Wednesday, July 29, 2015
July 29, 2015
I'm really glad to have this miserable, dirty task come to completion. The removal of the bottom paint was necessary, as mentioned earlier, due to the apparent osmotic blistering across the hull. Once I had a significant portion of the bottom paint removed, and the "barrier coat" sanded down to the original gelcoat, I slowly concluded that the blistering was not through the fiberglass structure, but was due to a poor application of the barrier coat. The blisters seem to be isolated to the layers between the barrier coat and the anti-fouling paint.
Tonight's task was to remove the anti-fouling in order to prepare for sanding the balance of the surface (barrier coat) to arrive at the original gelcoat. Once the gelcoat is reveled, I plan to assess the hull for issues (voids) within the fiberglass structure itself, and then address those will filling and fairing. The photo below shows the port after removal of a majority of the anti-fouling paint.
Another photo of the port side...preparing for sanding application.
Total Time: 1.5 Hrs.
Tuesday, July 28, 2015
July 28, 2015
Getting back to the port bottom paint removal, after my day job I quickly shed the office attire and donned the respirator and work clothes for a session on the bottom. Wanting to keep the airborne particulate matter at a minimum, I chose a chemical means to a paint-free end. Yesterday's work on the port side left me with approximately 60% of the paint to remove, and I quickly set about applying the paint stripper to the areas needing attention.
After the perfunctory 10 to 15 minute working time, I began the removal of the anti-fouling paint with a scraper tool.
Results after the first pass were typical: there were areas where the anti-fouling paint resisted the chemical more so that other areas, but progress was definite.
A shot from the bow after the first pass.
I had limited time this evening to work on Alva Anne, but was able to get two passes in with the paint stripper and scrapping. The view from the stern shows nearly all of the anti-fouling paint removed, and ready for sanding.
what remains on the port bottom is a couple spots where the stand pads engaged the hull; in addition, the underside of the keel also will need to be stripped, but the bottom is 95% stripped at this point. As I stated above, I will come back with 40 and 60-grit pads to remove what was apparently a poorly applied epoxy barrier coat. I plan to take the bottom back down to the original gelcoat, identify areas that need structural fill attention, and then fill and fair those areas prior to application of a new barrier coat system.
Total Time: 1.5 Hrs.
Monday, July 27, 2015
July 27, 2015
Beginning where I left off the day prior, I started the bottom paint removal on the port side of the boat. Spraying on the paint stripper in sections, I worked my way forward taking off the anti-fouling paint. I tended to spray several sections at a time so that I could make the best use of my time - awaiting the ~15 minutes for the chemical to loosen the paint adhesion allowed me time to scrap alternate sections.
Another shot of the work area (darker spots).
At some point in the boat's history the waterline was raised above the factory-marked waterline. There appeared to be two separate primers / barrier coats used between the bottom and the newly struck waterline - the gray swath of paint between the flesh-colored barrier coat on the bottom and the red boot stripe.
My plan is to lower the current waterline while raising it slightly from the factory waterline.
A few more applications of the paint stripper and then sanding with 40-grit pads will clean up the bottom and prepare it for the next step - filling and fairing in voids in the fiberglass structure.
Total Time: 2 Hrs.
Sunday, July 26, 2015
July 25th/26th, 2015
Through the weekend, I continued on the path of removing the bottom paint on the starboard side of the hull. The idea for removal of the bottom paint included using a stripper product to reduce the airborne dust. The previously applied product was a bit messy in application, so I opted for a change in the application process - spray on. Brushing on the product that I had initially tried presented a messy venture to say the least; spraying on the paint stripper was much easier to control.
Over the course of the weekend, I would typically apply a couple coats of the spray-on product within 5 to 10 minutes of the first coat being applied, and then wait roughly 15 minutes for good penetration of the product before scraping off the bottom paint.
The reason for addressing the bottom paint was presented to me at haul-out the day of the purchase. I noticed several areas around the hull that appeared to be osmotic blistering. However, once I sanded the bottom paint down to the gelcoat, I noticed little to no blistering emanating from the fiberglass structure. In the picture below, the flesh-colored paint is a barrier coat - likely epoxy-based. The whitish surface is the original gelcoat. The hull, from a fiberglass perspective, appears to be in great shape. My guess is that the barrier coat was not applied according to specifications, and allowed water to penetrate between the gelcoat and bottom paint, resulting in surface blistering. Barrier coats should be applied to a surface free of paint, otherwise adhesion problems may result. The blueish outline around the "barrier coat" on Alva Anne was likely the original bottom paint - this should have been removed prior to the application of the barrier coat. There were a few areas of the fiberglass structure itself that held water, and so I ground those areas out to release the water and allow it to dry prior to filling and fairing.
I was able, through the weekend, to meet my goal of removal of the starboard bottom paint.
In the coming days, I will focus on the port side bottom paint removal. After removing the port side, I will rearrange the blocking to remove the paint surfaces on the bottom of the keel. The boot stripe will also be removed.
Total Time: 7 Hrs.
Sunday, July 19, 2015
July 19, 2015
I didn't have time for any extended work on the boat, but did want to at least conduct a test of the paint stripper on a small section of the bottom. The brand, Jasco, states not to use on fiberglass, but given the amount of work ahead for me to restore the bottom, I figured I would give this product a shot. The result was satisfactory; enough so that I planned to exhaust this small supply. There is yet another paint stripper that I plan to use - especially formatted for boat hulls.
For this test, I painted a rough 12" x 15" patch onto the bottom with a chip brush, waited 15 minutes, and then scrapped the paint off with a rigid plastic scrapper. In fact, I ultimately worked a section of about two and a half feet by 1 foot, and then followed this up with a 40-grit pass with the 7335. Since I had other plans for the day (weekend), I raced through this and didn't remember to snap post test pictures.
While I was hot, dirty, and sweaty, I went ahead and water-washed the previous round of epoxy work, and then sanded the surfaces. I sanded the poop deck to fair - the area that once held the haws pipe (actually a deck fitting for the anchor chain and rode); I also roughed up the transom area that once held the stern light. My previous fill was with a structural thickener (colloidal silica) great for gap filling. I brought this application close to the surface of the gel coat, leaving once or perhaps two applications of the micro balloons for the final fairing work. The picture below shows the rough sanding on the transom as well as the poop deck just prior to sanding this area fair. As stated above, time was getting away from me and so pictures were carelessly left out.
Total Time: 1.5 Hrs.
Monday, July 13, 2015
July 13, 2015
Working for an hour and a half in the evening, I was able to begin work on the foredeck cleat. The process here would be to overdrive the old fastener holes, fill with thickened epoxy(cabosil / colloidal silica), pre-drill a pilot hole, and then tap for new silicon bronze machine screws. It was happy that I decided to remove the foredeck cleat and properly install this deck fitting. Using a 3/4" forstner bit I drilled through the top skin, through the coring, and then into some sort of thickened polyester fill. Once I made it through the top skin, I immediately noticed a discoloration in the coring and some deterioration of the core in the port-forward hole.
I thoroughly inspected the new oversized holes, and made one additional "inquiry" behind the port-forward hole due to the condition of the core. I was happy to see that the moisture damage was isolated to a roughly 1/2" to 3/4" diameter around the old fastener holes. Wetting out the core with epoxy and then filling with the structural mixture will take care of the slight deterioration in the port-forward hole as well as the others.
I finished by sanding around the work area to prepare for filling and fairing.
Next on the to-do list was to water wash the previous day's patching and fairing work, sand the work surfaces, clean the surfaces with solvent and generally prepare for more filling. I was happy to have finally completed fairing the surfaces around where the old motor bracket was installed. What was left to work on was the old stern light and the haws pipe deck fitting. I mixed up some epoxy and thickened it with micro balloons. Using a 6" knife, I spread a thin layer over the recent patch on the deck surface where the haws pipe was installed. The last application of fairing compound nearly brought the surface to fair, so this should be the last application.
I applied a piece of plastic over the stern light patch and traced for a couple patterns for the 1708 biaxial - this dished out area went a little deeper than I had intended, and I was creeping up to just beneath the gelcoat surface with additional patches so that I could complete the work with an application or two of fairing compound.
Running my hand across recent work, I did notice an area that needed a bit more fairing compound - the starboard quarter of the transom where a small stainless steel bracket was fitted.
Total Time: 1.5 Hrs.
Sunday, July 12, 2015
July 12, 2015
Sunday was an easy day for boat work - managing to get around to doing some work on Alva Anne by late afternoon. The focus today was the patching on the poop deck and transom, and spot filling. I began by water washing the previous day's epoxy work, and then sanding those areas to ensure a fair surface. The obvious spots that needed further attention was the patch work on the poop deck and transom - these were holes for the former haws pipe and the stern light.
The former haws pipe hole on the poop deck was brought close to the level of the existing gelcoat, and need only fairing compound.
The former stern light hole, once patched, needed a bit more work to bring closer to the adjacent gelcoat surface. My approach here was to apply a couple more layers of 1708 biaxial cloth, and then fill with fairing compound.
I again made a couple of patterns of ~3/4 circles to further fill the transom patch. I transferred these patterns to 1708 biaxial cloth, and then prepared a small batch of epoxy.
With rain approaching quickly, I went straight to work by properly saturating the cloth and then laying the two pieces of cloth into place. with rain shrinking over my shoulder, I went ahead and applied a small protective sheet of plastic.
In the same moment, I also mixed a small batch of epoxy thickened with micro balloons and spread this out over the transom where the motor bracket was formerly affixed. This areas was on its third round of filling-fairing, and hopefully this would be the last. I also applied the fairing compound to the poop deck patch, and quickly covered with plastic sheeting to protect from the rain showers - sorry, no picture of the deck work.
With the primary goal accomplished for this easy day, I set out to reconnoiter the bottom of Alva Anne. There are quite a few small blisters across the bottom. I noticed these the day she came out of the water in Oriental, NC - I took 20 minutes on that day to pop as many as I could. Today, I took the Porter Cable 7335 and a 6" 40-grit pad, and proceeded to survey the surfaces below the anti-fouling paint. For the most part the bottom is in good condition, despite the sporadic blistering. My initial thought after I worked this small area is to sand the bottom to remove any poorly adhered paint, dish out, fill and fair the blisters, wipe clean with a solvent, apply Interprotect 2000E, and finish with a hot-coating of ablative bottom paint. Some research is required first, but I like this approach.
I also wanted to take a look behind the structural panel (port and starboard). I had a suspicion that access to the chainplate bolts lay behind this panel.
I removed the 13 screws and gently pried the panel from its placement.
Sure enough, just through the 6" circular access hole I spied the chainplate bolts - without a backing plate. I will be replacing these while the boat is being refitted.
Total Time: 3 Hrs.
Saturday, July 11, 2015
July 11, 2015
The goal for the day was to water wash the previous application of fairing filler and sand to fair, spot fill and areas needing further attention, and patch the hole that was the former haws pipe on the poop deck and the hole that was the stern light. So to it...
I began by making my way around the boat with a Scotch-brite pad, a spray bottle filled with water and a towel. I spritzed the previous fill areas, now cured, scrubbed with the Scotch-brite pad, and towel dried to prepare for sanding.
Using 80-grit pads and the Porter Cable 5" random orbital sander, I made my way around the boat sanding the previously filled areas to fair. I noticed a few areas on the boat that needed yet another fill application, the stern being the primary place requiring further attention.
The motor bracket mounted on the stern was backed by aluminum plates; nevertheless, it still managed to "warp" the stern where the bolts passed through the transom. The first couple of rounds of filler brought the surfaces nearly fair, a but third application was required. Mixing a batch of epoxy, I thickened with micro balloons and used a squeegee to fill in the low spots. This should hopefully be the final fill.
In addition to the stern fill work, I filled a few areas along the sheer line that needed a bit more. That complete, I turned my attention to the day's primary work: patching the holes holding the haws pipe and the stern light. Using a grinder outfitted with a 40-grit flap wheel disc, I ground a gentle taper around the holes. These tapered grinds would be filled and patched with at least two 1708 biaxial patches, and the filled and brought to fair with the adjacent surface.
Before applying the patches, I need to create a "backing" for the filler and patches to adhere to - creating a structurally sound patch. I used a rough 6" x 6" square of 1708 biaxial, fully wetted with epoxy, resting on a sheet of plastic, and adhered both the fiberglass and the plastic to the underside of the poop deck. Before applying the fiberglass backings, I sanded the underside of the poop deck with a pass of the Porter Cable and a 40-grit pad, and then cleaned the surfaces well with acetone.
After applying the backing to both holes, I took on other duties to allow sufficient time for the epoxy backing to tack up. I turned to sanding the companionway hate, and worked the surfaces with 80-grit paper with the 5" sander and by hand, as was required in the tight corners and transitions. After completing the companionway hatch, the epoxy bonding the backings to the underside of the poop deck had becoming tacky, or partially cured, and was ready to take the filler and patches. I wetted the exposed core on the poop deck and the surrounding fiberglass - I also did this to the transom, though the transom was not cored.
the photo below shows the stern light hole, backing cloth, with the surrounding fiberglass tapered and in the process of being wetted to accept the 1708 biaxial patches.
Just prior to wetting the surfaces with epoxy, I made a couple templates of the patches to be applied to both the haws opening and the stern light opening. Using a small sheet of plastic, I traced two circles per opening that would be used to cut patches from the 1708 biaxial cloth.
The photo above is of the transom; the photo below is of the poop deck.
And the patches for both openings.
Prior to placing the patches onto the openings, I mixed a small batch of epoxy and thickened it with colloidal silica and applied this to the holes themselves - filling the holes up to be fair with the shallowest grind of the taper.
The last step was to place the wetted 1708 cloth patches onto the tapered holes.
In the coming days, I will water wash, fill and fair these areas. In reviewing the work as I was closing up shop for the day, I noticed that I may have to add another layer of 1708 biaxial to the transom hole (the former stern light). Eventually, both areas will be brought to fair with their adjacent surfaces, primed and painted. That would conclude the day's work.
Total Time: 6 Hrs.