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!

Transom | Painting The Frame (2)

I was keen to finish the blue and white frame around the transom so I masked off the the completed blue upright sections and painted the white horizontal stripe.

Like this.

And here is the finished frame, with tape and masking removed.

It will need some cleaning up and touching up to make it tidy, but I'm quite pleased with it.

If I were to do this again I would paint the frame and the boot top at the same time as the side and bottom panels, but I wasn't sure how to do so at the time.

We live and learn!

Spars & Other Bits | Varnishing (2)

There is limited space in my build area and I can rarely do two things in parallel, so I moved the companionway hood and slide back into the house and relocated some spars and other bits into workshop.

Here are the bowsprit, tiller, boom gallows, gaff, boom and drop board retainers being varnished on the bench.

I applied four coats with a good brush, thinking that would be enough and would provide a good finish.

Each coat takes two days to complete because the underside is done the following day, so this was a time consuming process.

Companionway Slide | Painting Primer

When the air bubbles in the top of the companionway slide had been ground out, filled and sanded I masked off the handrail. Like this.

The handrail will be finished bright so it needs to stay clean.

Then two coats of primer were applied, as here.

That covered nicely, although I think one more coat will be required.

The slide was then set aside so I could start varnishing the spars.

Saturday, 23 April 2022

Companionway Slide | Preparing To Prime

The companionway hood and slide have been residing in the house for months, waiting for their turn to be finished.

Again, finding that painting the rudder and transom frame leaves me with time to spare I decided to finish the slide.

I moved the slide into the workshop and dusted it off. I was dismayed to find some small air bubbles in the fibreglass that covered the top of the slide.

Here is the slide.

And here are the air bubbles.

There aren't many and they are very small, just like the ones I found on the hull side panels when painting.

The advice from Fyne Boats at that time was simply to sand them and fill any voids with epoxy. I actually very carefully ground the side panel bubbles out and filled them with epoxy filler, and I decided to do the same with the companionway slide.

Here we are using a very fine burr to do just that on the slide.

It's a nuisance but not a material problem, and it's important to know that the boat has been properly finished.

Onwards and upwards!

Rudder | Preparing For More Paint

Happy with the finish on the blue rudder cheeks and boot top, I prepared to paint the blade.

Here the cheeks and the stripe have been taped up and masked off.

I have masked off all of the cheeks to save messing them up when wet sanding the blade.

Voice of experience.

Spars & Other Bits | Varnishing

With the painting of the transom frame and the rudder taking so long, I found myself with a lot of time on my hands. So I decided to start varnishing parts now to save time later on.

I haven't got enough room in the workshop to work on all the spars at the same time, so I left the mast inside the house.

I varnished the boom, gaff, gallows and bowsprit. And while I was at it I varnished the tiller and the drop board retainers.

Here they are drying on the bench after three coats.

This is the varnish supplied with the paint package.

It's lovely stuff. It flows well and sets hard and shiny. I'm going to give it five coats and let it harden up before trying a wet sanded finish.

There aren't that many parts left to paint now - amazing!

Transom | Painting The Frame

When the primer on the transom frame was hard I sanded it flat with P220 grit and applied ten coats of blue gloss while I was painting the rudder.

As with the rudder the blue edges were wet sanded and polished to get a nice finish, like this.

Then the white stripe was glossed. This is the second or third coat.

This is certainly taking a long time, but it is looking really nice.

Rudder | Painting Cheeks & Stripe

When the primer was nice and hard I sanded the cheeks and the boot top smooth with P220, then applied ten coats of Oxford blue gloss. It looked like this.

Then I wet sanded the blue with P800 through to P2500 wet and dry grit, like this.

Lastly I used the sander and polishing compound from P5000 through to P11000, as here.

It turned out really nice!

Next job is painting the blade. Exciting!

Build Cradle Template

I thought I would have had the boat flipped right side up by now, but everything takes much longer to do than I initially think.

At some point though I will have to reassemble the build cradle to receive the painted hull, so I would need to know where it would interact with the keel and bottom panels.

The cradle was too heavy to check this, so I made a pair of cardboard templates to do the positioning. Here they are in place on the hull bottom.

I will mark the bottom with tape so we know where to drop the boat into the cradle when the big day arrives!

Keel | Pivot Holes

The centre board pivot had been epoxied into its hole through the keel, and now required cleaning up before painting.

Here the port side has been sanded smooth.

Rudder | Taping Up & Priming

I decided to prime the rudder at the same time as the transom frame, saving time later on and materials now.

Here is the rudder with white primer applied and taped off to apply grey to the cheeks.

Then the cheeks got three coats of grey primer, like this.

Lastly I marked up and taped the blue boot top to match the hull, sanded it and applied grey primer. It was starting to look quite smart!

I can't wait to gloss it all!

Transom Frame | Marking Up & Priming

My experience painting the horizontal blue boot top on the transom made it clear that it was going to take a long while to add the white and blue stripes to the vertical edges.

This mainly because ten coats of gloss are required to obtain a good finish, but also because the white and blue sections cannot be painted at the same time.

The first task however was to mark up the rest of the transom stripes. So I used masking tape to cover the edges so I could pencil in the lines as many times as needed to get it looking just right. Like this.

You can just see the red laser line being used to ensure that the horizontal lines are level.

I am copying the paint scheme on the prototype, so required the white corners of the stripe to be curved upwards to meet the blue.

Here is the curve marked up on the port chine.

I made the horizontal white stripe the same width as the blue boot top, which was 38mm. As here.

Likewise the vertical blue stripes were pencilled in at the same width, like this.

I initially decided that the horizontal white stripe would be of even width, but after standing back to take a good look I decided that it would look better with a slightly curved top.

That's how the prototype was painted, and there has to be a good reason for that.

Here I have taped a thin batten to the transom so I could mark up a fair curve.

Satisfied that the stripes all looked good - I going to refer to them collectively as the 'frame' from now on - I transferred the pencil line to the transom itself.

Here the frame has been taped up and the transom masked off before painting begins.

And here three coats of white and grey primer have been applied.

So far, so good!

Transom | Boot Top Stripe

The horizontal blue boot top stripe required three coats of primer sanded to P220, followed by  ten coats of gloss.

The gloss was wet sanded from P800 to P2500, and finished with the sander and polishing compound from P5000 to P11000.

This is what it looked like when the masking tape was removed.

Looking nice!

Transom Rudder Slot | Cleaning Up

I had been meaning to clean up the slot in the transom for the tiller for quite some time, and finally got around to doing so while waiting for various paint jobs to dry.

So I cut out the fibreglass and smoothed the edges.

Now it looked like this.

You can see the mess on the transom caused by not masking it off when wet sanding the bottom panels.

More cleaning up to do!

Sunday, 27 March 2022

Centreboard | Installation

With the help of MVLW (My Very Lovely Wife) the centreboard was manoeuvred into position for a test fit.

It immediately became apparent that the pivot pin did not fit - it refused go through the hole in the centreboard.

A quick check with a square revealed that the pivot holes in the keel were not perpendicular, vertically or horizontally! I had drilled them by eye, so it was not entirely surprising.

I filled the holes with resin and re-drilled them with the drill guide clamped to the keel to ensure that the holes were properly aligned.

Here is an  M10 bolt passed through the keel to check it was true.

It was, so I refitted the pendant ready for installation. Here the tied and heat sealed knot sits snugly in its hole in the board. The pendant is 6mm Dyneema.

The board was reinstalled and the pivot pin was test fitted, as here.

The holes were lined up and true, but it was clear that the hole in the board itself needed to be reamed out a fraction for a good fit.

The board was then raised up and the hole enlarged very slightly in situ with a rasp, like this.

The pivot pin was then successfully fitted, like this.

And lastly the pin was sealed in place with thickened epoxy resin, as here.

The resin was held in place with tape while it cured.

That was a lot of drama, but all is well that ends well!