|Progress Report: 2005
Reports from April 2005
Log for the Week
Ending April 3, 2005
Monday was all
about cleaning. It was time to prepare for spraying the finish primer, the
last step before actually spraying the final coats of paint. I planned to
spray the boat on Tuesday, and to spray the Sanborn's boat on Wednesday, so it
was paramount to clean the shop and rid it of the accumulated dust from the past
several weeks of woodwork and other work that we had done since the high build
I began by clearing out as much extraneous stuff as I could--various jigs,
pieces of equipment, boat parts, etc. Extra stuff only collects and
attracts dust, so out it went, mostly into the temporary lean-to outside the
barn where it would stay till the painting was complete and the shop no longer
needed to be a perfectly clean environment.
Next, I did a little sanding on the deck, as I had
spilled some varnish and resin here and there during the past weeks' work.
With the sanding complete, I moved on to the first of several shop cleanings.
I swept the floor and counters, then prepared my shop vac blower and spent quite
a bit of time with the big shop doors open, blowing out as much as I could,
including the walls, light fixtures, and the tight areas beneath shelves and the
like where brooms cannot reach. When I had done the walls and floor, I
moved up to the two boats and blew them down too, then back to the floor for a
The blowout was crucial, but was hardly the last step. Once I had done all
I could, I let the dust settle for a while with the doors open, then moved on to
begin vacuuming the entire shop and all surfaces to pick up the settled dust,
including benches, shelves, the boats, and everything else.
I set up the staging around the boat. I planned to shoot the cockpit
area first, then the decks, and finally the hull, so I began with the staging up
at its highest level. Then, I covered the cabin trunk, engine room hatch,
and lazarette with plastic, and taped off the stem fitting and breasthook as
needed to protect these areas from spray. Finally, I vacuumed the boat
again, and solvent washed the hull and deck with the appropriate Alexseal
It had been an exhausting 8 hours, but before I left
I organized and set up the paint equipment for the next day, as I planned to
start early in order to get the entire boat done in the three separate spraying
operations of three coats each.
Tuesday, I started at 0600 by tacking off the hull and deck one final time.
Then, I prepared to mix the primer and get ready to spray. Immediately,
though, I ran into a problem: the primer had settled badly and was near
solid on the bottom. I had even left the containers upside down overnight
in the hopes that the settled material would drop free, but it did not.
Therefore, I had to fight with an anemic drill mixer to break up the solids, and
to incorporate them mostly back into the primer--a tough job, and I still ended
up with chunks that I could not incorporate. I determined to discuss this
with my supplier to find out the root of the problem. (See below)
Moving on, with the primer finally mixed, I prepared to shoot the first coat in
the cockpit area--the first of three separate stages in the painting operation
(cockpit, 3 coats; decks, 3 coats; hull, 3 coats). But apparently I had
done an inadequate job of cleaning the gun the last time I had used it a few
weeks before, and there was hardened paint on the nozzle and inside.
It took me some time to get things going again, an annoying delay. Even
so, some internal passage was apparently partly clogged, as I never this day got
the volume out of the gun that I should have.
With these issues behind me, I began what turned into a marathon of mixing,
stirring, spraying, and repeating the process all over again. By just
after 1500, I had completed the job. Priming multiple coats meant that I
had lots of down time between coats--usually each application took about 30
minutes, after which I would have about 45 minutes to an hour before I could
Click here for more about the finish primer and
The morning was punctuated by the Kellogg Marine delivery truck, which managed
to miss my driveway and back off into the very soft grass next to the
drive--dirt softened by lots of recent snowmelt, plus 2" of rain the day before.
I happened to be on a break from spraying when he arrived, and watched out my
office window as he sank deeper and deeper, till the big truck was sunk up to
its axles on one side, resulting in about 20 degrees of heel; he had to call a
wrecker to pull him out. The wrecker was the largest I had ever seen and
made quick work of the stuck delivery truck, but trashed another area of the
grass near the end of the driveway in the process. It was a bad day for
turf at the shop.
Wednesday was spent spraying finish primer on
Dasein (aka Gud 'Nuf) on decks, cockpit and
hull, in much the same way as the Daysailor. This was another 8-hour
spraying session (elapsed time), interrupted a few times early on by more spray
equipment problems caused by my insufficient cleaning weeks before. I was
angry at myself for allowing such a stupid mistake, but managed nonetheless to
get the gun going again, after a few teardowns. Late in the day, when the
spraying was complete, I tore the gun down for a thorough soaking in solvent,
and ordered a number of replacement and spare parts to have on hand for the
I also received a thorough message from Michael Laurence at Lewis Marine, the
supplier of the Alexseal (and other marine products that I use), indicating that
the manufacturer was aware of the problem and making a few packaging and other
changes to help suppliers better handle the product and allow it to be shaken
pre-delivery, but also that the high-solids product was prone to settling (which
I understood). As usual, I was pleased with the excellent follow-through
from Lewis Marine.
Thursday, I sanded the hull primer. I hand-sanded the hull using a small
3M foam sanding block and 220 grit sandpaper for the initial sanding, followed
by a full sanding with 320 paper on the block. This left a very smooth
surface suitable for accepting the high-gloss topcoats a few days hence.
Click here for more about the primer and sanding.
I began by finishing up the hull sanding, getting the areas beneath the counter
and the transom. Then, I sanded the decks and cockpit. Since most of
the deck areas would be covered with nonskid paint, the prepwork didn't need to
be quite as fine as that on the hull, but I still sanded all areas with both 220
and 320 on my little hand-sanding block. This, and a few small,
nondescript projects, completed the day.
I treaded water, with little to do except wait for painting next week; with a
second boat in the shop also preparing for paint, I couldn't choose to paint any
sooner, as I needed to thoroughly clean the shop once more and it only made
sense to deal with both boats' paint jobs--and the shop cleaning--all at once.
I did install the wooden cabin trunk knees I built last week, and applied the
heat lamps to accelerate the epoxy curing.
I fiddled with this or that, briefly worked
on the engine room hatches, for which I planned teak tops, but after some
frustrations put those aside and instead turned my attention to the cabin,
cleaning the interior varnish and applying one (hopefully) final coat of satin
varnish to the overhead beams and cabin trunk sides and knees.
Things ought to look very different next week.
Log for the Week
Ending April 10, 2005
began the week on Sunday morning by permanently installing the first layer of
the cabin trunk overhead, which I really wanted to get out of the way before
painting. Since the pieces had already been test-fit once, it was
relatively straightforward to install them in a bed of 5200 adhesive.
here to see the final installation.
rest of Sunday, and most of Monday morning, were spent preparing the shop and
the boat for final topcoats Monday afternoon. Once more, I cleaned the
shop from head to toe to remove the surprising amount of dust that had arrived
thanks to the primer sanding of the previous week.
When the shop was clean once more, I taped off and
covered the deck to prevent overspray, and moved on to make final preparations
to the hull for the snow white Alexseal paint.
Click here to learn more about the topcoats.
With the topcoats done, I spent Tuesday taking care of other business away from
the shop. Then, the rest of the workweek was spent in the shop working on
Dasein, making final preparations for her own painting--both hull and deck.
On Wednesday, after covering the Daysailor with plastic for protection, I sprayed
Dasein's cabin trunk, deck areas, and cockpit, but
thanks to a mistake on my part I had to respray the cabin trunk Thursday to
correct some runs. Finally, on Friday, I applied three deep, glossy coats
of dark green to Dasein's hull, completing the painting phase in the shop.
Click here for more about
Dasein's paint. (Outside link)
After an exhausting two weeks of primer, sanding, and topcoats, each with their
share of frustrations and difficulties, I vowed to enjoy a weekend off, but
looked forward to getting back into some more serious construction next week.
Log for the Week
Ending April 17, 2005
week turned out to be fairly lacking in progress, partly because I had a series
of other commitments away from the shop, and partly because the shop had to
remain clean for most of the week while paint and varnish work continued on
Dasein next door; it would have been inhospitable for me to create buckets
of wood dust all over his new nonskid.
Therefore, I managed to accomplish little of note. I did cut and install
the second layer of plywood to the cabin trunk overhead, using 7mm Meranti for
the job, which I laminated to the first layer with epoxy and screws.
here for more about the overhead.
Early in the week, I ordered the new spars for the
boat from Metalmast Marine in Putnam, CT. Using an existing Triton spar as
a guideline, I produced a series of measurements and specifications for the new
mast, modifying things as required to fit the specifics of the Daysailor.
The most notable change was the addition of about five feet of spar length to
accommodate the new keel step, versus deck step.
I also began the lengthy task of spec'ing out the
various products required in order to complete the systems on board: fuel,
electrical, deck hardware, rigging, and so forth. With a stunning variety
of choices in many cases, this process took much time, and was a good way to
spend part of an otherwise unproductive shop week. While significant work
remains to complete the boat, there is no question that I have entered the final
stretch towards completion, and that I had little choice but to start ordering
materials required to finish the job.
I hope next week brings much more
Log for the Week Ending April 24, 2005
This week seemed to be all about the cabin and cabin
trunk. Visual progress seems slow, but each aspect of the various jobs
took substantial amounts of time.
Monday, I began by laying out for the companionway opening. With both
layers of plywood secured in place and laminated together, it was time to cut
the opening. Before I could do so, however, I needed to add some
longitudinal beams around the future opening, from the inside. This took
most of the day.
Please click here for more
about the companionway work.
I also began to mock up a profile for the toerail. I hoped to make a
single piece that would overlap the hull-deck joint and provide a pleasing
profile, but ran into a snag when I discovered that it would be difficult to
screw my chosen profile into the boat; I put the mockup aside while I considered
other options, including making a 2-piece toerail/rubrail. I'll post more
detail about the whole process once I get a little further in the process.
Tuesday, I was away from the shop all morning and into the afternoon. With
limited time available, and no inclination to get involved in a more lengthy
job, I sat down and finalized my purchase lists for the various systems on
board, which I had started last week. Then, I ordered all the various
parts online from three different suppliers, a process that took several hours
in its own right.
I prepared to fiberglass over the new coachroof. I laid out two
overlapping layers of 10 oz. cloth, and then installed them in epoxy resin.
It was an extremely warm day--in the 80s--so the resin cured very quickly; I had
to work fast. This process took most of the morning; in the afternoon, I
began work on the myriad interior trim pieces required to finish off the
Click here for more on the
Thursday and Friday, I divided my time between work in the shop on the interior
trim, adding additional fiberglass to the coachroof, and working outside on
several other boat-related projects, attempting to take advantage of nice
weather that was not forecast to last. I continued work on the trim, which
seemed to be going at a snail's pace, and managed to get the worst of the layout
and head scratching on the v-berth trim pieces out of the way.
Click here for
more on the interior trim.
in the morning, the delivery trucks from two of my vendors arrived bearing
numerous boxes filled with all sorts of boat parts, from electrical connectors
to exhaust systems to fuel components. The small items filled several
large boxes, in addition to the individual boxes containing pumps, panels, and
other parts. All this made an impressive pile on my bench; more
parts--including the aluminum diesel tank--were on the way from a third vendor.
I continued work on the interior trim, and, after sanding the fiberglass on the
cabin trunk, applied the first coat of fairing filler to the cloth, to fill the
weave and take up any low spots there might be. With one more decent day
on hand, I continued some of my outside work as well, as the weekend was
forecast to be rainy. Later, when the filler cured, I sanded it to prepare
for a final application to fill in the few low spots.
Read more about
in the rain, I worked again on the interior trim, and despite all the time so
far, I was still far from done. Each piece needed to be conceived,
measured, the raw stock cut to the appropriate rough dimensions, each piece test
fit and recut as needed, and then final milling and sanding operations could
occur--all this before the pieces could even be fit in place. Sometimes
the amount of labor required for seemingly simple jobs is staggering.
the week, at the end of the day when the dust was down in the shop, I continued
the long process of applying 10 coats of varnish to the huge cockpit coamings;
painting and other significant projects in the shop in the weeks since I had
removed the coamings had prevented me from getting to this chore, but with
two sides, I was looking at 3 weeks' worth of work, one coat per day, before the
varnish could be completed. After several coats, though, the coamings were
looking great--at least on one side!
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