31 January 2010

Scrape, Sand, Paint

How do you turn an ugly duckling into a head turner? Just scrape, sand, and paint. No rocket science required. Just lots of healthy elbow grease.

Now that I'm almost done, I have been looking through the pictures I've taken the last week or so, and find they make an interesting progression. Hope you agree.

Photo 1. Freshly out of the water

Photo 1 shows the Blue Moon freshly hauled. I think she's still dripping. Her bottom is covered with oysters, barnacles, and a thick, sticky goo. Nasty stuff.

Photo 2 - Close up of bottom

Here's a close up of the bottom. My dinky Home Depot power washer didn't make a dent on this sort of junk. It's possible to scrape or wire brush this stuff off. Bob and I went at it with such tools for a couple hours. It probably would have take 2 days to get all the junk off. We eventually gave up and rented a heavy duty power washer. The kind with a big gas engine and a jet that will take your foot off if you aren't careful. That was the right tool for the job.

Photo 3 - Remove the junk, find the worms

Power washing the junk off revealed the bottom, which had other problems.

Photo 4 - Removing barnacle 'feet'

One of the most difficult problems was how to remove the barnacle 'feet'... these are little shell-like objects that stick to the hull like crazy. You'd think they were epoxied on if you didn't know better.

The power washer didn't take them off. You could sand them off with a power sander, but that was like using a bulldozer to plant a petunia. It worked, but removed too much paint and/or wood surrounding the foot.

Photo 5 - the right tool for removing feet

After experimenting with several tools, I discovered a broad, sharp chisel took the feet off quickly and without damaging anything else. I'm sure it needs sharpening, after such abuse, but that's not a problem.

Photo 6 - Sanding... the unavoidable job

Eventually, the topsides and bottom needed a good sanding, mainly to fair out the uneven paint, as much as possible. A purist might have removed all the paint. I'm not a purist!

Photo 7 - worm holes epoxied shut

After sanding and removing the bad wood around worm holes, we epoxied the holes. And sanded again.

Photo 8 - first coat applied

After the first coat of bottom and topside paint, she's starting to look good.

Photo 9 - done!

And here she is with a second coat top and bottom, rail painted a nice cream color, with a matching waterline.

Whew! And that's how I spent my winter vacation! Launching tomorrow!

>> Next Episode: Lining Off

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  1. Your paint job looks great! Did you spray or roll and tip?

    Tom H
    El Cajon, CA

  2. She catches your eye real good. Instead of turning bowls this winter I should have come and supervised, but it sure did turn out good without me...

  3. A beautiful job you have done once again

    Ray B
    Portland, OR

  4. Well done! Looks beautyful.

  5. Would like a further description of the way you painted the topside.....preparation, how you painted, what kind of paint.
    I look forward to your blog each time.

  6. Good job John, shes looking the real deal now.
    love your blog. By the way, you do realize that you are going to have to continue with a lot more projects so you can keep all the followers happy for months/years to come.

  7. More details on how I painted: seriously, I just used a good quality brush to cut in around the edges, and then rolled the paint on with a normal roller. I don't know if this is the right way to do it, but it was the only way I knew how. Basically, the same as you would paint a room in your house.

    For paint, I used two coats of Interlux Brightside for the topsides, and three coats Micron CSC for the bottom.

    For the water line, I double-taped the line in, pressing the tape down as hard as possible to try to prevent bleed through under the tape. Then I used a brush to paint two coats. After waiting 2 days for the line to dry, I removed the tape. For the most part, the tape came off cleanly, but the topside paint did come off in a few small patches, and the cream paint did seep under the tape in a few places. I just touched up the top and bottom paint by hand with a brush.

    So, pretty simple, really. The Brightside paint is pretty forgiving and dries to a very hard finish. I like it a lot, so far.

  8. Dan/More Projects: Well, I'm on my way back to New York to finish up Cabin Boy. Then I'll be headed back to Florida to paint the Blue Moon's deck. Then I'll start my offshore voyage around FL, through the Keys, and back up to New York. Since I've never sailed outside of Long Island Sound before, I'm sure there will be plenty to blog about :-)

  9. Blue Moon sure has some beautiful curves. Great blog too.

    A trick next time you clean the bottom you should try is to get a bug sprayer and a gallon of bleach and really soak it down with the bleach. Soak from bottom up not top down. Really soak it down several passes. Let it dwell really good for about 20 minutes or so. THEN use your home depot pressure washer. All those living organisms have root like structures which 'let go' when dead. The bleach will kill them and they will peel right off then with no need to risk damage that a powerful washer can do. Really dirty? Just repeat with a second coat of bleach and this will get what the first didn't usually. Check with the marina about EPA regs. I don't think bleach is an issue though

  10. Bill, that's a pretty cool trick that sounds like it would actually work. I've got to clean BM's bottom this spring. It's just kinda slimy, but I'll try your idea if I find anything worse.


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