It’s been a long, hard road to get to this point, but it’s done: last Saturday we put in a 14-hour day and got the cabin top and side decks painted with “the shiny,” as my chief painter/Boatamalan* puts it. The scorching 90° heat of prior weeks settled down to the low to mid-80s and fresh breezes helped keep air flowing through the tent, even with filters in place.
* Boatamalan: Noun. Joking portmanteau referring to the Central American origin of the fairing crew (boat + Guatamalan). In fact, the Boatamalans are from Honduras, but Boatduras doesn’t roll off the tongue like Boatamalan does. 🙂
We put another layer of heavy protective plastic over the toe rail and taped it down along the line that separates the bright mahogany from the white Awl Grip 545 final primer.
We did most of the final sanding on the cabin top and fillets two weeks ago. Wrapping up the last few areas only took a couple of hours.
It’s come a long way since we started closing up the salon hatch hole in January 2013.
Using black rattle can paint as a guide coat makes it much easier to find pinholes and small blemishes in the final 545 prime coat after it’s been sanded smooth with 320 grit: just look for any black spots that remain.
The next step involved breaking out the hose and sponges so we could wash the whole boat and inside of the tent. There was a torrent of tan water cascading down the inside walls of the tent when I hit it with the water jet! After the washing was done, we used chamois cloths to dry the boat and then set about taping it off. We’re going through lots of 20′ wide Shark Skin masking film, 3M 233+ tape and several different widths of 3M hand masking plastic films. The last step was to install the filters on the vents to keep the incoming air clean and different filters on the exhaust fan openings to catch any overspray before it leaves the tent. With the vents open on the front of the tent and six fans on the aft end, it’s not as good as the downdraft spray booth I used in a previous life, but this setup actually moves a lot of clean air through the space.
Once the taping was done, we suited up, turned on the fresh air machines and exhaust fans and the chief Boatamalan started laying on “the Shiny.” And here’s what it looked like when it was finished:
Note the window frames installed in the aft enclosure; another project I wrapped up this week.
That put a smile on my face. 🙂
We slightly modified the design of the non-skid map, but I think we ended up with a nice balance of shiny aesthetics and safety. Thanks to all who participated in the poll.
It was hard to pull myself away, but after a 14-hour day I had to call it quits and let the Awl Craft 2000 finish curing. I went back the following afternoon to remove the tape and plastic. It’s inspiring to compare the “before” condition of the cabin top and bow seat in as-found condition to what it looks like now.
The areas that will be sprayed with non-skid have square corners now, but they’ll be nicely rounded when we tape if off for the non-skid.
Even in the gloomy tent, the gloss looks pretty darned good.
Especially when compared to what we started with!
Incorporating the helm door and new window openings into the original hard top was challenging, but I think it turned out well.
That Boatamalan sure knows how to lay on the paint!
Again, fillets are soooo much nicer than the mahogany quarter-round Chris Craft used originally. to cover the cabin top-to-deck joint.
With the cabin top painted, the next step is to finish up some final fairing work on the bow around the hatch and on the aft enclosure, then prime those areas. Hopefully, we’ll be painting them all shortly.