Iota Refit | January 10, 2008

Without too much to do while I waited for the materials delivery, I nonetheless took care of several things in preparation, though I also took advantage of the slow day to catch up on non-related shop issues and some errands.

Down in the cabin, I taped over the fastener holes where necessary to prevent any epoxy from entering the boat during the coring process.  Fortunately, there weren't too many holes requiring protection.

While I was thinking of it, I decided to perform a compatibility test on the existing hull paint to ensure that it was a suitable substrate for the new paint to be applied; I hadn't gotten around to it sooner because I'd been focused on the decks.  The paint was purported to be Awlgrip, though I had no specific confirmation.  Using standard compatibility test procedures, I first scored a 2" square area in 1/4" grid with a sharp knife, applied filament strapping tape at an angle across the scored area, pressed it down hard, and pulled it sharply off to test the adhesion qualities of the layers of paint beneath.  Even during the scoring stage, I became a bit nervous, though, as the paint seemed to flake away rather significantly beneath the knife.

I was somewhat unhappy to see the top layer of gray paint come away completely with the tape, though another layer beneath seemed to stay appropriately in place.  But in any event, it was clear that at least the first layer would have to come off.

Next, I soaked a small cloth in Alexseal topcoat reducer, and taped it in place over the scored area for 30 minutes.  When I removed it, I discovered that all the remaining layers of paint were badly softened by the solvent, leaving me with no choice but to remove all the hull paint before repainting, something I had not anticipated.  And so it goes.


We'd been discussing possibly having the opening ports rechromed, as the original finish was in fairly poor condition.  The deadlight frames were chromed and in good condition, however.  Having discovered that there were no local outfits doing this sort of work, I located a place in Quincy, MA that was available for the work.  But given the need to ship the ports, as well as completely dismantle ports that were otherwise in good condition and leak-free, we decided to hold off and reconsider the whole process.  Still, before coming to this conclusion I spent a little time on one of the ports to ensure that it could be dismantled if necessary, and to remove some of the old sealant.

Later in the day, I made some basic paper templates of the areas requiring core to aid in cutting the core to fit.  The material arrived a bit too late to make much real progress, but at least the templates were done, which would streamline the work in the morning.  Tomorrow promised to be a busy day.





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