I am at the painting/ varnishing stages with the Ches 17LT.   The deck has had 2 x coats of epoxy, cut back with w&d, awaiting the final coats of varnish later.   The hull is being painted, with the paint rolled over the deck/ hull join to give a narrow painted line extending about an inch into the deck.   So far the hull has had 2 x undercoat coats applied, with masking tape along the deck edge, over the epoxy.

 Q1 - At what point, if at all, do I remove and reapply the masking tape on the hull?   Is it safe to leave it in-place until the final 2 x coats of marine enamel have been applied: or is it recommended to pull it off now (the edges of the tape beneath the undercoat are still clearly visible and ‘feelable’) and re-apply new tape before the enamel top-coats go on?Q2 - I have to w&d sand the undercoat: should I remove the masking tape before doing so? (if so, I guess it makes the question above rather moot, as they say).   Q3 - Is it helpful to lightly run along the paint/ tape edge with a razor knife to help achieve a cleaner line before removing the tape, or is this overkill?Q4 - Same question when I come to varnish the deck, where it will join the painted edge: should I remove the masking tape on the painted edges between coats of varnish, or would one application of tape masking-off all the coats of varnish be acceptable?   Q 5 - In both cases – paint and varnish – when does the tape come off: do I wait until the finish is completely dry and hardened, or is it recommended to remove the tape while the paint or varnish is still slightly tacky? Lots of questions I know - I don’t want to make unnecessary work for myself, but equally I do want the best possible finish with clean lines between paint and varnish, and no hassles. Inputs gratefully received, and any other tips appreciated – thanks in advance! Wordsmith

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I think that when I painted my kayak hull on consecutive days I didn't remove the tape between coats-unless I had damaged a section. I didn't use a razor between coats on the edge.  When I did remove tape I did it when the paint was tacky, just have to watch out for all that paint on the tape, try to keep it away from everything else.


Use 1" "3-M fineline" tape. you can find it at auto body paint shops and some boat repair yards. it will give you a razor sharp edge. i used that and then used a painters masking paper roll with tape on top to catch drips. i removed the the tape and masking paper once the paint had started to set up. i then did the reverse on the varnish. 3-M fineline tape runs about 11.00 for a roll but its worth every penny.

happy painting


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