Sunday, August 30, 2015
August 29, 2015
Wanting to finish the bottom on Alva Anne and needing to get to the repair aspect of the bottom job, I set out today to finish the port side. I had two areas that still needed sanding on the port side; what I thought was going to be about an hour's worth of work, turned into two. I unfortunately ran out of 40-grit pads, and not wanting to make a trip to stock up on them, I switched to 60-grit pads. The smoother 60-grit pads definitely had an impact on surface removal performance.
The areas were fairly manageable in size, but the surface was stubborn.
At the end of a quick session however, I was able to finish up and clear the port bottom of the old barrier coat and antifouling paint. I do have the areas beneath the sailboat stands, as well as the old boot stripe. I will have these areas cleared through a few sanding sessions over the coming week.
In the picture below, the old waterline (darker red line) and the top of the old boot stripe (lighter red line) can easily be seen. The previous owner had the antifouling paint as high as the transom - the small black triangle of paint on the extreme lower portion of the transom. Having the antifouling paint at this height is quite a bit higher than what was originally struck coming out the Cape Dory boatyard, and I can't figure out why the previous owner chose to do this. Anyway, I am taking the waterline closer to what was originally intended. The new waterline that I strike will be between an inch and two inches higher than the original line.
A parting shot of the trailing edge of Alva Anne's keel and rudder. I'm looking forward to repairing the issues in the laminate and gelcoat, and then getting some fresh paint on her.
Total Time: 2 Hrs.
August 30, 2015
I thought I would share the expense side of buying a classic sailboat, as well as what kind of time investment is required to take it from "needs a little TLC" to a nicely restored vessel. As you can see, I low-balled the labor number - boatyards routinely run between $75 and $100+ per man-hour. With 71 hours invested in Alva Anne thus far, I have only just barely begun the rebuilding phase. With respect to expenses, I have most of the higher priced items secured and so will see only a small increase in this ledger. I will need to purchase the topside paint, but plan for a more moderately priced product: Interlux Perfection, two-part polyurethane. Labor of love!
August 29, 2015
The prior evening's application of epoxy stripper removed a few layers of the barrier coat and nearly all of the remaining anti-fouling paint. It's interesting to see how the previous owner had raised the waterline, possibly a couple times. In the course of removing the bottom paint, I did find the original, molded-in waterline mark. I do intend to raise the waterline from the original, likely to be raised ~2". The previous owner did have an older 6hp Yamaha mounted on the stern with an outboard bracket fastened to the transom. But this engine alone should not have necessitated a raising of the waterline to the extent it was. I have opted to return to the traditional Typhoon bronze outboard bracket which folds down and can also be removed when not in use. The engine I secured for Alva Anne is a Nissan 3.5hp, and will be easier to handle while sailing. I intend to use the engine more as an assist to come on and off the dock; and while sailing, to stow it below. Thus, a waterline somewhere just above the originally struck line should work well for the boat.
The pinkish coloration on the bottom is the barrier coat that is being removed, and just aft of this, in the white area, is the original gelcoat. The gelcoat application on the aft portion of the bottom is very thick, and may have contributed to its cracking and deterioration over time. In addition to the cracking gelcoat, I did come across several areas where the laminate was starved of resin in the layup process, as well as voids that will need to be filled and faired.
Working from the bow, I used 40 and 60-grit pads to remove the remaining barrier coat.
After the bottom is free of old anti-fouling paint and barrier coat, I will double-back and remove the boot stripe with 80-grit paper as I prepare the new water line.
As can be seen in the picture below, what remains of the old barrier coat are a couple small areas and the surface beneath the boat stand pads. This represents about an hour's work.
I wanted to document a few areas on the bottom where the laminate contained voids that require attention. The picture below is the port side bottom just above the rudder.
And, below, the port side bottom, trailing edge of the keel.
Pictured below, the trailing edge of the keel, starboard side.
Finally, the picture below is of the keel, starboard side, just above the rudder. The preponderance of the laminate issues seem to be positioned more in the aft section of the keel, including the thicker gelcoat application.
Total Time: 4.25 Hrs.
Friday, August 28, 2015
August 28, 2015
My goal for the evening was to apply epoxy stripper to the port side bottom to assist the effort in taking off the remaining barrier coat. The barrier coat application on the port side was, for whatever reason, reluctant to concede defeat. It appears that it was applied in a few additional coats as compared to the starboard. So, I set out to spend an hour on prepping the port bottom for Saturday and the final pass with the sander to get down to the gelcoat. This task accomplished, I could not resist spending yet another hour on the boat. I decided to dish-out the voids in the laminate causing the dreaded blistering. Using a DeWalt grinder outfitted with a 6", 40-grit flap pad, I made quick work of the areas requiring attention. In fact, I had to check myself a few times as to not get carried away and unnecessarily remove too much material. I ground out the dry and pocketed laminate layers until I reached solid material.
I began on the port aft section of the keel and worked my way forward.
I encountered areas that held voids between the gelcoat and the outer layer of glass, as well as severely cracked and flaked gelcoat.
Most of the issues on the port side were mid-ship and aft.
Turning to the starboard side, I again started at the aft portion of the keel and worked my way forward.
The areas of concern weren't as numerous on the starboard side, and also less severe.
As it was getting late, and with the sunlight all but gone, I decided to knock-off for the evening. I will pick up tomorrow with removal of the remaining barrier coat on the port side, and possibly get in filling some of the voids with a thickened epoxy mixture.
Total Time: 2.5 Hrs.
Thursday, August 27, 2015
August 27, 2015
Wanting to get the port bottom down to gelcoat in increments rather than a suicidal 1-day stretch, I returned to the port bottom this evening for about 2 hours to continue progress toward my goal. The barrier coat was applied in at least a couple more coats on the port bottom, making for arduously slow progress. I may return to another application of paint stripping gel before continuing on with burning through 40-grit discs.
After a couple hours, I had made satisfactory progress.
By the coming weekend, I should have the port side complete which will allow me to begin addressing the pinholes, voids, and severely cracking gelcoat prior to application of a new barrier coat.
Total Time: 2.25 Hrs.
Tuesday, August 25, 2015
August 25, 2015
Taking advantage of a couple hours to make progress on the port side, I grabbed the random orbital sander and the full-face mask. I worked the aft quarter of the port bottom, removing the remaining anti-fouling paint as well as the barrier coat. In this small section, I did find a few areas where the laminate was retaining water. I marked these areas - pin holes - to then grind out and fill at a later time. For the limited time that I had this evening, I made good progress on the hull.
The blueish coloring on the trailing edge of the keel is a likely an Interlux fairing compound applied to correct voids in the laminate. I'm looking forward to finishing the paint removal so that I can get to the rebuilding of the bottom.
Total Time: 2.5 Hrs.
Sunday, August 16, 2015
August 16, 2015
After a couple weeks of not being on the restoration of Alva Anne, I was finally able to give at least one day of the weekend to her. The day's focus was to take the starboard bottom to gelcoat, to prepare the surface to fill and fare voids in the original glass layup that could present future issues like osmotic blistering. To be sure, there were a few voids that I stumbled upon in the coarse of removing the old barrier coat and bottom paint, but the voids that I did discover were not in the numbers that I anticipated. The "blistering" that I noticed in the bottom belied a generally benign substrate. The blisters that I saw across the bottom when the boat was hauled out and placed onto the trailer was more likely the result of a poor attempt at a barrier coat application. My personality, albeit a sometimes costly and time-intensive flaw, would not allow for a casual sanding of the bottom and a new anti-fouling coat prior to launch. No, I decided to, needed to, take the bottom down to the original gelcoat so that I could properly apply a barrier coat with a purpose of at least providing another epoxy-based layer of protection against water intrusion.
I donned the full-face respirator at 11:30, and knocked off at 7:30.
Three pictures, 31 40-grit pads and 8 hours later...the canvas is now blank. Port side will be next, followed by filling and fairing, barrier coat and then new anti-fouling paint.
Total Time: 8 Hrs.