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.