Grapeview Point Boat Works

81 E Grapeview Point Rd + Allyn, WA 98524 + 360-277-9015 + boat_works@yahoo.com

Building a Glued Lapstrake Caledonia Yawl

Page 15: Painting the Caledonia

The sealer sanded
The sealer sanded

We have removed all the interior components so we can turn the boat over and get the exterior ready for paint.

With a cross-spall temporarily fitted to the gunwales, two of us can easily roll her over.

We apply five coats of finish - sealer, two coats of primer and two or more coats of enamel, sanding well between each coat.

First we faired the stem and keel with scrapers, planes and 80 grit sandpaper. Then we sanded the whole exterior with 80 grit. We applied epoxy filler to various dings, dents and scratches. We also added a bit of fairing compound to a few of the plank scarfs to fair them out a bit more.

The first of primer, still wet
The first of primer, still wet

After a day or two, the epoxy was hard enough to sand (barely, it's been cold!), and we faired the filler, and sanded the whole exterior with 120 grit. Once we removed the rudder hardware and brass parts we were ready for sealer.

For boats like this we use an acrylic sealer that lifts the fuzz of the plywood, and hardens the surface a bit to make it easier to sand. It dries quickly, so about two hours later we sanded her again with 120 grit, and sprayed the first undercoat on the exterior.

The first coat of primer after sanding
The first coat of primer after sanding

One of the advantages of spraying is that we can use a faster evaporating thinner than would be possible if we were brushing, so the paint will cure faster. We also can apply a thin, but uniform, coat. That also speeds curing, which is important with the nighttime temperatures in the 'teens lately.

The second coat of primer sanded
The second coat of primer sanded

Of course it is much faster to spray a hull, unless there is a lot of masking to do. We use low-pressure (HVLP) spray equipment, which atomizes the paint at about six PSI, much less than conventional spray guns. As a result, there is very little overspray (no cloud of paint hanging in the air), and more paint is transferred to the boat. The turbine that supplies the air pressure is a bit noisy, about like a shop vacuum.

The first coat of enamel after spraying
The first coat of enamel after spraying

We brush a lot of enamel, but we spray it when it is practical.

Next, we sanded the first undercoat with 120 grit, and then sprayed on the second undercoat. It was dry enough to sand after a day or two, so we were able to spray the first coat of enamel. For the first time, we get to see her shiny!

The second coat of enamel
The second coat of enamel

Today we sanded all the loose interior parts, and applied a coat of sealer to them. Once dried, We sanded them and sprayed the first coat of undercoat on both sides. Having them outdoors in the breeze for a few hours made them dry enough to handle, so we could get paint on both sides in one day. Not bad for February.

This afternoon we sanded the first coat of enamel on the hull with 240 grit, vacuumed her off, wiped her with a tack cloth, and sprayed the second coat of gloss white on the hull. Now she's really starting to look sharp!




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