Sunday, June 8, 2014

The Pro's vs The Amateurs

This job is 100% amateur. Although I've read tons and studied tons and followed dozens of blogs & web forums I am no expert. I very freely admit that. Thank the boat building gods that there are Pro's out there on the Interwebs who so graciously donate their time and expertise to help morons like my 'try to understand' all the nuances of boat building.

As of late it's been this whole fairing process. It seems simple. Spread some poo on, let it harden and sand it off. Easy peasy right? Well maybe if you know what you're doing it is. For the untrained (and frequently covered in sanding dust) it's a vicious cycle of fill/fair, fill/fair, fill/fair (Yeah I know, you've heard the before). It's actually more akin to a dog chasing it's own tail. So long story short, with the advice of some Pro's I think I'm actually getting closer to actually figuring this all out. (I think).

Today's job was to pick up some sandable spray primer (black preferable) and put a guide coat on the hull. A guide coat is simply paint that once sanded will remain in the low spots allowing you to more easily identify and correct them. You saw a bit of that before with the 3M dry guide coat (which is more suited to final fairing). For rough fairing a 'rattle can' (spray bomb) and flat primer works best.

So I went down one side of the boat and the transom spraying on the primer. Too much I've been told but you live and learn. All that's needed is a light dusting.

Once that was dry I started back over the areas with the Flexicat's and 60 grit paper. You can see in this pic that the bow and the bulwarks still need quite a bit of work. There's even more tape & fabric overlapping here than on the chines plus there's a heavy layer of carbon fiber fabric under there too.
Moving aft you can see that almost all of the black is gone. There are a few minor spots but nothing major. The guide coat did show me some high spots I never noticed before and a few lows that I didn't know existed. Those defects are actually so small you can't feel them with your hands.
I know one thing I've been doing wrong is trying to fix some low spots with the Quickfair and it's way too thick for that job. I end up with a high spot that I have to sand the shit out of and the result is low spots on either side of the patch! *sigh* Remember the part about the dog chasing his tail? So tomorrow I'm going to try making up some of my own filler, ultra thin, about the consistency of mayonnaise and trowel that on. I'll also tint it our favorite colour, blue! When it sets up I'll be able to sand that and it should eliminate the very small and shallow defects. That's the theory anyways. We'll see how it goes.

I get a fair amount of advice from a fella on The Cruisers Forum (minaret) who's a pro. He frequently looks in on my build thread there and gives great feedback. Even though I can't afford or know how to use the material he chooses in his professional career I can still work out some of the details and draw advice (and courage) from him. I thank him whole heartedly.