Sandblasting and painting started
Sandblasting and painting started

Sandblasting and painting started

Humm….my last post wasn’t much of an update on our project status.  We decided to start the sandblasting and painting process even though conditions are not ultimate, but now is the first stretch of days without rain this summer (and we are already mid-august). The humidity levels are up 98% in the morning and drop no lower than 48% by noon. Luckily our sandblaster has a good water separator and has functioned well.

For now, we only blasted our integral water tanks which are painted with a potable water approved paint, so my painting duty is limited to a couple hours a day…fortunately, because I don’t think I could spend much more time than that with this heat working in tanks. Painting aside, the sandblasting of the two tanks on its own was a bit of a hell ride (well a little extra hell from usual blasting). The tank areas being so confined it was absolutely impossible to see what I was doing and had to literally blast blind, that meant a lot of stop and go to find my references.

We tried to use our smaller blasting pot but, as it doesn’t have a water separator and humidity was too high, it clogged within the first minutes. Again, because of the high humidity levels we had to start sandblasting late in the heat of the day and didn’t finish painting before dark; we had not expected the job to take so long. The temperature reached 31C and felt much worst with the humidex. I didn’t have it so bad as I was blasting and, most of the time, wore the hood with the air cooler. Mark, on the other hand spent the day in the sunshine operating the sandblaster valves (our system doesn’t have a dead man handle, on /off switch), moving sand and running up, down and around to provide all what would help make my work easier and less uncomfortable. He successfully made it not too bad for me, meanwhile exhausted and got heatstroke himself.

After blowing sand around comes a lot of cleaning. It turned out to go amazingly fast. I think Mark and I wanted so much to get it all done with that we switch ourselves into this super efficient and methodical mode.

Last comes the painting…I don’t think I felt it as much on the first coat, but today as I am about to put down my fifth coat on my fifth day of the same routine in the same horribly hot temperature (we’re going up to 33C today) I am ready for it to end. At least the rest of the boat shouldn’t require so much contortions.

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