The V-berth and aft stateroom mahogany panels are looking very nice. Things sure go faster when my schedule aligns with my Boatamalan* painter. I might actually have the portholes installed soon!
*Boatamalan: portmanteau indicating highly skilled boat workers of Central American origin. They’re actually from Honduras, but boat + [Guat]amalan has a nicer ring to it.
The second round of ICA base clear went on nice and flat, which makes for easy final sanding. But this mahogany has some deep grain that makes it tough to fill it entirely. The strange thing is that the grain is deep on some panels but flat on others, even when the panels were cut from the same sheet of plywood. Nature apparently doesn’t have a robust Quality Control department.
The deep grain I mentioned makes it challenging to get the sanding just right. Don’t go far enough, and the grain makes a surface that’s not perfectly smooth. Go too far, and you can sand through the base coat. Fortunately, I didn’t breach the base coat anywhere.
It was taking a long time to blow the dust out of the little depressions that remain. So I used some lint-free microfiber towels to lightly wipe each panel while blowing it with air. That approach worked a lot better, instantly clearing all of the dust from the depressions.
Finding safe places to put all of these finished panels was a bit of a challenge. I’ll leave them to cure for a week, so I can’t stack them like I did when they were unfinished. I eventually found enough flat spaces on the boat to lay them all out, then carefully stepped off the boat. Next I’ll insulate the back side of all of the panels with Buffalo Batt woven fabric. Then I’ll start installing the panels into their final resting places. But before that, I’ll install the V-berth panels that only got base coated. I’m stoked!