Saturday, 21 April 2012

Recaulking the bits

This is what I've been working on while Alex painted the hull.

We noticed last season that the bits were not as firm as they should be, and water was leaking in around them. Once I took the foredeck cover off I remembered that I meant to do something about it, and had a look.

The trim around the bits was a bit soft, and when I tried to undo the screws holding it down they sheered.Using the screw driver as a chisel to ease the wooden trim off its bed of mastic worked well, but none of the wood survived intact as it turned out to be totally rotten.

The bits themselves were still sound luckily, so I re-caulked around them (the only caulking I've done since going on the course!). I used Nigel's recommended brown mastic rather than red led putty as my stopping,and no rain has come down round the bits since.

The foredeck was in need of a good tidy up, so I got rid off all the loose paint, and filled the holes with plastic padding before sanding it down and giving it a coat of Pre-Kote. After that I made and fitted some new varnished hardwood trim around the bits, gave the deck another coat of Pre-Kote then finally, today, a coat of masonry paint.

The foredeck looks better now, but the varnish on the forehatch needs some TLC too...

I went alone today, just for the morning since rain was forecast for the afternoon, and as well as the masonry paint on the foredeck, and a coat of primer in the cockpit I put on a second coat of anti-foul.None of those should be affected by the afternoon rain. The forecast predicts rain every day for the next week, and the car needs an MOT so I'm not sure when I'll go to Mersea next!

Monday, 16 April 2012

Colour returns

I've been to Robinetta every day for five days, taking Alex for four of them.

We wanted to take advantage of every suitable painting day, and got on as fast as we could. The first non primer was a layer of International Pre-Kote which acts as an undercoat before the toplac. It's only available in white, and it's very strange to see Robinetta anything but blue!

Robinetta now only needs one more coat of toplac and anti foul on the hull. I don't really want to put that last coat of toplac on until the bob-stay bolt is reinforced, since I was warned it might damage the paintwork.

Julian came along on Saturday and Sunday, so now the mast is dressed, and waiting for the yard to put it in. Really feels like we're getting there!

I'm still working on getting paint layers on the cockpit, fore-deck, and bulwarks, but Robinetta's looking like herself again with the hull red and blue.

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Sanding again

I filled the hull with International 100 after the last coat of primer dried, and the topsides and bulwarks needed a good sand down before any top coats were applied, but I had promised the boats next to me that I would not do any more major sanding until they were in the water. Today was the day I expected them to be gone, and when Alex and I got to Robinetta she was sitting in solitary state. 

Alex immediately got on with sanding down the topsides while I worked on the foredeck and cockpit. I also got Alex to sand the bulwarks, and after he was done I noticed a patch of loose paint on the port wide at the stern. I went to give it an extra sand down, and discovered soft damp wood beneath it. Damn! It's going to need replacing just like the same plank on the other side.

I left it alone once I'd uncovered all the wet wood, and will see how structurally damaged it is once it dries out. With luck it will be a job for next year, not a delay on going back in the water this time.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

the Prep work goes on...

The weather was too wet to get anything done over the Easter weekend, but Julian worked all day on Good Friday, so took the day in lieu today, and worked on the mast. We want to put different wiring on the mast head light and the radio antenna, and think of a different way to lead the wiring down to the shrouds.

All our paint stripping and priming with silvery primers had removed any trace of the antifoul/toplac boundary, so Julian and I redrew it with masking tape using photo evidence and our memories. After that Alex put another coat of underwater primer on, in exactly the right place.
The paint across the stern in the cockpit was redone in a hurry at the start of last season when I noticed it flaking off just before we went in the water. The same area is going again (due to lack of proper preparation I think), so I've decided to strip it off, and sand it all down before giving it the 4 coats of primer treatment.

Wednesday, 4 April 2012


Alex and I went to Robinetta on Monday and today. I worked on the foredeck and varnished the rudder and boom, while Alex painted the hull all over with primer twice. We're totally dependent on good painting weather for getting on with things now...