In the excitement of taking everything off the deck that could be removed, I’ve also removed both locker lids, both fore and saloon hatches (more on the hatches later), main hatch garage and the anchor locker lid. We had enough stuff in our garage, now there’s even more! During a retail therapy session in Plymouth (Yes, Plymouth!), I’ve acquire a belt sander and used this to remove the old paint and non-slip gelcoat from the anchor locker and hatch garage at home. Unfortunately, I’ve taken too much off in places. (I claim that the gelcoat was a bit thin in places and too thick in others!) It is also clear that there are lots of pinholes in the gelcoat so it will be essential to put extra layers of epoxy paint onto the garage. I’m also thinking of putting some extra fibreglass on the inside to stiffen it up. The next job at home is to start filling the holes and scratches and places where the gel is missing on the hatches. We have found both cockpit hatch lids are concave, one is about 8mm deep so if we put the synthetic teak on, there will be a pool of water in the middle! I’ve been advised that I can build up the middle with polyester resin (thickened) then fill and fair to make it flat with my new toy.
The belt sander was put to good use over this weekend and I’ve removed about 95% of all the old rotton paint from the coachroof, cockpit sole (floor) and side decks and very dusty it was too; the Henry vacumn cleaner was full after 20 mins, the bagless one was full after 2 mins, so I used the good dust masks instead and swept all the dust up. It is a case of 80-20; doing 80% of the work takes 20% of the effort and vice versa for the final 20%! As well as the law of diminishing returns! I’ll stop when I run out of ideas or get really bored with sanding.
The weather has really gone downhill now so I don’t suppose that we will have the right conditions until spring; the paint needs 15ºC and 75% relative humidity, fat chance at the moment. There’s plenty to keep me quiet: teak panels to make, cockpit lids to level up, glasses lockers to make, drawer unit to design and install etc!