Third weekend of the refit..


Its Friday again!

And I'm feelin' kinda' under the weather. Rats!

Well, At least I was able to get the prop shined up. I used vinegar and some of that really coarse Scotchbrite pad. The stuff that looks kinda' like a doormat? Don (Squirt) and I came up with the vinegar idea when we were lookin' at the prop the first day. Covered in barnacles, they're made of something like calcium, it dissolves in acid.. What's a weak acid we could soak this thing in? Vinegar is cheap! So I tried it. Worked pretty well. After soaking a couple hours in vinegar, the little crusties came right off.

One of the J-Boat boys e-mailed me a couple articles on keel faring. So, I now have a little more concrete plan of attack. That is if I can get my hands on some templates.

Weather and health permitting.. Tomorrow starts the faring process.

Oh Lord! What have I gotten myself into?

All my leads to ready made keel templates came to naught. Julie n' I have been going back and forth on the entire "faring issue". Her stance is; "We're not planning on racing. Lets just get this thing launched." My stance is; "I don't know how critical the foil shape is. If I'm not careful, will the boat not sail at all?" Then I look around the yard. There are all sorts of bizarre and different keel shapes out there. This leads me to believe that its not going to totally destroy the sailing ability of the craft if I just opt to "smooth it out".

Its time to move on.. So I decide to just "smooth it out" and start the faring process. The base coat is ground in straight epoxy resin. The red stuff is the beginnings of the faring coat. I'm using a piece of aluminum bar stock held vertically to squeegee the putty on there.

Ugh! I fear I'm creating a monster. I've done enough auto body repair to realize that I'm in for an inhuman amount of work smoothing this disaster. Just getting the faring compound spread on the keel is tougher than I expected.

What you see in the picture is a entire can of faring compound. I never even considered that mixing endless amounts of peanut butter epoxy filler would burn out your arm and hand muscles. Maybe I mixed it a little too thick? Donno'.

And that's where everything was left by Sunday evening. At this point I'm really worried about how I'm going to smooth out the faring. I guess I'll try to level what I have on there now. Then, when that's accomplished, I'll start working down the keel. The other side is just the base epoxy coat.

A question for anyone following all this nonsense. Bottom paint and bottom prep. I noticed that the bottom paint seems to come right off if you wipe it with acetone. Is this not a good idea? Is there a reason I don't see people stripping old bottom paint using acetone? Besides, of course, the fact that I'm almost complety alone in the boat yard. (I still think that's odd.)

Oh, and I didn't get the prop installed like I'd planned. The prop store was closed for the weekend. Arrgh! I need to get my hands on a manual so I can figure out what settings to use when I reassemble it.

All in all, a very trying weekend.

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