Major Boat work - Frank's Refit
Frank is now 36 years old and has undergone a lot of work this season to keep us going for another few years.
36 years had taken its toll on the structure and some of the fittings were leaking. So we started by taking off the 1000s of bolts and screws holding on all the gear. Then ground off all the old grip back to bare GRP.
The structure has taken a lot of abuse over the years so we removed the core from under the foredeck and side decks then replaced this with a new foam core and Carbon to reinforce the structure. The boat was constructed in Glass and polyester but we have repaired this with Carbon and epoxy to increase the strength and help with the loads that new carbon sails and dyneema lines can put on the fittings.
We then filled and faired all of the top surface with low density filler and spent weeks sanding this to a perfect finish.
We have decided to paint the gloss areas using international perfection, this is a durable 2 pack finish which should last for a few years.After 2 coats of primer and 2 of undercoat we applied 4 lays of perfection white using a brush to put on the tipping off with a foam pad. This gave us a high gloss finish but we should have really sprayed it to get a true perfect finish.
The grip areas were something which we considered a few options. Single pack grip paint, this is ok but doesn’t wear well and the finish can wreck oilies and knees. Two pack Durapox with granules, this is a long lasting finish but again will damage knees and gear.
We decided to trial Kiwi Grip, this is a new product to the Uk and is a single part product which is put on with a ladle and spread, then the texture is applied using a stippled roller. We found this to give a brilliant finish and really easy to apply, we would recommend this for any boat especially dinghy floors as its light and can be used over the top of old GRP finishes.
With the boat fully painted and finished and all the fittings back on (with some new systems and fittings) we were back to the original weight but much stiffer and easier to use.
I then attacked the damage to our pearlescent sprayed hull, we managed to use a rattle can to spray the area back in and after a careful spray of fade out I colour matched and buffed the area so you cannot see the damage.
I then set about polishing the whole hull with compound then various waxes and sealer glaze, on a yacht hull the underwater finish is very important and before last year’s nationals we also took a lot of our coppercoat finish off to give us a good 600grit racing finish so this was longboarded and reapplied by lots of friends ( not a nice job to do but it makes a massive difference to the boat speed). We use coppercoat as it gives us a great race finish and can be sprayed over and over to keep it clean.