Well, its been a beautiful autumn here on the north coast. For sure we have had some cold and blustery days but compared to previous years the conditions have been very mild. Next month things will change, as we head into full winter.
Accordingly, our push now is to get her watertight. We want to take down the big tent. We have had a love-hate relationship with this beast. It has protected the build admirably and has done so through wild weather, but it is dark underneath, especially on overcast days. We are now craving light, as we prepare to move below for the final fit out. In reality, there is no immediate rush to do so, as in the big picture we could be working in a number of directions without slowing down the build, but as a moral boost, the idea is too enticing to resist.
So its full steam ahead, all work is directed towards one goal – to seal her up. Calls have been made, money spent and the perspex and polycarbonate sheets required to make the windows have been ordered.
Before we could apply the polyurethane top-coats we needed to protect the areas of the decks that were to later be coated with Treadgrip non-slip.
Treadgrip is a rare thing, a water-based paint that has excellent adhesive properties to epoxy substrates, however, we did not want to risk any of the polyurethane topcoat over-spray contaminating our carefully prepared deck areas, so we took the time to mask things up properly.
The decision to use Treadgrip on the decks and walking areas was a practical choice for us. Water-based, easy to apply and eminently practical. Its rubber compounds are soft underfoot. We are told it’s very durable, helps to insulate the deck and will reduce glare and reflected UV in the tropics. It is however not a glamorous look, compared to the usual alternative, high gloss polyurethane sprinkled with sand. It’s a trade-off we are happy to make, as it really is so beautiful to live with.
After painting was done we began installing hatches. Just when we were congratulating ourselves on getting past stinky sticky fiberglassing and paint jobs, along comes Sikaflex … a whole new level of stickiness!
We finished our last touch-ups of 2 pack polyurethane yesterday (Saturday), and we are frankly glad to be done with it for now. It is undoubtedly the toughest paint around but is demanding to use. Water-based 2 packs are available, but for large projects, the costs are prohibitive, around twice the price of the already expensive, polyurethane based paints.