Tuesday, 17 September 2013

If only we could do this to the human body when it gets old AKA Monty B's hull renovation project

I know you might find this hard to believe, but we are actually pretty busy people.  Boats will do that to you.  I've been trying to find time and a decent internet connection so I can at least record for posterity the gargantuan task that was Monty B's paint job.

I'm sure everyone who knew us, despite us being exiled in Dubrovnik away from all friends, new and old were utterly sick to death of hearing about our paint job.  WE were sick to death of hearing about our paint job. Like our charter season, the paint job became our life's focus - for months in Tim's case - slightly less in mine as I was hiding away in the UK having physiotherapy for my back whilst Tim became known by everyone in the boatyard as The Grinder.

It was hard work - really hard work.  And there are things we would do differently if we took on a  job like this again, which maybe I should record now while I can still remember (as despite having a woman's mind, it is getting full - maybe I should swap an encyclopedic list of the nutritional content of food stuffs for something more interesting).

The job: sanding back, filling, sanding, filling, sanding, filling, sanding, undercoating, sanding, undercoating, sanding - then Awlgripping - then sanding a coat of that off as it ran - then painting again - and doing the same below the waterline with epoxy primer then Coppercoat - of a 44 foot monohull yacht - combined with Croatian winter/spring weather took from early February until the end of April to complete with us working every day it wasn't raining.

Tim, I swear to god, had the body of David Beckham by the end of it.  I looked the same (though I wouldn't want to look like Victoria Beckham, it has to be said).

Here are the pics which say a hundred words each:

What we discovered under all that paint - years and years of paint

And for Tim, hours and hours, days and days, weeks and weeks of sanding sanding sanding

Another green stripe appears - and under that a blue one. And our original boot stripe emerges.

He loved it really.

The first mistake - grinding off the old paint single-handed.  Some boat yard lads would have been handy and cut down prep time considerably - and worth the money.

The second mistake - painstakingly dotting primer (Awlgrip Hullgard) into pinholes, dints etc - over and over again.  Should have used a resurfacer and done the whole lots.  Hullgard really gloopy product to use too and days of drying time.

We are into a month of work by this point and it looks like a mountain to climb.

First coat of 545 Primer goes on.  What a difference!

Then you sand two thirds of it off again!  I did actually feel sorry for Tim at this point for the first time in my life.

Nick showing us how to do it - rollering like a pro.

Hullgarding the underneath - many coats. 




Just to prove I was actually there!  And working.  My job: the fiddly bits.

How great did this feel?  Undercoats on, sun shining - and there wasn't much of that - it looked like a new boat already.

Mixing those perfect proportions. 

The first coat of Awlgrip Top Coat goes on like milk and goes off perfectly - with the aid of Nick the Painter's amazing rolling and tipping.

Returned on day 3 after the second coat to find runs - "curtains" - all over the paintwork.  The paint from the day before had not cured properly and was still tacky in the tray the next morning.  Umm, what had happened?

The offending catalyser - it didn't work so Tim had to sand it all back again.  

Scotch-padding the glass-like finish of Awlgrip ready for the final coat.  Felt criminal to scratch up that perfect surface but it had to be done.  Then wiped down with alcohol with a clean cloth for every wipe - then tack ragged off to get the microscopic particles off, ready for painting.

No photos sadly of Jamie and Julia, who had come out from the UK to go on a sailing holiday (sorry guys!) with us, ended up spending one day of their holiday under our boat Coppercoating from dawn til dusk - literally - it was dark when we finished.  Thank you so much - you were total troopers!  Next time Jamie, we'll be on the water, we promise!

Then Andy and Cath joined us for their sailing holiday (sorry again guys) and helped us with the boot stripes.

A dazed looking Tim pulls the last piece of masking tape.

How unbelievably proud are we!  Project finished. Note to self: take masking tape off as soon as possible, don't leave it on for weeks (along toerail) as it is a total nightmare to remove.

Andy proudly displays Billy's new paint and yet more blue masking tape.

The Nurzes and Tim - thanks for helping and making those last days top fun!