Chip Ford's 1974 Catalina 22 Restoration Project
Sail #3282  l  Marblehead, Massachusetts

The never-ending project to fill my hole in the ocean while bailing it out

Preparing for Sailing Season '07
The Bow Fiberglass Repair Project
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With the weather back to "seasonable" this morning -- overcast and cooler (low-50s) --  This morning I lightly wet-sanded yesterday's second finish coat.  If it warms up enough later, I'll apply a third coat.  I've been brushing on the paint, using Interlux Solvent 333 Brushing Liquid, a slow-drying thinner, but I think I'll now switch over to spraying on the final coats.  (Apr. 25, 2007)

This morning the temperature reached into the low 60s, so I pulled off the old masking tape and masked off the area to be painted with new tape and old newspapers.  I bought a new Preval spray gun to spray on the next coat.  I mixed a Preval bottle of Brightside paint, thinning it with the same Interlux 333 Brushing Liquid -- though Interlux recommends its faster-drying 216 Special Thinner for spraying:  that little hole is getting expensive enough!   I sprayed on the third coat.  The results began to highlight the imperfection of my filling-and-sanding job (damn) -- but it's still a big improvement over that hole I started with.   (Apr. 26, 2007)

Though Interlux recommends 12 hours between coats then a light sanding with 320 before applying the subsequent one, I tried spraying on a fourth coat after letting the third dry for only two hours.  The result was "orange peel," which I'll have to sand out before applying the next coat, hopefully tomorrow.  My fingers are crossed that the forecasted rain holds off; it would make a mess of my masking job.

-- Close Up --

The rain finally stopped this morning, and left my masking paper and tape mostly intact.  Once all had dried out by late morning, as the sun was trying to peek out from the overcast, I wet-sanded out the "orange peel" with 400, then wiped it down with paint thinner and a clean rag in preparation for the fifth coat of finish.  (Apr. 28, 2007)

When the temperature warmed up into the low-50s shortly after one o'clock, as high as it was going to reach I figured, I applied the fifth coat -- under gray skies but before the next round of late-afternoon/overnight showers arrived.  It flowed much more smoothly, and covered very well though I applied only a light spray.  One more coat tomorrow and the repair job should be done.

Ah geez, it still didn't come out perfect.  I even broke down, drove to West Marine and bought a quart of Interlux's recommended 216 "Special Thinner for Spraying."  It's supposed to be a cold weather thinner, but now I've got hangers.  (Apr. 29, 2007)

Sanding and another coat coming . . .

Yesterday morning I wet-sanded down the previous coat and sprayed on a sixth -- which turned out rather stippled, almost like the "orange peel" I ran into a few coats ago.  It just hadn't flowed smoothly.  But I figured out why:  The Preval compressed air "power unit" was apparently running low, providing a less than even spray.  So this morning I wet-sanded again.  (May 1, 2007)

With the new "power unit" attached, I sprayed on a seventh-coat.

It's time to call it done, as good as it's going to get.

Once the paint set up well, I pulled off the masking tape and paper.  The color match is close but not perfect:  I never expected it would be in the end, I hoped for close enough.

In a week or two, after the paint fully cures, I'll wet-sand it with 1500 and try to feather in the places where it over-sprayed and over-painted the original color (like at the very bow), then compound/polish and wax it.  I've got to come back and clean up the cove stripe then as well:  I should have replaced the masking tape again after all the rain.

All in all -- it's a big improvement over the hole caused by the loose anchor.  Best of all, it's done.  I figure this "little project" took twice as long as I'd anticipated it would, maybe three times.

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Moving on with Season 2007 improvements
It's never-ending ... but spring has arrived and Sailing Season '07 is in sight

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