10/30/2012 – Getting to the bottom

Today, the yard guys took care of sanding our hull in preparation for new bottom paint.  We had an extensive area along the waterline that showed a lot of surface blistering.  The explanation I got was something about when one color of gel coat is laid on top of another color, sometimes, for some reason, you get some blistering.  This must be what it is as it’s only along the line where white gelcoat was laid down first, followed by red gelcoat.  Anyway, because of this we decided to have the yard sand the upper foot or so of the bottom all the way down to the gel coat, exposing the flaws.  Then they’ll just lightly sand the rest of the bottom as the expensive bottom paint we put on in Newport, Oregon is still holding and repelling boarders well.

Better him than me.

The days are still pretty warm but these guys were doing this same kind of work, dressed the same way, when it was 100 degrees with 98% humidity.  They’re made of sterner stuff than I am.

Here’s a close-up shot of the blistered area.

It’s not like classic osmotic blistering.  It’s more like there were just lots of places where the red gel coat didn’t stick to the white gel coat (remember, these boats are built from the outside in).  Our plan is to, first,  assure ourselves that the white that is still stuck is well and truly stuck.  Then, after wiping the whole area down with acetone, we’ll paint on a barrier coat of straight epoxy resin with no additives.  Before it sets, we’ll follow with a fairing compound made of West Systems epoxy thickened with 410 Microlight Fairing Filler mixed to the consistency of peanut butter.  We’ll squeegee it fairly flat and then, once cured, sand it down to a (hopefully) fair surface.  Then 5-6 coats of epoxy moisture barrier and finally bottom paint.  Shouldn’t add more than 2 days of yard time to the schedule.

Once the sanding was underway, a heretofore hidden surprise was exposed.

Looks like somebody might have plowed into a dock or something at one time in our boat’s history.  This is definitely a repaired spot and, according to the records I’ve got, hull #20 was originally part of a charter fleet.  I’ve wondered at every haulout about the moon craters you see next to the date in the photo.  I now suspect that they’re voids in the repair work.  After the yard guys are done, I’m going to sand this part down so I can see just how far the damage went.  Just out of curiosity.  And, of course, I’ll fill the craters while I’m at it.

We’re finally finished working down below and ready to start cleaning up and getting poor ol’ Siempre Sabado back into ship shape.

We may be in San Carlos a little longer than planned as we’re currently hatching a plot to get a new dinghy delivered from the States.  More on that later.



About sryoder

Steve & Lulu... retired. Had enough of the cold wet dreary fall/winter/spring in the Pacific Northwest. Bought a boat, fixed it up, sold our home and sailed to Mexico in November, 2010. Been here ever since except for occasional forays to the States (summer only, thank you) to visit the kids, parents and siblings. If you're looking for a sailing blog, this is the wrong place. This is a traveling, hunkering in, eating blog. Sailing is just how we get from place to place when we can't walk.
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6 Responses to 10/30/2012 – Getting to the bottom

  1. paul says:

    So what was tbat expensive bottom paint that lasted this long?

    SV Georgia

  2. Ouchie on the bow! I guess Westsails really are tanks if you never noticed such a prominent repair. Good on em, tough little boats!

  3. Tate says:

    Have to say… That repair looks pretty fresh. You sure you didn’t ram the pier and then try to blame it on “an old hidden repair” when no one was looking? 😉

    Also, what are those big craters down low on the bow? And have you checked the back side of the bobstay chainplate? Look how close that repair is to it. I’m assuming yours doesn’t weep as some do. Might be a good time to take a look at it.

    • sryoder says:

      I might have rammed a pier or two but I’d never have made such a pretty repair. The craters down below are the subject of today’s blog (as soon as I write it). Last time I had the chain locker empty, I inspected the backside of the bobstay chainplate. It looked good and tight and, best of all, watertight. No weeping.

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