Re: ReFinishing

Posted by Kurt Maurer on Aug 4, 2006

Five years, eh? Good for you! I get more like five months before I need to repair and/or refinish. But then, I paddle pretty much every day, and refinish or repair time is literally the only occasion my boat ever comes off the racks at home.

I strip off all rigging and hardware, anything I don't care to sand. Also holler out the cockpit, we want as bare a wood boat as we can get for this job. Don't be afraid to remove all padding if it makes refinishing the coaming easier, for instance.

Go over the entire outside and coaming with a sander using stiff paper, I like 60-grit (old epoxy is HARD), and keep a soft lead pencil in yer pocket. Hand sand hard edges as always. Don't concentrate on any problem areas yet, this is as much an exploratory procedure as anything. Just circle 'em or make pointy arrows with the pencil for future reference. Any areas that get close in to the glass oughta be pointed out too, since we're looking for places that need a little fresh epoxy attention.

Now go back and work on the problem areas. Try not to get into the wood when sanding those areas that need a little glass patching, and as George wisely sez, use 4-oz cloth fer patchin'. If you must get into the wood, keep the area as small as possible and then don't worry about it no more. A veteran boat like that deserves a little evidence to show off of the adventures y'all have enjoyed.

Fill deeper gouges with epoxy, level it off, then patch over with glass if you think it needs it... again, try to stay outa the wood with the sander. Don't mess with tryin' to sand down in the gouges, okay? Just fill 'em and get on with yer life. Some of the scratches will never disappear altogether, but this is probably for the best. You really don't want a cool old boat like this to look like some weenie yearling. But it'll still come out looking like a million bucks, don't worry.

When you patch, cut yer cloth on the bias and you won't get all those stringy things when wetting 'em out; and if you do get stringy things, just leave 'em. They sand off really easy after the 'poxy cures. After a patch has cured, give it a fill coat, let it cure, then feather the edges and flatten out the weave. Coat the area with another filler, repeat as needed.

When the surface is a patchwork of new and veteran epoxy, I like to go to finer paper on the ROS, in my case, 150-grit, for a final "blend sanding." You'll be at varnish time before you know it.

When re-rigging, try to think of all the things you liked and didn't like, and modify as necessary. Add a paddle park, or rig a cool new spare paddle park. It's always fun to add something neat to a boat you already love, and make it come out even better than it wuz.

Cheers, Kurt

In Response to: Re: ReFinishing by George K on Aug 4, 2006


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