Summer was long and hot, which made it virtually impossible to continue with the paint work on the boat. Once we hit August though, temps dropped to the point of being almost unseasonably cool. The goddess of the seas, who I believe has a soft spot for old Chris Craft enthusiasts, was finally cutting me some slack–temps inside the tent were perfect for painting. We took advantage of the break and sprayed the aft enclosure with the final coats of Awl Grip 545 primer.
We initially planned to spray the 545 on the aft deck in May 2013, the weekend after we sprayed the last coat of Awl Quik. But my mother-in-law passed away, then June came in like a blast furnace, followed by all of the work on the aft enclosure coming to a stop when I discovered that the SMIB fabricator who built the enclosure had put a wee bit of twist in several of the panels. It was late July before I finally solved the problem of how to put flat windows into slightly twisted window frames.
Anyway, in the spirit of “better late than never,” it was good to finally get the final primer on the stern.
Chris Craft used a hard inside corner along the curving line at the aft end of the hard top, both of which were cracked on this boat. We ground out the cracks and did a proper fiberglass repair with fillets to reduce stress in the area. I think they look much better than hard corners, too.
If you look closely, you can see that even the 545 has a bit of shine to it. The guys did a great job making this all very smooth and uniform. If it shows this well in primer, I can’t wait to see it painted with Awl Craft 2000 Matterhorn white! 🙂
We found that the area immediately around the hatch on the bow did not follow the smooth crown of the deck. It was slightly lower than it should have been, which would have caused water (and dirt) to collect around the hatch-to-deck seal rather than running off as it would with a proper crown. We applied a bit more of the home-made epoxy fairing compound made from US Composites thin resin thickened with Cabosil and 3m Microballoons in a 1:3 ratio to build up the deck, then longboarded it fair and sprayed Awl Quik before applying the final 545 primer.
The black paint is a guide coat for the final sanding. Using Mirka Abranet 320 grit disks, we only sand enough to remove all of the black paint. This avoids the problem of putting divots in the faired surface by sanding too much with the dual action sanders. The black paint also helps show pinholes and tiny low spots.
With 545 coating the aft enclosure, helm dashboard and bow deck, we’re ready for final sanding and then paint.
I’m all giddy. 🙂