Thursday, July 26, 2012

One Man, a Boat, and a Crapload of Sandpaper

I feel like I'm now at a point of diminishing returns when it comes to sanding.  The decks aren't perfect, but I'm going to go out on a limb and say they are 'close to good enough'.  There are 2 notable exceptions to this rule though, the first being the cockpit, and the second is a small section where the QuickFair just doesn't want to cure.

Bad cure make Matt mad!
I'm not sure what the issue is, the first time I chalked it up to being sloppy and not properly mixing the QuickFair.  I scraped it all off, washed it down with acetone and added a new filet.  Well, it seems to be doing the same thing again.  The annoying thing is that this was part of a batch I used to start fairing the instrument holes and they cured fine.  I don't know, I may hit it with the heat gun if it's still tacky today and if that doesn't work I'll do it again.  I suspect there is some sort of contaminant there that is preventing the epoxy from curing. Grrrr....
On a brighter note, I am making progress in the cockpit.  The instrument hole patches cured up nicely and I did 2 coats of QuickFair (I like the 3 hour sand time).  The last one looks good and I think it will be all I need at least until I prime and can really see any imperfections.  

I also started sanding the cockpit seats but the paint on there is tough stuff, the sander is not making much of a dent.  It's odd because I know that paint is an enamel because I did it about 8 years ago, but the sanding is going similar situation to what I found on the forward cabintop.  I ended up priming over that and it looks fine, but the PrimeKote specifically says that it shouldn't be applied over enamels.  I have an old tub of 'Peel Away' stripper that I will probably try to use over the next few days.  Hopefully that will do the trick. 

Another decision I will need to make in the cockpit is the teak deck on the sole that I partially ripped up when I first started this project a few years ago.  I had planned on going back to tiller steering (and may still do so), but I found that the rudder shaft had been cut off so I would have to replace the shaft (and likely the entire rudder), fabricate a new tiller head, and build a deck/shaft interface.  Along with that I would need to remove the pedestal and quadrants and who knows what else.  It's a ton of work, and I know I would feel better if I just did it.  

Here are the pros of removing the pedestal:
  • Safety issue - If the steering cable(s) jumped the quadrant I would be screwed.
  • More room in the cockpit.
  • Better feel - I like the direct feel of the tiller; lots of feedback.
And the cons:
  • A shitload of work and money.
  • Could delay launch even longer.

I keep telling myself that I can make that decision later, but later is approaching and I'll have to make up my mind soon.  


  1. Just dropped by from over on the Plastic Classic forum. Great blog, looks like you're making good progress. On the wheel vs. Tiller issue-TAKE IT OFF! A future owner will thank you! :)

  2. Thanks on the blog, it's been helpful to document what I've done to refer back to later.
    On the tiller; I am leaning more and more toward yanking the wheel. I took a look at the rudder shoe this afternoon to see what it will take to get that sucker off. Judging by the amount of bottom paint on it, it's probably going to take some coercion.