We have had a couple of warm bright days here with no rain to speak of. This is quite rare for this time of year so I’ve made good use of it, getting a coat of paint on each morning before work so it can cure properly before the dew sets in at night. I spent an evening with the orbital sander getting the rough old paint off and grinding back the filler to a satisfactory clean finish. I find that if painting outdoors there isn’t much point in going for the normal levels of prep. I used 60 grit discs on the sander and went over the corners and fine edges carefully by hand. This leaves it pretty rough but the swirl marks wont show through the three thick layers of single pack enamel I’m going to apply. The idea is to get it painted quick before the weather turns or I’ll be waiting for a window until spring. The whole surface to be painted was then brushed off, blown over, and wiped down with solvent on a rag.
Ruthless sanding out of the original dings with a flap disc in a four inch grinder meant no flaky, damaged gel coat or mud soaked laminate to mess up filler adhesion. There were no areas that needed repair with fibreglass so that’s speeded things up nicely. Now for a good layer of grey International Pre kote. Again, I had a tin of this left over from an earlier project which I can stretch to cover this hull twice by mixing in any dregs of paint left in tins on the shelf of the same type. This will make it a rather odd colour but its only a base coat and will be flatted back anyway before the final gloss coat goes on. The important thing is to get it on in the dry and make sure the next coat/ coats go on within the time window stated on the can.
Nice warm morning meant a nice even coat of muddy blue undercoat went on like a dream. Left it for 24 hours to harden off, then flatted the thing back lightly with a folded 60 grit sanding disc in my palm. That removed the bugs and fallen leaves that had stuck fast to the paint over night. Like I said, no point in being fussy when painting outdoors. However you may notice I moved the hull out from under the tree for the next coat so at least I’d only have the bugs to sand off next time.
Lots of hard, boring work involved with painting a boat and its a real surprise to me every time how big an area there is to do. Apparently this is a common misconception and results in people rushing into their local chandlery in a right old lather, needing an extra tin to finish a coat. It takes a lot of paint. Even this tiny hull has consumed nearly four litres in total. This would have been my biggest expense on this project if I hadn’t had so many half used tins kicking about. For single pack yacht enamel and primer it’s roughly £25 a litre. That’s £100 just on cosmetics! Clearly I’m getting too vain, should’ve just left her as she stood after filler. Oh well.