Suffolk Yacht Harbour - Mary maintenance

In my previous blog I spoke of bringing Mary home because the maintenance backlog was exceeding holiday expectations.  Well that kind of thing.  So now Mary is in Suffolk Yacht Harbour under her lovely cover with the expectation that I address the backlog, so lets crack on...

The bubble is fine due to my efforts in Bosa..

I must admit it is nice to be able to take a day off because it promised to be sunny and spend it in said sun.  The first job is to seal the rubbing strakes, they are already suffering and the remaining varnish (or whatever it was) actually holds water against the strake.

So I used a heat gun to get rid of the bulk of it, carefully using a sheilding tip that would keep the heat off the hull.  Then used stripper to take off the rest.  Then I sanded it, hopefully lightly.

Now I had fanciful ideas of using Awlwood MA here as it is the most exposed, and not completely covered by the cover.  However the weather was coming in and I cannot stick to the timescales required by the high tech product.  So I ended up with epifanes varnish.

It needs a few more coats but I am happy the wood is sealed now.  Just need to do the other side...  Notice the use of the wrong colour filler, oops.  Also, I think, because the lower hull (blue) had been 'west systemed' the paint came away alot easier than the white.  Some of this particularly around the chain plate was bubbling so I am glad to back that back to solid paint, but luckly no rot. 

I have also fitted a victron BMV 700 battery monitor as I had lots of problems with batteries and am not sure what the contribution of the solar panel was also I now have a fridge to run.  I chose this because of its unobtrusive compact size.  I like this job because it is pure messing about more than hard graft and the terminating cables with eyes and laying them out neatly puts the world to rights in its own way.

Lets hope the weather holds out long enough.

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Comment by Fairey Mary on July 30, 2017 at 19:33

So I had a good weekend, the weather held out enough..  I did the first coat on Saturday with only a light hand sand of the epifanes primer below, I didn't want to sand through it.  I got most of the way down the first side before I checked the paint colour, to make sure I had bought the international 'mauritius blue'.  I was however using an 'oxford' blue I had bought way back in Lyon.  But I guess it is good to use it up as it was the first coat.  However it is a bit more 'cheerful' than the mauritius blue.  Here you can see the cross over point where the tin ran out.  Oxford is on the left, Mauritius in the right.

On Sunday I put the second coat on all in Mauritus blue.  I have also put the runner back on the mast all 100 odd bronze screws.  I had put some fittings on using brass but decided to replace these.  I am liking SYH and the classic marine it is good to be able to get parts suitable for the boat as and when needed.

The rubbing strake is a little dull because I sanded this back ready for another coat.

Still lots to do but it does look like we will 'go to the ball' ;-)

Comment by Nick Phillips on July 26, 2017 at 8:31

Looking good Alistair. I like the new colours. Will you fitting torpedos?

Comment by Fairey Mary on July 26, 2017 at 7:44

I managed to take advantage of a break in the weather and primed.  Now a light sand and the top coat.

Comment by Fairey Mary on July 23, 2017 at 20:50

I went out on friday night and hopefully got to the end of the sanding of the hull.  I took the cover off and the top sides have not got any better for ignorance.  I really hope next weekend is better for the weather, I need to prime and topcoat before I can put her in the water.  Then there is the long task of getting her ready for the regatta.

I have sourced a yoke stop at https://www.classicmarine.co.uk/ on the marina (the shop is accessable from the SYH site bit not obvious).  Anyway they are not exactly the same more like the spinnaker attachement with the eye at 90 degrees, in line with the body of the clamp. (spinnaker pole slide page 23 of the catalogue.

If anybody has a spare original it may be an improvement.

Bring on the warm weather, let it rain during the week. ;-)

Comment by Fairey Mary on July 9, 2017 at 10:16

I managed to sand back and fill the starboard side and undercoat the port side.  I used less filler on the starboard side.  The port side appeard in better condition than the other but both are quite good considering her age.  The transom is a little tatty at the top and there are bits of fibre glass over the joint so I may need to revisit those spots.  But they seem reasonable.

I used an Italian undercoat on this side and am dissappointed by the visibility of brush strokes.  Anyway I am glad to see the tins of paint I bought being used up, even if most of this will be sanded off again?  I looked at the unrepaired side and think the visibility of brush strokes is a considerable 'ugly' that I will have to put effort into avoiding.  I consulted the internet and saw people using a sponge roller then feathering with the tip of a brush.  Note the brush was never used to load paint onto the surface.  Any advice welcome at this stage.

I have also started putting the fittings back on the mast which is looking good...

Comment by Fairey Mary on June 25, 2017 at 20:22

Ok the other thing I have been doing and it is hard work is skimming the hull.  I sanded back the paint taking all of the flakey bits out.  I then skim with the aim of covering the undulatiuons due to the planking...

First point of learning, mix the filler properly...  The first bit I put on didn't have enough hardener, it is 'orrible nasty stuff.  It never goes hard and even on the lowest setting of the sander gums it up.  It doesn't help that my scales (mix by weight) turn themselves off to save battery.  This happens if I take too long getting the hardenner out of the tin.  In the process forgettting the ratio of weight of the container (weetbix box) and the primary component.

Here I have just given an undercoat, this will need smoothing and I think the top coat should be applied with a roller to avoid brush strokes.  But in this you can see one minor dent due to planking.  I must do better on the other bits of the boat.  The 5" orbital sander is a pretty cool bit of kit.

I will also have to learn how to work a bit faster, this will probably come with confidence.  I apply small areas at the moment.  It has taken 3 days to get this far.  Maybe 3-4 hours a day.  But doing bigger areas in a single day will make a huge impact on the timing.

Comment by Fairey Mary on June 25, 2017 at 19:54

Ok I hope this is done now.  Looking at I gave it a good sand before the last 3 coats and cannot see any sign of the bubbling.  Lets hope that is gone.  I have to say it does look shiney but given the 'chemical' nature of the product it will have to last a good number of years to be worth it.  It also reaks of being a burial suit.  i.e. the cloths it wears when it dies.  I say that because I doubt it will strip as easily as a tong oil varnish, probably comparible to a polyurithane.  Or maybe it will just fall off like a snakeskin.  Lets wait and see...  I am glad not to be putting it on the hull anywhere until I know.

Comment by Fairey Mary on June 19, 2017 at 21:06

I think this is due to getting bubbles into the varnish when squeezing the brush out on the side of the tub.  (I think) it isn't too obvious and I can sand it out.

In general it looks pretty good, the proof will be in the duration.  The epifanes I have on the strake will be the comparison.

I have also sanded down one side.  There was one little nasty but only about an inch of fibreglass and not worth picking at, it was quite solid.  The rest of the cracks in the paintwork were only paint thick. Unfortunatly the filler may have been too old or not mixed correctly so after two hours it was not quite ready to sand so hopefully it will be OK next time I am out there.

Comment by Fairey Mary on June 17, 2017 at 8:50
Actually it isn't bad. The only thing I don't like is areas where there looks like tiny air bubbles. I am out there tomorrow I will take a picture. It needs 8 coats and if left for more than 24 hours a good sanding. I hand sanded and it sands ok. I am at the third coat. As I am doing the strake at the same time in epifanes it will be interesting to see the comparison.
Comment by Nick Phillips on June 17, 2017 at 7:59

Good to see the mast coming together.  Be very interested to see how the Awlwood MA lasts. Is it difficult to apply?

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