Thursday, 19 May 2022

Transom & Side Panels | Re-Finishing The Finish!

Although I was initially happy with the way the hull had turned out I could not help but notice that the finish on the sides and the transom seemed to have a slightly dull sheen, like a bloom on the surface of the paint and varnish.

Some testing with the polishing compound revealed that the final treatment with P11000 grit was actually reducing the shine. I have no idea why.

So I gave the sides and transom a quick once over with the next grit down - the P9000.

This is what the the transom and side panels looked like after re-polishing.

And here is the view at the bow.

Very nice!

Dings & Pivot Holes | Touching Up

I managed to make a couple of dings in the bottom of the hull when fitting the centre board, and the sides of the keel where the pivot had been fitted needed to be touched up.

So I masked off the bits that needed to be painted and applied plenty of thin coats of gloss when I was painting the transom frame.

The port side looked like this.

I am hopeful that I will be able to blend the patches in when the paint has hardened off.


Transom & Rub Rails | Finishing

When the varnish on the transom and rub rails was fully hardened I went through the usual sequence of wet sanding and finishing off with polishing compound.

This is the transom after wet sanding from P800 through to P2500.

And this is what it looked like after being treated with polishing compound from P5000 to P11000.

This is the polishing toolkit.

It consists of the Rotex 90 sander set to rotary mode and fitted with a special polishing head and a foam pad.

Polishing compound (effectively liquid sandpaper) is applied to the pad and the surface is moistened with finishing liquid.

The surface is then gently polished at slow speed, going through the three grades of grit; P5000, P9000 and P11000.

The results were excellent - smooth as glass and very shiny.

I moved on to the rub rails. This is the port rail wet sanded with P800.

And here is the finished rail.

You can see from this close up of the rail at the port quarter that it turned out very nicely.

I'm happy with that and I am now confident that the spars will all look great when treated the same way.

Spars & Other Bits | Attempting To Finish ...

I said in a previous post that I hoped that four or five coats of varnish applied by brush to the spars would provide a good enough surface for wet sanding to a good finish.

It did not turn out that way. The varnish had runs and wrinkles, and did not have an even surface.

I scraped off the excess varnish on the boom gallows and wet sanded in the by now usual fashion, from P400 through to P2500.

I followed that with polishing compound from P5000 to P11000, as in this pic. 

It was not a success. It looked horrible.

I had already started to varnish the mast with a roller, tipping out with a foam brush, and had had great success.

So I decided to do the same with the rest of the spars. They were wet sanded with a P240 grit to tidy them up and returned to the house to await re-varnishing.

We live and learn ...

Rudder | Painting The Blade

I had carefully masked off the finished blue rudder cheeks and boot top and then applied ten coats of white gloss by roller, tipping out with a foam brush.

Then I used wet and dry sandpaper to obtain a smooth surface, with no brush marks.

Like this.

I wet sanded using P800, 1500, 2000 and 2500 grits.

Lastly I used polishing compound from P5000 to P11000 to finish the surface off.

This is what the finished rudder now looks like.

Very nice. I mustn't forget to paint the bottom of the plate, though!

Transom & Rub Rails | Varnishing

The time came to varnish the transom and rub rails. I had been looking forward to this for months.

The first task was to mask off the rest of the hull to protect it from the varnish and the mess which results from wet sanding.

It looked like this.

The transom and rails were carefully sanded with a P220 grit to obtain a smooth, clean surface, and the first coat of varnish was applied. As here.

I used a roller to apply the varnish and a 4" foam brush to tip it out. It worked really well.

That's starting to look nice.

The build manual says that you know you're getting close when you're varnishing the transom.

Well, it certainly doesn't feel like it! We may be nearly finished but there is still an awful lot to do.

Mast | Varnishing

I had previously varnished the other spars with a brush, thinking that it would give a good result that would not need too much finishing.


One glance at the varnished spars was enough for me to realise that I should have used the by now tried and tested technique of rolling on the varnish and tipping it out with a foam brush.

So that's what I did with the mast. Here it is in the workshop after the first coat.

That was much better than a brush!