Well, it took 5 coats, but I’m calling the hull paint done. Parts of it are very shiny Some of it doesn’t look quite as nice but I’ve decided I can live with it.
I added flattening agent to the third coat, which made the paint look very thin so I added very little thinner. The paint didn’t smooth out after tipping, leaving tiny ridges along the whole hull surface. I had to sand it down with 220 grit – 400 wouldn’t dent it. This stuff cures hard! It took 2 more coats to make it look good again.
Sanding the 4th coat with 400 grit:
Self-Portrait in Two-Part Polyurethane:
It’s been too rainy and humid to paint so I spent yesterday working on the dashboard design. I went ahead and bought the hydraulic steering (as opposed to mechanical) so I can add an autopilot later on if I want. It’s a really beautiful piece of engineering. The fluid pumps are built into the steering wheel post. Fisheries has a cutaway model – the steering mechanism has a canted plate that pushes a series of small pumps as the wheel turns. The downside is that it’s three inches deeper than I had planned for. Space between the seats and the wheel is already very tight. It’s hard to see in the picture below, but I inset the mount 2 inches into the dash to reclaim some of the space. This is actually my third dash mockup. It’s hard to figure out the design until I have the actual parts that will be installed. The only things I still don’t have are the motor parts – shifter/throttle, and the engine gauges. The navigation console will mount above the dash so I don’t need it yet.
Meryll tipped while I rolled the first coat of black paint on the topsides. The tipping left visible streaks but I’m guessing that’s normal for a first coat of black over white primer. Halfway through, the paint started getting tiny bubbles that left white spots after tipping. We tried adding some thinner but, although the paint flowed more easily, it made the bubbles worse. It could be that it wasn’t warm enough (65F), or that the humidity was too high. I’ll wait for better conditions for the next coats. It took about 3/4 of a quart of paint to do this coat.
Meryll wore a shower cap to keep her long hair safe. I bought her a brand-new respirator for the job. The horizontal line of dots in the paint are screw holes for mounting the rub rail.
The rolling box she’s sitting on has been a real back saver while prepping the hull for paint. I bought nice big casters so it’s easy to move around.