Sunday, December 14, 2014

Protecting the pointy end

With the skegs installed, I was looking forward to starting the hull paint job.  But as I viewed the bare hull my eye kept returning to the pointy end.  I thought about that one layer of fiberglass cloth and thought about the potential abrasion from all the beaches I expect to pull up on.  I knew I would feel better about the situation if I had a little more protection in place.

So I decided to delay the hull painting and put a couple layers of dynel cloth on the pointy part. Dynel is an abrasion-resistant cloth, and I have applied it to the front edges of the rudder and centerboard also.

Here is the first layer of cloth cut and marked with dots from a black Sharpie pen so I don't slide it too far out of place when applying the epoxy.

Here's the bottom layer wetted out with epoxy.  It takes more than the fiberglass cloth does, and seems to swell up a little as it absorbs the epoxy.

Here's the second layer in place.

I knew I would have to apply fill coats anyway, so I tried something new this time, and applied the first fill coat right over the wet cloth.  Seemed to work OK, and maybe saved me one iteration.

Here's one of the followup fill coats.  You can see the microballoon-thickened epoxy has sagged before it dried.  It's hard to get it thick enough so that doesn't happen.  If you mix it too thick it doesn't spread out smoothly.

Here's what it looks like when almost done.  You can see that I have sanded and filled multiple times, marking the low spots each time with pencilled circles.  

I don't think I'll be able to get this perfect, but I don't want it to look too lumpy.  I put one more coat on this evening and hope that will be the last one.

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