Today was the day to attack the gel coat blisters. The procedure is to wet out the area with straight epoxy with no additives. Then, when it’s reached the point where you can still make a fingerprint in it but it no longer sticks to your finger, it’s time to apply the epoxy with the fairing compound added. I had absolutely no idea how much time I would have with either of these mixtures so I chose to do a small spot first as a trial run. The small spot chosen was the bow since it had such large craters but was still a fairly small area.
First you have to wet it out:
Then you slather on the peanut-butter consistency epoxy/fairing-additive mixture. My mixture was actually a little bit thinner than it should have been. And I don’t think you actually have to slather it on this thick but I had it so I did.
Then, before it hardens, you squeegee off most of it. I left more than necessary here because I wanted to be sure the holes were completely filled. Between the fairing mixture that was not quite thick enough and the fact that I jumped the gun a little on putting it on, the stuff filling the holes looked like it was sagging a bit. Or, I just did a bad job of getting the air out of the holes. I guess I’ll find out tomorrow when I sand it down.
Once I had my times figured out I was able to do the rest of the port side of the boat. This is more like what it should look like.
Tomorrow I’ll sand the repairs and see how smooth the hull is. I may have to do a little more filling but I hope not. Should be able to get the starboard side done tomorrow.
And speaking of bogus waterlines, I did a little measuring today. If the bogus or “mystery” waterline was the real one, the boat would draw 4’2″. The specs for the W28 call for it to draw 4’6″ and guess what? That’s right, before we raised the line that was on Drifter, that’s exactly what she drew. Now she draws more like 5′ (so much for my “2 or 3 inches” story), although, truth be told, there’s at least 2″ of bottom paint showing above the water when we’re afloat. Anyway, a couple of other W28 owners reminded me of the story about how the original W28s turned out to be under-ballasted. More lead was added which brought the waterline up. My new theory is that either the first couple dozen hulls were already laid up before the ballast issue was discovered on the earlier hulls, or someone just followed the original (wrong) line when they laid my hull up. But enough of that.
I also installed one of our fancy new Lewmar self-tailing jib sheet winches today.
Yesterday I installed the other piece of boat bling, the new prop. Following instructions I found on the web, I decided to lap-fit the prop to the shaft. First I had to track down some valve-grinding compound. Fortunately I ran into a clerk at AutoZone who spoke enough English to get me what I wanted. You can’t imagine how I fretted about how I was going to explain what I was looking for in my piss-poor Spanish. Just in case you happen to be in Mexico and are looking for some, this is what it looks like:
After the first run with the coarse compound, you can see that, although much of the shaft is making contact with the inside of the prop, the part closest to the hull isn’t.
By the time I was done, I had close to 90% contact. Could have kept going and gotten 100% but I didn’t want to wear away too much of my new prop just yet. And here she is looking all shiny (that won’t last long).
Lulu had to fly out to Iowa for some unexpected family business so I’m bachin’ it for awhile. But, just so you don’t think that I’m one of those guys who has chips and salsa for dinner every night when his wife’s away (though I have been known to have the occasional chips and salsa dinner), here’s what I fixed myself tonight:
A nice big batch of chorizo hash with onions, garlic and a habanero pepper. Topped it with a couple of fried cackleberries and ate like a king. And lest you think I ate that whole panful, I’ll have you know that I saved enough to have it again tomorrow. Yummers.