Monday, April 28, 2008

First round of paint on!

After all the months of sanding, cleaning and other preppery, the first bit of real paint is on! Of course, now theres another huge round of prep work underway, but at least it's something.

Last week we did more prep, cleaning and taping, and Saturday sprayed white awlgrip on the non-nonskid areas of the deck. Came out looking really nice. Very glossy; the boat still looks like its dripping wet.

If you've ever heard a price for boat painting, and thought it sounded kind of high I strongly recommend you do it yourself, with a pro helping you. It will take you about 3 days to realize that whatever priced they named was a bargain. It's truly an insane amount of work. Between taking off old finish, sanding, cleaning, masking, priming, scotchbriting and a billion other painstaking steps, you'll end up spending several hours per square foot of boat.

Today Mick and I spent 5 hours masking off the nonskid areas of the boat. Thats 10 man-hours of tape. Tomorrow I sand the nonskid to prep for paint, which we'll roll on wednesday.

While I'm still enjoying this project, I'm definitely ready for the paint portion to be over. On more than one occasion I've thought how nice it would have been to fix the bow and slap a couple coats of brightsides on and go sailing!

Prepping, sanding, masking painting: 15 hrs.
Thats our deck, with the new paint mostly covered up with masking. I'm glad we took our time with this and got nice radiussed corners, and nice detailing around things like blocks, traveler, rails.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Big Update

I've been way too busy lately, and haven't had a chance to do project/daily updates, so heres the big one!


Sanding the primer to prepare for paint. This takes a LOT more work than I thought it would. The primer went on quite well, but to make a good base for AwlGrip it's got to be sanding to 400 grit and level. The process for this goes something like this:

Hand sand around coamings, partner box and any other areas that the DA sander won't touch. I used 320, then 400 grit to get this like glass. Heres a rather dull photo that illustrates the difference between sanded and unsanded deck. The unsanded areas look slightly pebbly (orange peely)

Draw all over the deck with pencil. This gives a guide to how far you've sanded. Sand with 320 grit on the DA. When done there should be no pencil marks and no areas of shiny rough surface

Sand all areas that aren't nonskid (nonnonskid?) with 400, as 320 scratches will show through.

Attach scotch brite pad to DA sander, and sand entire deck (again!). The scotchbrite works great at scuffing the surface and making it even more paint friendly.

Wash everything within sight. I spent 3 hours washing the boat, the walls, the floor, the etchells next to us, the trailer, the boat some more, then the floor again.

Tomorrow we spot prime a few areas where I sanded through, and will hopefully spray the glossy areas!
Kristian 30hrs

The neverending keel is going ok. We've got fairing compound all over the keel joint and rudder fairing strips. I did 2 layers and Mick thankfully did the last one, which is hopefully the end of it. When in doubt, have a pro do it! I can muddle through stuff like this, but it takes him about a third the time. He's been a huge help through this project, and I've picked up a ton of tips. He doesn't so small jobs (do not hand him $20 and ask him to touch up your dinghy), and only takes on projects that are worth his time. That said, if you've got a boat that needs structural or finish work, and you want it to be great, call Mick at Lakeshore Marine! 708 207 1512 Here he is at work on our keel

Kristian 8hrs
Mick 2hrs

MAST: Niki and I got a bunch of mast work done. This round of mast work involved: installing new rigging, fixing problems, and making upgrades.

We installed the new standing rigging and strapped it to the mast. The new halyards were run, and we checked the routing to make sure there weren't any crosses (miraculously there werent.) Kristian 2 hrs
Niki 2 Hrs

To make the boat a bit easier/faster to sail, we moved a couple things around. The jib halyard now exits on the stbd side, where our clutch is mounted on a special bracket (see earlier post and eventual rigging recap). The spinnaker halyard was mounted above deck, at a comfortable height for Niki to jump the halyard and lock it into the 2 Harken 150 cam cleats we've got on the mast now.

Kristian 3 hrs
The topping lift was also relocated, and an exit cut in the mast. I'm going to hold off mounting the topping lift cleat until the mast is up so we can perfect the lead. A couple notes on this:

We opted for clean exit slots vs exit plates. It actually takes more time to make the slots perfect, but I like the look better and it's one less piece of hardare on the mast. My process for this is: scribe a line, drill holes at either end, connect them with a jigsaw, use coarse and fine files to make it smooth, then sand the inside up to 400 grit. The result is something that won't tear the halyards up. It also passes my "white glove" test, which is where you put a cheapo West latex glove on your hand, and feel around inside the slot. If the glove tears (which is easy, they're the most fragile things i've ever seen) you keep sanding!

We also installed a fixed gooseneck to replace the sliding gooseneck.

I sailed with both, and it's such a no brainer to make this part static. The sliding part is always riding up and requires it's own downhaul. Like all SS parts I install, the backside of the plate is coated with mylar film and all fasteners are dosed with duralac. This prevents galvanic corrosion, which is a problem even in our sweetwater sailing area.
Kristian .5 hr
Niki .5

While we were at it, we fixed the result of someones sloppy install of a vang bail. The vang bail is throughbolted with a 3/8" bolt, and since it was loose, the bolt chewed up the mast, making a ~3/8" hole oblong, and more like 3/4".
Kristian 2hr
Niki .5

I asked my buddy Bam ( what to do, and he suggested a backing plate. Him being him, and me being me, this escalated into him milling up some fancy Shields shaped plates. Until I installed them, they sat on the bench and people kept playing with them, and I'm pretty sure the local boatyard bandit almost walked off with a pair. We need to find more uses for these!

To mount these to the curved mast took a little redneck engineering, in this case involving a bench vise, the old teak rails and several different sizes of pipe scavenged from the yard. We got a pretty good fit. Add some mylar backing and some rivets and we had our fix! I think this is going to interfere with our partner box shims, but it should be an easy milling job to fix that.

Kristian 2hrs


Lots of good wood things happening: My father made us a really really beautiful taffrail, and fixed/replaced our toerails. The taffrail is the curved piece of wood that sits at the back edge of the deck. Usually Shields taffrails are 1 piece, and they always seem to crack (like our old one did) For Shields 90, my dad made a nice 4 piece one, which was planed to fit the curvature of the deck (the shields has a cambered deck that has a 3/4" rise at the back) For our boat he really outdid himself and made (not kidding ) a 10 piece laminated taffrail. I don;t know what I was trying to illustrate in this photo, but it looks so good that I want to varnish it! For those that know me, thats saying a LOT that I would want to put up with varnish. We've also got new/rebuilt toerails. The aft pieces are replacements, and the front pieces have been worked on so they look just like new.

Victor: MANY hours

Niki and I finished up sanding the interior wood pieces today (floorboards, seats) and got a couple coats of oil on there. They sure look great!

I found another use for the Fein Multimaster. This thing proved invaluable for redoing the structural tabbing on the hull, and today it made short work of the usually tricky sanding of the benches. I did the stbd bench, and it took hours, the port one which was done with this tool took 45 minutes!

While I was doing that, Niki started putting on the Teak oil . We selected oil over varnish as the maintenance required to keep teak looking good is more than I want to do during summer. Oils much easier to keep going, and looks better than bare teak. The end result looks pretty good to me, and I can't wait to get them back on the boat!
Kristian 2 hrs
Niki 2hrs

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Cove Stripes

We're trying to decide whether to have a cove stripe on the boat or not. A cove stripe is a thin line on the topsides, just below the sheerline.

My friend Mick, who is a pro finisher, says he thinks we need one. I remember Mike S always saying they were there to make fat boats look skinny, and that the Shields doesn't need one. Me, I could really care less! What do you think? Here are a couple choices: No stripe, black stripe, red stripe, white stripe and blue stripe.

Friday, April 11, 2008

...Now it's Gray for a while...

Finished off the priming, and applied the last coat of primer in gray, mixed to approximate the topcoat color gray. I'm very happy with the white/gray combo. Our primer is a bit lighter than the eventual topcoat, and it shows up whitish in photos. Still, super cool to get a preview of the boats appearance.

The primer is going to cure for a week or so, then get sanding down with ~400 grit, and then we spray the good stuff!

Also spent a couple hours today applying fairing compound to the (rather messy) glass on the keeljoint. So long as I'm in the paintroom, I'm trying to get the most out of the clean air and warm temps. I'll be rolling (ugh) on teh Interprotect for the bottom late next week. No point in having a pretty boat if its not fast.


Wednesday, April 9, 2008

The boat is white now

Rigging season is officially undeway, so my free time is at a premium. As such, the blog has been a bit neglected as of late.

The long and short is this: 25hrs more of prep and priming leads to white boat. White boat makes me happy, as white boat means that the sanding portion of the project is nearing an end, and the sailing portion is not too far away.
Behold the white boat! Next week it turns gray (and shiny white)

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Movin on up! (to the east side)

Ok first off, everything I said yesterday was a joke, so put away the protest flags! We do not have a carbon mast, sail, and I did not break the class rules. Jeez, it was just April Fools fun. On an unrelated note, anyone want to buy and unrigged carbon mast (ALSO A JOKE)a

What I really did last friday and tuesday was finish sanding prep (always), filled in the rail, and cleaned the boat out for her big day today. (9hrs)

I fitted the mast shims, to get a feel for how big the final flat shim would have to be. Looks great and I can't wait to see how it works this summer.

The big news was getting 88 out of the barn and into the uberclean paint room. Along the way I asked the yard guys to lift her a few inches and put blocks under the keel. This will allow me to sand/paint the bottom of the keel, which was pretty damn rough. Canal Street has some great yard guys, and they got this handled very quickly. I hooked up the bridle and they handled the rest. Literally, they came to pick up the boat and bring it outside, and by the time I had gotten it around the corner they'd lifted and blocked the boat! Thanks guys!

After all this prep and work, its great to have the boat about to get painted. It's in the paint room and almost ready to go! Tomorrow I give it a nice washdown, and then Mick is going to look the boat over with me. I'm sure there will be some more spot filling and sanding (ack) and then later we spray primer on the deck and topsides, followed by awlgrip and rolled awlgrip nonskid.

Very exciting day! (6hrs)

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Fun Stuff

Now that the paint prep is done, I can turn my attention to matters that are a little more interesting than all that sanding. There have been a couple projects I've been waiting on, which should have big performance improvements.

Since our mast was pretty old, we decided to replace it with something a little more modern. Although the yard isn't exactly the best place to work, we were able to warm up a corner of it to lay up our new carbon fiber mast. The weight savings are going to be huge, taking almost 60lbs out. I think we'll have to paint this aluminum colored so as not to alarm the rest of the fleet.

Less fun than the carbon mast, but also worth doing was sanding the inside of the hull. We do this to take unneccesary weight out of the ends of the boat. I was able to remove about 20lbs from the front and back tanks of the boat, all in dust form! The downside is there are certain areas of the boat that you cant walk on, but thats a small price to pay.

Since the old dacron sails are so heavy, we asked a local loft to prepare a laminate mainsail for us instead. Much lower stretch, and half the weight! Again, we'll have to find a way to make this look like dacron, but that should be easy as I've got some leftover white paint from my parents living room ceiling.

Thats been a pretty busy day, but should all be worth it this season!