Not much new blasting and painting
Not much new blasting and painting

Not much new blasting and painting

So I said it, I’m ready to be done with the boat building and get sailing. Unfortunately, we’re not there yet and as I am not keen on giving up we have only one way to go and that’s forward. So be it.

White metal and sand

Since my return from those four long days in Brittany I have been busy. I took it easy for two days, but then picked up where tools had been dropped. The last area we had blasted, the over head in the main compartment, still needed one more coat of paint; it now looks stunning. Better than that, it’s finally done. The over head work had this little extra difficulty which is: it’s overhead.

Mark looking up at the finished overhead with a sigh of relief

I have mentioned previously that we sandblast in turns of about 40 minutes, this means that for over head work we have our arms up, supporting the weight of the hose for 40 minutes straight, the sand doesn’t stop. We usually take a few turns in a row with about five minutes for our arms to rest before going again. Strangely, if you asked me right now to keep my arms up over my head for half an hour I don’t think I could, but for some reason when there is no way around our bodies seems to find the ability to unusual efforts…ability for which we pay later in the form of aches and tendinitis.

Murielle, ready for blast off!
Novelty with our sandblasting equipment, a proper sandblasting suit. Mark came up with the idea that it could be a good purchase after I blasted my leg a couple of times. It turned out to be a great purchase, I find it surprisingly comfortable, feel much safer and turned out to not get nearly as dirty as before. Most of the front is made of leather and the rest of strong canvas. The suit is not as heavy as it may seem and much more flexible that one would think. The wrist and legs are closed tight with straps and the front is sealed with a big velcro band and snap buttons. I was a little nervous about ordering the suit without trying it, sizing could be tricky. It turned out the business is owned and operated by women and they were able to give me sizes referring to women wearing those…how cool. Turned out to fit like a glove and feel like pyjamas.

Trying out my Halloween costume 🙂 With the suit, helmet, gloves I’m in my perfectly regulated micro environment. It’s amazing how being properly suited can make a job s much easier. 

The sandblasting suit turned out to fit both Mark and I, perfect. Here Mark is getting ready to do his share.

Before I left we had also planned that we would top coat the bow with a polyurethane paint. Originally we thought of leaving it with the 235 primer as final coat but it occurred to me that it could cause us some headaches down the road. The bow will be a busy and hard worked area, as the hull surfaces will remain exposed I believe it will need touch ups and repainting in the future. Amercoat 235 has a limited recoatability of 30 days, after what it is necessary to sand the surface before recoating. I’m too lazy for that. I wanted a top coat that would need no more prep than a good scrub or pressure washer before painting over it. Amercoat 450H seems to fit the need. It provides an easy to clean tough surface with unlimited recoatability.

The 450 white is so white it’s almost blinding, strange considering how dark it was in the bow before.The photo may not show it as it is but I honestly had never seen a white so white and never seen Mark so amazed about how white a white could be.

We are continuously hoping for good weather but we are apparently not hoping enough because it rains and rains and rains. Except for last Saturday which offered us about eight hours in a row of sunshine….wow. We had been keeping the cabin top as a no good weather window job, all we needed was enough time to sand blast it and drive it into the shop and that’s about exactly what we’ve got. Saturday morning was very humid and we had to wait until about 10 o’clock before starting to blast. We went at it non- stop, except for 10 minutes to eat, and finished sanding bout 20 minutes before it rained again.

The cabin top is quite heavy, measuring 8 feet by 9 feet it is a substantial steel structure. To move it in and out of the shop as well as supporting it to paint we modified an old boat cradle.

The week coming up to blasting we tried out our cabin top cradle and our technique to slide it in the shop. Here we are lifting the cabin top to wheel it over the cradle with the gantry.  

On its cradle and ready to be pushed in the shop. We used the tractor to lift the outside end and push it in. On the inside the cradle is resting on my shop “skateboards” , I normally use those to move my heavy welding tables around.

Lifting the cabin top on its side made it easier to sandblast

Already two coats on, it’s not really comfortable to work under there, but I won’t complain, it could be worst.

We can ignore the rain for a change and keep painting

So here we are painting some more. Now we are going to have a little bit of excitement with the cabin top’s top coat…COLOR…but I’m not telling you what colour, all comes in time for those who can wait 🙂 Actually, even Mark doesn’t exactly know what colour paint is coming…hehe.

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