Rocket 6


After inspecting the fresh paint and varnish, I deemed the work on both complete, and removed the masking tape to complete the main portion of the work.

The owner asked if I could paint the bottom, so I moved the boat into the other bay, planning at first to use my crane to lift the bow (with the stern supported by stands) and pull out the trailer, but this brought up some difficulties, and eventually I opted for the much simpler plan of raising the trailer tongue high enough to slip a V-stand beneath the center of the bow, which then allowed me to raise the boat enough off the bunks so I could mask and paint the bottom in those otherwise-inaccessible areas.  Once I lowered the boat back onto the trailer, I finished up the area in way of the stands, and near the transom where access was easy with the boat on the trailer.

Back to Rocket

Total time billed on this job today:  1.5 hours

0600 Weather Observation:  50°, mostly cloudy.   Forecast for the day:  Partly sunny, 76°, scattered thundershowers in the afternoon

Rocket 5


With the first full coat of maintenance varnish in place on the coamings, and the first coat of new paint on the rubrails, my first task was to lightly sand all surfaces to prepare them for the next coats, cleaning up thoroughly afterwards.

With preparation complete, I applied a second coat of varnish to all areas of the coaming.

Next, I applied a second coat of paint to the rubrail.

Total time billed on this job today:  1.5 hours

0600 Weather Observation:  50°, cloudy.   Forecast for the day:  Mainly cloudy, some sun, 69°

Rocket 4


I began the day with a light sanding of the coamings, and then the primed rubrails.  After the usual rounds of cleanup, I applied a full coat of maintenance varnish to all areas of the coaming.

Later in the day, I received the paint I’d ordered for the rubrail.  Anticipating the delivery, I was ready to go once it arrived, and in short order applied the first of at least a couple coats of the new paint.  I chose a a traditional, yet fun, color called “tint green” in a semi-gloss finish, which I thought would be a nice accent for this boat (and was).

Total time billed on this job today:  1 hour

0600 Weather Observation:  31°, clear with fog.   Forecast for the day:  Sunny, 66°

Rocket 3


Continuing work on the rough varnish buildup on the areas of the coamings where it was required, I lightly sanded the three coats’ worth of buildup from last time, then, after cleaning, applied a fourth coat to these areas.  This would be the final patching base coat before I started applying full maintenance coats over the entire coaming.

At my loose suggestion, the owner agreed that painting the old oak rubrail–which was weathered all over and black in some areas, though still in good structural condition–would be a good idea, and would improve the appearance of the wood.  Although replacing the wood was a possibility, with pre-made oak rails readily available from Beetle company, the owner didn’t really want the headache of brightwork maintenance, and liked the idea of paint.  We discussed possible colors, but ultimately he left the choice to me.

I already had the color in mind, but first I had to do some prepwork.  After masking off the rail above and below on all parts of the boat, and other masking as necessary, I began with a coat of white primer over the old oak.  Even the boring primer was a fair improvement over the weathered wood.

Total time billed on this job today:  1 hour

0600 Weather Observation:  30°, clear with frost (!).   Forecast for the day:  Sunny, 60°, with showers possible in the afternoon

Rocket 2


Before beginning any varnish work on the coamings, my first step was to mask off the bottom edges all around the deck.

Afterwards, during the course of the day, with warm weather, I was able to apply three build coats of varnish to the bare-and-sanded areas at the top edges of the coamings and other areas.  Building up the finish in these areas first would then allow me to blend a few final coats over the entire coamings, while being sure to have sufficient buildup on the most vulnerable areas.

Total time billed on this job today:  .5 hours

0600 Weather Observation:  62°, fog and clouds.  Forecast for the day:  Becoming sunny, 84°

Rocket 1


The work list on this classic catboat (a fiberglass version built by Howard Boats) was short, and started and ended with woodwork maintenance on deck.  The white oak rubrail running the length of the boat on each side had long ago been left to weather and shed its varnish, and now there was only varnish on the bottom half of each section, where the wood wasn’t directly facing the sun and weather.  The exposed portions of the wood were well-weathered all over, and blackened in some areas.  The owner wanted only to remove the rest of the varnish from these rails, with no plans for now to make any attempt to refinish them.

It didn’t take long to remove the remaining varnish with heat gun and scraper, and I followed that up with light sanding through 80-120 grits to clean up the newly-scraped areas and gently smooth the remaining portions of the rails in all areas.  This did not remove the weathered discoloration, which is generally permanent with unfinished oak, and in any event this wasn’t in the project scope.

The curved oak cockpit coaming was in better shape, having been generally protected from the weather by a cockpit cover, but there were signs of deferred varnish maintenance with some bare spots on the top edge of the coaming (a tough place to get a good coating of varnish), and a few minor failures here and there mostly near the bottom edges of the coaming.

The owner wanted to patch the damaged areas and do routine maintenance on the rest, stopping well short of stripping and refinishing, so to prepare I scraped and sanded clean as necessary the bare spots on the top edges, and removed any spots of failed varnish from the other areas, sanding these areas through 80 and 120 grits to blend them with the surrounding varnish as best as possible.

Afterwards, I sanded the entire coaming with 220 grit to smooth and otherwise prepare the surfaces for refinishing.

Total time billed on this job today:  2 hours

0600 Weather Observation:  62°, fog and humid.  Forecast for the day:  Sunny and humid, 84°