Well its been a while since posts, so I though I had better check in with an update of our progress. Its been a physically grueling few months since fabrications were completed prior to Christmas. It’s fair to say I did not anticipate how long it would take to prep our girl for paint. This stage of the build is a real mental a challenge, as the days of tedious sanding seem to be never-ending.
When we started the build were told to buy the best sander we could afford, so we purchased a Festool Rotex 150 with accompanying shop vac. At $1800, the combo was the most expensive tool we have ever purchased, but without question, one of the best choices we have made. Good sanding technique is deceptively tricky, and the Festool has performed faultlessly. To any of our readers who are considering a similar project I would suggest a professional grade sander / vac combo is a must.
So far, across the entire build, I estimate we have consumed around $1000 in sand paper products. That’s actually a lot less than we were told we would use, which I put down to the longevity of the Festool discs, which we purchase in boxes of 100 for $1 each.
To add insult to injury I estimate we have removed around 60 kilos of Qcell/resin in the sanding process. Thus it goes with boatbuilding. You spend weeks trowling on expensive epoxy & microballons, only to turn around and sand half of it off again!
Anyway, enough of the grumbling: I’m pleased to say that we are just about ready to paint. All things going well and weather permitting, Tuesday 30th April will our first spray day.
All surfaces have been rendered with Qcell, a microbaloon filler that’s mixed with epoxy resin to create a sandable, fairing compound. After sanding, this leaves a very durable, smooth surface that fills in the fiberglass weave, and bridges level changes between multiple layers.
Actually we are fighting time at the moment. Epoxy based paint requires temperatures above 10 degrees (celsius), and humidity below 80%. Last year we discovered these figures are sometimes difficult to achieve in wintertime Tassy. Fortunately, so far we have had a beautifully mild autumn, so the push is on to get the hulls, decks and cockpit painted as soon as possible, before the wild westerly gales begin their relentless march through Bass Strait, with their associated rain and cold temps.
Before we could “close up” the steering compartments we had to finalise the steering mechanisms. We also welded some aluminium profile for a rain gutter for the hatch.
The following photos are general shots of the build showing various stages of Qcell application and sanding.
Such a huge job! Good to get your post and see that you are progressing. We were wondering how you were managing. We have had a huge amount of rain up in QLD. It has obviously not been as bad in Tassie.
Hi Guys. Thanks for your thoughts. We’ve had a fantastic summer and autum on the north Tas coast, but not for the farmers I’m afraid!
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Hey Pete and Deb, big day tomorrow and the look is certainly going to change with that paint job coming.
Great to se you guys last week
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Hi guys. Yep, paint days are the payoff for weeks of prep. We are excited. It was great to catch up with you last week. Hope your trip west went well.
Hi Pete & Deb. Good to meet you recently, hope the weather stays good for the paint job. Jim & Ali
Thanks guys. Yep, weather is looking good ATM. Should be able to spray tomorrow. Thanks for your visit, it’s good to chat with fellow builders.
Hi Pete n Deb
You’re killin me! Lol. I check every day for updates and am so excited when you post progress. Thank you for that. I don’t think many people know how much work goes into this project. I have my own ways to stay motivated but it would be nice to hear what you tell yourself to keep in the right state of mind.
The boat is looking great by the way.
G’day Dean. Was wondering how you are going over there? Thanks for your thoughts. We are part way through paint, will post another update on Friday.
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Hi Pete & Deb. Thanks for consistently keeping all of us posted on your build. I use your progress as motivation and guidance for my own build (Sarah #40). Talking about motivation, you must really feel energized by finally reaching the painting stage. After this point, everything you install will stay there. I understand what you are saying about sanding, build 2 boats and sand one away! A quick question, I am using using west system and am close to finishing the first 200 liters of epoxy. Peter Snell quotes 300L total. In my case, I think I am going to use more than 300L. How much approximately did you use? Cheers Geoff
Hi Geoff. Thanks for your comments. Great to hear from another builder. We have purchased 305L of resin so far, and I recon that’s going to see us through. Just a few small catchup jobs to do. I recon Pete’s estimation is pretty spot on, if building to plan.