Monday, May 6, 2013

KiwiGrip Part 4

Last year I got most of the KiwiGrip completed but the cold weather in late October kept me from finishing up the last few sections.  I deliberately left the aft deck un-KiwiGripped because that's where I get on and off the boat most of the time and want to reduce the amount of wear that gets until the last possible moment. 

The aft end of the cabintop was the other section that I didn't get to last year and I have been keeping my eye on the temperature and humidity over the past few weeks.  I needed at least 50 degrees and low humidity to get the job done.  Spring has come a bit late in New Hampshire this year and it has been on the cool side but over the last week the temperature has gotten into the low 70's and really dry, making for  perfect KiwiGrip conditions.  The downside of the warming temperatures at this time of year is that it wakes up the black flies and by this time most years, being outside can be pretty unbearable. Black flies just suck and worse than that, they are stupid and love to get into paint.  

Knowing this, I got up early on Saturday and pulled most of the trim off the cabintop and then taped and sanded everything by 8am.  The temperature was still cool (mid 40s) at this point and although it's below the KiwiGrip temperature range, it is also below the operating temperature of black flies and I wanted to avoid them at all costs or I would have lots of black specs in the paint.  Fortunately, once the sun hits the boat shed it warms up nicely so I went ahead.

I had roughly a third of a gallon left from the previous year that I had saved by laying a sheet of saran wrap over the surface of the KiwiGrip before closing the lid to prevent the excess air inside the container from drying out the remaining paint.  It worked and the leftover paint had no dry spots in it and gooped out nicely onto the deck with a trowel.  

I split my work out into 4 sections where I plopped the KiwiGrip goop down on the deck, spread it out with a notched spreader and then rolled it out.  Repeat.  Once everything was done I carefully pulled all the tape off and put a fan on it to facilitate drying.  The black flies didn't show up until I was finishing up and it was still cold enough so they didn't have the numbers needed to make a real nuisance of themselves and jump into the paint.  It was roughly 55 degrees by the time I finished and when I came back an hour later, the surface had skimmed over and was well on the way to hardening up nicely.  I left the fan on for the rest of the day and it was hard enough to walk on (I didn't) by the next morning.  Next up: mounting the companionway trim, hatch tracks, and handrails for real.