Sunday, October 13, 2019

Painting the 27ft Sportfisherman

The 27ft sportfisherman that Kevin Agee is building as an amateur project in Virginia is in the painting stage, with final finishing coats going on during the past two weeks. He is using an Alexseal paint system, from undercoats through to finishing coats.

A big bugbear for anyone trying to get a top quality high gloss finish, whether on a car, boat or almost anything else, is dust settling on the surface either during or immediately after spraying. It creates tiny imperfections in the finished surface that can be seen on very close inspection. Dust is in the air all the time, even though we don't see it unless the lighting is just right to highlight it. It is aggravated by painting in a workshop space where woodwork and sanding has been done because the dust produced will have settled on all horizontal and sloping surfaces and even on walls and other verticals. From there it goes back into the air when disturbed by any breeze or draft, including those created by the spray equipment.

Preparing for painting concentrated on making the work space as clean as possible. All tools and materials no longer needed for the final phase of the project were removed for storage elsewhere, partly to clear the work space and partly to remove all potential dust sources. Then the boat was towed out of the workshop before hosing down all surfaces of walls, ceiling, floor and steel structure with water to wash out all dust. All had to air-dry before any painting could begin because of the risk of drips from above.

See the captions of the photos for explanation of what is happening.
This is the final sanding of the finish primer. The turquoise color is a guide coat of food colouring in alcohol. It is sanded until no turquoise remains to ensure a smooth surface with all minor imperfections filled.
Finish primer has been sprayed over cockpit and deck surfaces and sanded, ready for finish coats.
Holes for hardware and instrumentation for the console have been cut and the items dry-fitted to check for good fit before preparing for finish coats.
Console, leaning post and access covers have been sprayed with finish coats. Beyond them is the hardtop, with the bottom facing into the shop. The bottom of the hardtop is the same colour as the hull, the rest of it white. The bottom will be sanded and prepared again because of perimeter imperfections where some masking tape adhesive remained after cleaning with alcohol. A stronger solvent is needed to remove all traces of adhesive.
Three coats of Etheral Blue Alexseal Premium Topcoat, sprayed to a nice gloss.
Transom and outboard bracket, sprayed the same colour as the rest of the hull.
Reflections in the hull side showing the high gloss finish. 
The fuel tank was delivered by the fabricator during the week. It has been pressure-tested and test-fitted into its compartment under the cockpit. Now it has been abraded all over with 220 grit paper, then acid-washed before painting with a heavy coating of epoxy barrier coat. This was all done with TotalBoat products.
The 110 gallon fuel tank, as delivered by the fabricator. It has two baffles, one running fore/aft on centreline and the other transverse at the midpoint. It has spigots for inlet, vent and two outlets, as well as fuel gauge sender unit. The corner brackets on the top are for bolting to the hull girders.
After abrading, acid-washing and drying, the tank is ready for painting.
Tank painted with a thick coating of TotalBoat epoxy barrier coat.
The next step will be to spray the cockpit and deck, so we covered the toerails with masking tape and draped the hull with plastic sheeting, to shield it from white over-spray.
Draped, ready for deck painting.
Kevin's boat is now only weeks away from completion. I will complete the drawings after launch and seatrials. Until then, see our other designs on our main website or our mobile website.

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