Life for me in 2021 got busy. My business of installing Marine Electronics and re-wiring boats had gotten very busy. At the same time my employment at Mohegan Sun Arena as a stage lighting technician started getting back to normal. Therefore my progress on Nada Bear came to a crawl. This is common for spring every year and the reason why this project has taken so long to do.
During the winter and early spring, I replaced the set of frames under where the forward jack stands were located. In Noank and surrounding southern Connecticut, jack stands are called poppets. I have no idea why.
Finally in mid July, I decided to protect the progress I had made by refinishing the paint from midships forward. A good paint job is the best way to protect the wood from the destructive aspects of wind, rain ,and sunlight.
To begin I removed all the caulking in the seams between the planking. Using a home made reefing tool made from an old screwdriver, I picked out all of the old caulking. With this done I sanded the seam to clean down to bare wood. Then treated the seams with CPES to condition the wood.
Using blue painters tape, I taped off the edges of the seams. This allows a raised surface for the top edge of the caulk. Caulk tends to shrink a little when curing. The tape compensates as well as makes clean up easier. I purchased a neat tool for squeezing the caulk into the seams; Makita battery powered caulking gun. Sure saved my hands and made the application seamless. I use Sitka 291 LOT for the urethane caulk. It goes in easy cures overnight and can be cut with a knife. Cut the tip no bigger than the seam for best results.
The caulking process takes three steps. First squeeze the caulk into the seam making sure the material goes deep into the seam. The take the edge of a putty knife and run down the seem (edge into the seam) to pop any bubbles and to make sure the caulk touches the wood. Then smooth over. When done with all of the seams, remove the tape. It may be messy but it is sure easier than allowing the caulk to cure then take off the tape.
After a few days cure, the paint removal begins. The surface of the boat had layers of paint probably as old as the boat. To get a nice paint job, it needed to be taken down to bare wood. There are several ways to do this. Chemical, grinding, and what I decided was, the good old heat gun and scraper.
Here are pictures and captions: (click on picture to see captions)
I sanded with a 6" random orbital sander. First with 80 grit paper in a 45 degree motion across the seams. Fairing a hull is the process of removing high spots to make a smooth even surface on a curved hull. Sanding with the grain of the plank will lead to cupping of the surface. A 45 degree sweep forward and backward cuts the high spots. After a pass or two (maybe 3) with the 80 grit, I did the same with 120 grit. Then with 180 grit. Finally with 220 grit. Finer grit is to remove the scratches that the course grit leave. Finally I coated the hull with CPES to seal the wood and make a consistently even surface for the primer.
I use the Interlux brand of paint. I know there are others but this is what I had on hand. The primer is Interlux Pre-Coat 4279 white. Everybody has a way of painting and I'm not lecturing but this is how I do it. To get an even coat takes three strokes. More than that is overbrushing. Over brushing dries out the paint quickly. The first pass is away from the wet edge of the previous application. Then blend the first pass into the wet edge of the previous pass going towards the wet edge. The final pass is a light one to remove bubbles and smooth out brush strokes. That's the goal. In reality a few more strokes aren't going to hurt, just don't over do. This method makes applying paint rather fast.
Now the first coat of primer is applied. As you can see from the previous pictures the surface is not smooth. There are divots and gouges. For this I use the Interlux Surfacing Putty. This I apply directly onto the primed wood. It dries fast and sands smooth. I go over the hull with my hands to feel imperfections in the surface as well as my eyes. Where it is needed I apply putty. After I get to the end of the other side I go back and start again. Finally I take a little break. Then start sanding with 180 grit until the primer / putty is translucent enough to see the wood through it. At this point I do a quick pass by hand with 200 paper.
For the second coat I sweep off the dust, and wipe down with Interlux 333 solvent to prep the surface. Then I apply a second coat of primer.
Usually in a day or two this coat is dried. I again apply primer as outlined above and apply another coat of primer.
At this point I re-installed the bow hardware. I used the Boatyard Bedding Compound to seal the spaces under the fitting and where there is space between the wood and fitting.
Hoping to get the first top coat on the next trip to the boat, I get there and decided to do another round of filling and priming. The calendar is getting into October now and the days are cooling off. I'm in a rush.
Finally the day comes for the first top coat. I used Interlux Gloss White #1. Here it is October 18 2021. A nice day in the upper 60's.
The weather finally got warm again on November 8 and again on the 10th. Upper 50's! I was able to get coats two and three on. A minimum of two coats is recommended. Prep for topside is a quick hand sanding with 220 and a wipe down with a maroon ScotchBright pad #740. This takes the last of the sheen off and leaves a smooth surface. Usually on a final coat I use a roll and tip method. This is where a helper rolls on a coat of paint using a roller, and the painter lightly tips the paint to blend (and remove bubbles) the rolled application together. This goes rather quickly and assures an even coat with almost no chance of drips or dry spots. But alas I was by myself. When I do the final coat on the whole boat I'll use that method.
My plans for winter 2021-22 is to finish installing floors on the frame pairs that are done, Remove the cockpit, and replace frames in the aft section. The cockpit should be easy to remove since I installed it 28 years ago. See Restoration 1993 in this web page.
Thanks for reading.