Fairing, Highbuild, International Microsurfacer

Good news Bad news

Posted by Paul

Have you ever had a long weekend coming up and you like to clear your in box or jobs to do list before you leave Friday afternoon and you are well close to finishing that last task when a pile of new work is handed to you? That’s how I felt the next evening when I went to the shed to load Jakes compressor on his ute while I am on hols. I wanted to show Jake how close to finished I was getting, you know, Friday afternoon, ready to go away for the weekend and nearly finished the last task before you go.

port microsurfacer pre sand stipple

This first shot shows the stippling that using rollers left. We started with foam rollers but they didnt hold the thick paint enough so we switched to coarser rollers which got the paint on fast but left the stipple. At first I regretted that but as I sanded, some areas are still low and the sanding doesnt fully removed the stipple before hitting the yellow bog below on the nearby highs. This acts as a guide, and where the stipple still shows after sanding through to glass nearby it is a great guide to show where to add spot fill (of more highbuild, we are talking very small measures of low now, fractions of millimeters). Then once they are sanded and its smooth, the next seal coat high build (Jotun Penguard) will sand to fair in one coat.

It also shows some work that might be needed on the chine. Still not sanded so it might not be much work, but you can see the slight hollow in it, but most of these are only visible up close, from a few meters back the chine looks dead straight again.

It was dusk but rather than turn the lights on I turned a spotlight on. That’s when I saw the big pile of work I still had  to do. OK its not so big, I just hoped it might be even less. In particular, look at the hollow above the second portlight on the port hull.

(Besides showing the lumps the next few pics show the yellow bog that shows through again now that I have started sanding. At first I was disappointed when I saw it, an irrational disappointment, like buying fire insurance then being disappointed at not having to make a claim, you wasted your money on the insurance but your house didnt burn down! Then I rationalised. What did I expect, that I wouldnt sand through in places? That the boat was really fair all along and I had just wasted my money on the microrsurfacer?)

port microsurfacer part sand 3 port microsurfacer part sand 2 port microsurfacer part sand 1

The aft couple of meters on the port hull is now as fair as I can get it. And the chine is pretty good. Not perfect, hopefully this sand will fix it.

port microsurfacer part sand

port microsurfacer pre sand dent over portlight

A spotlight cast down the hull side allows the hollows to be shadowed, highlighting the work still needed. It exaggerates the differences, but the pics posted in my last update exaggerate how fair the boat is, so the truth is somewhere in between.

And of course I havent sanded this coat yet. When you paint the layer builds the highs as well as the lows, you sand the highs down until you smooth to the lows, in places you wont sand enough to fully hit the low to fully smooth it whilst sanding through the highbuild around it to the surface below in places. This shows what was a high and what still is a low. If you hit substrate (fibreglass) you fill the low, if not, keep sanding.

port microsurfacer pre sand bumpy bow 3 port microsurfacer pre sand bumpy bow 2 port microsurfacer pre sand bumpy bow 1 port microsurfacer pre sand bumpy bow

Thats the bad news. By far outweighed by the good news.

A) I havent sanded yet, once sanded the boat will be much closer to fair, which, after all is the point of putting this stuff on in the first place, if the boat was already fair I could have saved the money. The port bow outside is also a bit lumpy for the first few meters, but again, I havent sanded yet so wont know for sure if it is still in need of some work.

B) I have sanded sections (its long board hand sanding from here) and it is waaaaay easier than sanding bog. I had to put 240 grit on, the 120 was cutting through too much too fast. I should have the entire boat sanded ready for touch up highbuild in a few days (after I get back) and the boat is showing me where to put the extra highbuild. I sanded about 4 square meters in less than half an hour. I have about 40 to do, so you do the math.

C) The starboard hull is remarkably fair already. No really. I dont know why but its chalk and cheese. See for yourselves. Not sanded yet and hardly a ripple. The ripples you think you do see are  roller marks in the highbuild so we are talking different thicknesses of paint.

starboard microsurfacer prior to sand

starboard microsurfacer prior to sand 1

So there it is. It looks pretty good and I am about where I thought I might be about now when I did my start of the year timeline.

In August I will get this coat of highbuild sanded. Get the cockpit, rear steps and backpanel coated with the stuff and sanded off again. Get the lows spot coated with more of the stuff and sanded back off again and maybe get the Jotun on. If I can have it in the white highbuild by end of August and sanded again, patch filled and sanded a final time after guide coat, in other words ready for top coat in September I will be well pleased.

Happy holidays, happy tenth darling. The next ten we spend as boat owners.

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2 thoughts on “Good news Bad news

  1. Arif

    Hi Paul and Jo

    I just spent 2 weeks going through all your posts – from post 1 – and am so inspired by your build, your tenacity and your humanity that shines through in what you often term “rants” at the start of some of your posts. I have been up and down with you through your journey and am so happy that things seem to be going well at the moment (i noticed mahnamahna.com.au is an e commerce site and hope it is yours and generating a good income for you) and the work on the boat is continuing.

    I am thinking/ dreaming of building the 1230x and love the modifications you have made. I would love to meet you and see your build and lend a hand.

    Thank you for your committed, honest and detailed blog. I look forward to the launch 🙂

    Take care


  2. Husam Mohamed

    Hey mate, she’s looking very nice, well done. Hope to see you cruising up here in the Whitsundays soon ☺.
    I might have to try to catch up when I hopefully sail back to Ettalong this summer.
    Sold the old catamaran and bouht a Perry 43. Much nicer.
    Take care

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