Preparing for the season, I took advantage of a slow afternoon to finish up the project and paint the bottom. I’d moved the boat indoors earlier to give me the chance to do the work regardless of the weather. This was a straightforward task except for the need to remove the trailer’s keel guides for access to the sides of the keel. This posed no problem on the starboard side, but to port, the keel was pressed tightly against the guide and I couldn’t budge it.
I decided to go ahead and paint all the bottom, including the starboard side of the keel, leaving the port side of the keel alone for now. Then, after painting, I reinstalled the starboard keel guide and used a small jack and some scrap lumber to push the keel (and the boat) sideways just enough to release the pressure from the port keel guide, allowing me to remove it and finish up the painting there.
Afterwards, I released stands as needed to finish up the paint in those areas, then reinstalled the keel guide and moved the boat back outdoors to await her eager owners.
Total time billed on this job today: 2.5 hours
0600 Weather Observation: 50°, cloudy with a sprinkle. Forecast for the day: Chance of showers, gradual clearing, 64°
After collecting tools, fasteners, hardware, and protective cloths and towels, I got to work installing the last of the hardware in the cockpit. Deceptively minimal, the various hardware installations took most of the day to complete.
I started by reinstalling the inclinometer beneath the compass, after checking that the boat was still level. I used VHB tape to secure the plastic device in place.
Next, I installed the pair of padeyes in the cockpit well, one on each side. I reused the plywood backing plates that I’d removed earlier, but used all-new fasteners.
I moved on to the lower part of the latches for the two cockpit hatches. The latches and catches for the hatches have few matches, except in Natchez.
Still on the bench, I installed the top portions of the locker lid latches, then reattached the two lids to the hinges still in place on the cockpit seats.
Next on the list: A pair of new winch handle pockets at the forward end of the cockpit.
I made up some new fiberglass backing plates for the stern cleats, then installed the cleats on each side.
The only piece of hardware left now was a hasp/latch for the lazarette hatch. Unfortunately, the simple new hasp I’d purchased for this turned out not to work: The leg was too long, and I couldn’t orient the hasp in any way that would work. So I searched for, found, and ordered a replacement with a shorter leg that I hoped would do the job. It turns out that hasps with rotating eyes have far fewer sizes available than normal hasps, so my options were limited. The new hardware should arrive on the morrow, and I planned to install it then to wrap things up.
Other than that, the work list was complete for now.
Total time billed on this job today: 5.75 hours
0600 Weather Observation: 26°, cloudy. Forecast for the day: Mostly cloudy, chance of showers, 37°
At the bow, I installed the newly-made registration numbers, locating them about 27-1/4″ aft of the stem on each side, which corresponded roughly with the cutwater below.
Now that the nonskid paint was dry enough, I could remove the remaining masking from the cockpit.
I wanted to give the cockpit at least another day to cure before I started working within to finish up the hardware installations there, so for now I worked on the lazarette hatch, reinstalling the original hinges on the hatch before installing the hatch permanently on the deck with new bolts in tapped screw holes. Later, I’d add a small hasp, but since part of that might be on the fresh nonskid, I wanted to wait a little longer.
To lead the solar panel wire belowdecks, I used the same hole that it had been led through previously, but now I installed a weatherproof cable clam over the hole, which better sealed the cable and secured it. I left enough slack for the hatch to operate as needed.
Next, I reinstalled the stanchions and lifelines that I’d removed early in the painting preparations.
This was about all I could do till the cockpit had a bit more cure time, so it seemed a good time to move some boats around. Fortunately, my next project would fit in the shop at the same time as Arietta, which meant I could leave her indoors for the winter months ahead rather than attempt to engineer an effective and non-damaging cover for the boat in the meantime, and it also meant I could take advantage of the current benign weather pattern to shuffle boats without undue cold, storms, snow, or ice. So after moving some things around in the shop to make room, I temporarily moved Arietta outdoors on her trailer so I could move the other boat in. Then, later, I moved her back to the spot she’d occupy for the remainder of the winter, which still gave me opportunity to finish up the final hardware installations later in the week.
Total time billed on this job today: 3.25 hours
0600 Weather Observation: 28°, cloudy. Forecast for the day: Partly sunny, 36°
Before getting back to the second coat of nonskid, there were a few installations I could finish first, starting with the outboard bracket. I’d painted the bracket along with the hull and deck, and during layout I’d prepared the fastener holes, so the final installation was straightforward. After reaming out the top surface of the four mounting holes, I applied sealant to the back of the bracket, then secured it with four 5/16″ flathead bolts in the already-tapped holes through the transom and built-in reinforcement within.
Afterwards, I cleaned up excess sealant and completed the installation with large washers and nuts on the inside. The removable portion of the bracket slid easily into the mount even with the additional thickness of paint within.
Next, I installed the oarlock base and socket with two long bronze bolts through the taffrail and hull/deck flange within.
The last thing I could install now was the aluminum trim covering the seam between hull and taffrail on the transom. I’d removed this before painting and cleaned up the original piece before installation with new screws and sealant.
The remaining hardware, including stern cleats, lazarette hatch, and some padeyes in the cockpit, would await the completion of the nonskid. So to get on with it, I applied the second and final coat of the nonskid paint, this time using the special roller to provide the textured surface. I started with the cockpit sole and the beige paint, leaving behind ample evidence of the worthiness of the extra masking around the space.
With the texture on the cockpit sole complete, I removed the masking tape around the field. I’d installed the masking in such a way that I only had to remove the strip of tape immediately defining the nonskid field, leaving the remaining masking in place till after the paint cured. The masking has to be removed with the paint still wet to avoid damaging the paint edge later.
Next, I continued with the cockpit seats and the white nonskid paint. Here, I had to remove all the masking now, since I’d forgotten to set up the tape the “proper” way as I’d done on the cockpit sole and other areas thereafter when I remembered what I was supposed to be doing. This didn’t pose a big problem, but just meant a modicum of extra care required in the tape’s removal.
I continued with the poop deck and the cockpit locker lids. Later in the afternoon, I returned and removed the excess tape from the poop deck surrounds.
After lunch, I picked up the new graphics for the name, hailport, and registration numbers, and spent the remainder of the day installing the lettering on the transom, keeping it more or less in the same position as the original lettering I’d removed earlier in the project. I’d get to the registration numbers on the bow next time.
Total time billed on this job today: 6 hours
0600 Weather Observation: 20°, cloudy. Forecast for the day: Decreasing clouds, 36°
The original nonskid pattern on the rest of the decks was a knobby, randomly-patterned roughish texture as seen below. The sidedecks were beige (as had been the original cockpit sole), while the coachroof, poop deck, and cockpit seating areas were white. The owner requested that we replicate the original color scheme with the fresh nonskid.
To match the original texture as closely as possible, I chose Kiwigrip for this project, which would give a similar appearance to the repainted areas. To prepare for the nonskid, I masked off the new glossy white paint in the cockpit and poopdeck, following the lines I’d laid out earlier. Since the application of Kiwigrip is unavoidably messy, from past experience I knew to mask off wide areas all around the field, which would help catch the inevitable splatters and allow free use of the special roller that gives the product its finished texture. I’d found it much more efficient to spend the extra time masking than to fret over the constant splatters on nearby surfaces. In the new cockpit, only the sole would be beige; I had some of the Kiwigrip tinted to the owner’s choice of color, called Moon Dust. The seating areas and poop deck would be white.
With the masking complete, I had some time available before I wanted to apply the first (base) coat, so I worked on some of the hardware reinstallations, starting with the compass and sailing instruments in the cockpit. I spliced the compass light wires that I’d had to cut to remove the compass previously, then reinstalled the compass in its opening.
On the opposite side, I reinstalled the vintage knotmeter and depthsounder in their original holes, with butyl sealant around the faces and the original trim rings behind, which held the instruments in place. After reconnecting the wires and cabling, the installation was complete.
Next, I reinstalled the solar panel on the lazarette hatch, using the holes I’d predrilled earlier. As before, I installed the panel with bolts and large washers that held the panel in place through its four corner eyelets, with sealant in the openings.
For now, that was about all I could do until the nonskid was done, and in any event it was time to apply the first base coat of the product, a process I developed on my own from past experience, which showed that it was worthwhile to apply a smooth base coat before attempting the textured final coat as this greatly helped the coverage and hiding ability of the textured coat, while only masking once.
With a smooth roller, I applied the beige paint to the cockpit sole, leaving just a slight texture behind but covering the area in a consistent color coat. Then, I repeated the process on the seats, locker lids, and poop deck with the white paint. I’d let this cure overnight, then continue with the final, textured coat next time.
Total time billed on this job today: 5.75 hours
0600 Weather Observation: 10°, mainly clear. Forecast for the day: Increasing clouds, 35°
With spraying complete, over the weekend I removed all the masking tape, paper, and plastic to expose the boat in her new duds. To complete the new appearance, I waited a day for the boottop to cure further, then masked off and painted the top section of the bottom, extending down about a foot for now just for appearance’s sake; later in the season I’d paint the entire bottom to prepare her for the owners’ pickup in the spring.
Next: Nonskid and final touches.
Total time billed on this job today: 4.5 hours
0600 Weather Observation: 19°, partly clear. Forecast for the day: Mostly sunny, 33°
Now that the hull paint had had sufficient cure time, I could get to work masking off around the boottop so I could spray it and finish the hull painting.
To begin, I masked top and bottom with special vinyl tape that helps prevent the LPU from bleeding and creates a crisp paint line.
While this tape is critical in the process, its smooth surface tends to let the thin paint shed and run, possibly ruining the job, so long ago I learned to cover it nearly completely with normal masking tape, keeping the green tape as close to the edge of the blue fine-line tape as I could without making my eyes cross too much.
With the detail masking complete, I covered the entire hull in masking paper to protect against overspray.
Now it was quick and straightforward to spray apply three coats of Alexseal flag blue to the boottop, waiting about an hour between coats. This was the final major step in the painting process, and I looked forward to unveiling the whole boat again afterwards.
Total time billed on this job today: 4 hours
0600 Weather Observation: 18°, clear. Forecast for the day: Sunny, 33°
The next step in the painting process would be the boottop, but it was too soon to think about overmasking the fresh hull paint, so the day, as always at this point, was mainly about waiting and watching the paint dry, so to speak.
I spent part of the morning doing what I could: Unmasking the boottop and cockpit locker lids, and generally preparing for the next day’s work.
Meanwhile, I took opportunity of the available time to check over the (minimal) hardware going back in the cockpit and on the poopdeck, cleaning any old sealant away and checking my fastener inventory to ensure I had on hand what was needed to reinstall the cleats, padeyes, new winch pockets, and other.
Total time billed on this job today: 2.5 hours
0600 Weather Observation: 31°, cloudy, breezy. Forecast for the day: Gradual clearing, 37°