Thursday, May 8, 2014

The Dark Arts

I think fairing a boat is truly a 'Dark Art'! :-)  Part science, part art, but mostly torture!  I can fully appreciate those who do this for a living, and there are some, and some are really good at it and they can be no less than Wizards in their own rights. I have a pretty good eye for straight and plumb and have been known to straighten up your pictures on the wall when I come for a visit but for this kind of work I haven't got 'The Eye' for it (yet, that'll likely happen the day I'm finished the boat.).

Spent a good portion of yesterday afternoon spreading the better part of a gallon of Quikfair on the starboard side of the boat from the step in the shear to the stern. This stuff has about a 10 minute working window so I have to work in small batches so that I can get it on while it's still workable. Anything left too long and it turns to mush that you'll never get smooth.

The above pic is looking aft on the stbd side after initial sanding. You can still see the low spots caused by the overlapping glass cloth & tape. On the chine, where the hull bottom turns to the sides, there are no less than 9 layers of fiberglass, 3 cloth on the sides, 2 on the bottom and 4 layers of overlapping tape. This leaves a fairly lumpy edge that has to be filled and faired. I was careful to sand the edges between layers to minimize the amount of final fairing I would have to do. Most of the low spots will require another layer of poo and sanding. I figure I will have sanded the sides no fewer than 5 times before they're ready for primer.

It took me about 4 hours sanding to get down this side of the boat. I first it it with the RO sander to take the shine off then go back over the area with the 16" long board (blocking tool). The long board cuts really well and gets the highs mowed down quickly. Once that's done I move down a section and repeat. Once I have 5 or 6 feet of hull sanded I go back with the 30" long board. Now this takes a lot more muscle to get moving and keep it moving. It'll remove a tremendous amount of material in a short period of time. I have to go from top to bottom and back 3 or 4 times and it could likely use more. I try not to dwell in one spot for too long for fear of removing too much expensive fairing compound.

I sat on my ass all winter and did pretty much nuttin'! Turned to goo. Sanding is hard work and I've got no stamina for it yet. I guess that'll quickly change now! I can feel a Rum & Coke and a few Aleve coming on for tonight!

[rant]Still no word on whether the Flexicat has shipped from Europe. Getting pretty frustrated with that whole situation. This is the miracle tool that's supposed to make this job a whole lot easier and BETTER. It's been a full six months since I ordered it. I can't blame the distributor for the delay. The problem is with the factory in Europe. I couldn't imagine a company being offline to move facilities for 6 months! Not a good way to keep customers happy. [/rant]

Tomorrow: Sanding Stbd bow & poo it! Standby......

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