Friday, December 9, 2011

The Road to Painting

It doesn't seem like that long since writing and yet, looking both at the calender and my progress, I guess it has been longer than I thought. 

After getting the cabin sole fit, I realized that it was about time to tackle the last bit of fiberglassing that remained on the inside of the hull, namely the forward storage compartment (between bulkheads 1 and 2) and the area forward of bulkhead 1 (which will later be filled with foam and sealed off for flotation).  I hadn't viewed the 'glass work in these compartments as particularly intimidating, but in retrospect, I had been putting it off for some time.

First up was the forward most compartment.  This area was probably the hardest.  It is a long reach down in there and it is really hard to get down in there and do anything easily.  Fortunately, this area will get filled with foam and be closed up with only a 6" access hatch, so neatness in here really isn't important.  In addition to sheathing the hull in 'glass cloth, the seams in here also get a layer of thick fiberglass tape.  It took a fair bit of time hang half upsidedown in this compartment to get everything in an wetted out.  While that was drying, it also seemed to be a really good time to permanently install the lower breasthook.

The lower breasthook got put in place at the same time as the glass in the forwardmost compartment.

This space will be stuffed with foam, so I didn't bother doing too neat a job with the fiberglass in here.

The forward storage compartment was far easier to tackle.  The usual tape, wetout, trim, 3 coats of epoxy routine went on here, just like always.

The usual routine...

Wetting it out

The weather is cold now, so I have to use my "lasers" to help the epoxy cure.

Using the "lasers" has the side effect of creating great lighting.

After all that work fitting up the sole, and after a too-short time enjoying it's comfortable surface, it was time to pull it out again to pretty it up and finish it.  As with just about everything, the seemingly simple act of removing the sole took far longer than it should have.  A small handful of the bronze screws that held the planks in stripped out and two even broke.  It took several hours and much "persuasion" with a drill, Easyout and prybar to coax these few fasteners out. 

Finally got the cabin sole back out.

A pile of planks, ready to be spruced up.

With the planks out, the next thing to do was to take the router to them and put a nice soft roundover on the edges.  This process led the the realisation of just how many linear feet of edges these planks comprise!  This was followed by the realisation of just how much surface area there is, since I then had to take up my trusty sander and make everything baby-smooth.  Sanding the planks of the sole took several evenings of work.

Time to roundover the edges of the cabin sole planks.

Sanding the sole....this took a long time!

At some point, I got tired of sanding, and decided to take some time to fit up the cockpit deck.  It was pretty close to begin with, but required a little trimming to make everything fit just perfect.

Test fitting and trimming the cockpit deck.

Some trimming had to be done to accommodate the fillet.
Turning my attention back to the sole, it was time to apply several coats of Danish Oil to finish up the cabin sole planks.  It is a little cold in the shop right now, plus space out there is at a premium right now, so I brought in some cardboard and set up a "finishing shop" in the house upstairs.  The Danish Oil really brought out the best in the, what a reward!  I can't wait until these go back in the boat.  They're going to look terrific.
Applying finish to the sole
Finally, it was time to get everything ready to paint the inside of the hull.  I whipped up a couple little blocks and installed them in the forward storage compartment to serve as a place to mount the battery later on.  Then I hooked up the ol' sander and went to work, cleaning up anything and everything that needed it in advance of sanding.  I figured there would be about an hour of sanding, but in the course of sanding I decided that this was one case where it'd be ok to let perfectionism reign, so I took..umm...a little longer than that.  Somewhere in the course of sanding, I began to hear strange noises from my vacuum.  Sounds like a bearing is going out...not good news.

I made these little thingies to serve as a place to mount the battery.

Sanded and ready for paint.
Finally everything was ready for paint, starting with primer and, in the near future the topcoat.
Primer goes on.

Painting is underway...what lies beneath the shroud?

In other news, I went hiking on Orcas Island in the San Juan Islands last weekend.  This will be one of my cruising grounds when I get my PocketShip done.  Here are some pictures...motivation for getting this boat in the water!
The very early morning in the San Juans

Days are really short right now.  This is about 3:30 in the afternoon.

Just imagine cruising your PocketShip here!