. It would be very hard to grind it off and not have the divots all over the bottom of the boat. Better to leave well enough alone I think.
I used my Makita 8" VS grinder with 40 grit PSA disks and a few 24 grit when I ran out of the 40 grit. I had to use a light touch with the 24 grit. I also used the Porter Cable Right Angle DA RO sander with 40 grit. I am more impressed with this sander all the time. What a workhorse. I used the PC most to follow up over the area that I preceded with the Makita. I used a couple of scrapers as well. I placed a drop cloth under the work area. I was suited up in a hooded Tyvek suit with a full face 3M 6000 series respirator, and gauntlet style work gloves. It was hot work but the temperature was not that bad. The mess in the shed is tremendous. Tomorrow I will tackle the port side and then vacuum up the she and the boat.
Before I started grinding I applied three layer epoxy patches on the inside of the boat over all the remaining above waterline holes--engine exhaust, old bilge pump and refer outlets, tank vents, etc. After the patches were kicking good I applied epoxy thickened with 407 to holes on the outside. They will need sanding and more fairing for sure but it was good to get them mostly out of the way. I also applied a four layer patch on the inside of the boat over the three holes that held the bobstay on in its old location. I previously filled those holes with 404/406 thickened epoxy.
I admit it--I am tired tonight. About eight hours in the boat shed--six hours of grinding. I sweated out about a gallon of water. I am not sure why, but the port side was more difficult to grind. Maybe its because I was sore from the day before. Doesn't matter. The port side is finished. It took 64 five inch 40 grit disks and 10 eight inch 40 grit disks.
I also moved all the boat stands on both sides of the boat and ground off the bottom paint under the poppets. I went back to the starboard side and cleaned it up a bit with some more 40 grit. Tomorrow I will dig some small trenches and attempt to sand the underside of the keel between the crossbeams.
I learned a couple of things here. First, whoever did the original barrier coat did not do a very good job. They didn't even coat the areas under the poppets. Also, It took me a couple of days to figure it out but I now know why the waterline area was so difficult to grind--I was struggling with sanding the bottom paint off the portside forward waterline when I had one of those "a-ha" moments. When the PO raised the waterline, they raised it to the top edge of the original dado brown boot top stripe--which of course has some spring at the bow and stern. They only removed the boot-top stripe in a couple of place--the yard manager probably got called away and whoever was doing the grinding just skipped that part. They didn't even bother to tape for the barrier coat. You can see it was just rolled up close to the waterline and it stopped. In some places it is six inches below the top edge of the waterline and in others it is an inch below. Then, they painted a new boot top stripe above the new waterline--which was wavy to boot (pun intended). I ground that off earlier in the winter. This explains why I could not figure out why the top edge of the water line wasn't level. The boat is in fact sitting level in the SRF (Sailboat Restoration Facility). The waterline was sloping up in the front and the back. I kept thinking about why that would be for the last few days. I kept rechecking the trim of the boat and trying to come up with a reason for the waterline not being level. This is just another example of the fact that we, the sailing public, put far too much trust in boatyards to do a professional job. They did it the easiest way possible. There is more to this story but I'll save it for another day . . . .
All that training in MOPP gear paid off.
Port side complete
Tools off the trade and 75 spent sanding disks for one side of the boat.
Applying Barrier Coat and Bottom Paint
I spent the few days prepping the hull for Interlux 2000E Barrier Coat. As I was washing the hull to prepare it a couple of days ago, I noticed there were some spots that were not sanded that well. So, what else . . . I put the paper suit back on and spent about an hour on each side just cleaning up those rough spots that needed just a bit more sanding. Then I vacuumed the hull and wiped it down with MEK to make sure all the residue was removed. Last night I tapped the waterline. Today, I applied the first coat of barrier coat. It was great to finally get all the repair work covered up. It went on pretty easily. I mixed up a total of three batches. I used a total of 3 1/2 quarts (to include the converter). This amount covered everything except the bare spots on the hull behind four of the popits (and the rudder that I previously barrier coated before I shipped it). Tomorrow, I'll move the boat stands and then apply another coat, this time covering the spots left uncovered today. In fact, I'll probably get at least two coats on tomorrow. You might notice the three spots along the bottom of the keel where it sits on the support timbers that I could not coat of course. I'll attack those after we transport the boat to the boat-yard for final prep and launching.
After the weather cleared--Interlux does not want you to apply Interprotect 2000 if the humidity is above 85 percent, which is what we have been having--I applied three more coats of barrier coat. There are now four coats on the hull. I'll apply the fifth coat just before we roll on the bottom paint.
First coat of barrier coat.
I spent some time filling some small blimishes in the barrier coat with 407 thickened West Epoxy. Yesterday I rolled on the last (fifth) coat of Interlux Interprotect 2000. Then, we followed that with the first coat of Interlux Micron CSC.
Today, I moved the boat stands around and then applied the 2nd coat of bottom paint. As soon as I finished rolling it on I pulled the waterline tape. Wow! Even with just primered topsides she looks like a real boat. It has been a long long time since the Far Reach looked this good. For striking my first waterline I am pleased with how straight and level it is. It is not perfect but it is much better than what I had and better than the vast majority of waterlines I have observed on other boats. Striking the waterline is a bit of a learned skill I think. I'll get another chance anyway . . . next spring when I paint the topside down to the bottom paint, I'll raise the bottom paint about a 1/4" to cover the transition between the topside paint and the bottom paint.
I used a combination of green Frog tape and blue 3M tape for the waterline. I put the Frog tape down first to mark the waterline and then used 2" wide 3M to extend the protection of the topside so I wouldn't inadvertently roll paint over the 1" wide Frog tape. Using the Frog tape was probably a mistake. Though it left a pretty clean line, when I pulled it there was patches of adhesive left behind about every 12"-18". I was able to remove it pretty easily with acetone on a soft rag.