Boatbuilding Blog

September 17, 2014

Minor Hull Patch

Filed under: Building - Painting — tomlarkin @ 1:57 pm

I pulled the Coot out last month to wash the bottom and touch up the bottom paint. Right at the waterline, back about four feet from the bow there was a half-inch divot gouged out, with bare plywood showing, and a crack a few inches long running aft of the hole. It looks like I hit something hard, maybe a bolt head mounted on something heavy. Water oozed out of the crack when I pressed on it.

While the boat was out, I took the dinghy home for sanding and varnishing.

Here’s the damage – hand for scale.

The plywood was very wet. To see the extent of the water intrusion, I figured the plywood would have swelled where it was wet, so I sanded the whole area with a longboard. The sanding took off the bottom paint wherever the wood was swelled. I’m kind of proud of this idea.

So I cut back the glass to the edges of the swelled area and dug down a few plys to see if there was damage below that level. It was damp but undamaged – no cracks or rot.

I sanded the paint off in a larger area, then mounted a heat lamp for a couple days. I kept it pretty hot, during some very hot dry days.
WP_20140826_15_57_53_Pro WP_20140826_16_01_02_Pro

When I decided the wood was dry, I soaked the bare wood with warm neat epoxy until it wouldn’t soak up any more, then laminated small pieces of 6 ounce fiberglass cloth to fill the depressed area flush. When that was firm, I smoothed the area with QuickFair, then sanded that nice and flat.

Finally, I laid a larger layer of glass over the whole area, smoothed with peel-ply to make it smooth and flat.WP_20140828_17_10_43_Pro

A little sanding, more QuickFair, and some bottom paint, and she’s done. Back in the water in time for the Port Townsend boat show.  The boat was out of the water for five days.

My only concern with this fix is that water may have leaked past the area I cleaned and dried, and now it’s locked inside, brewing dry rot. I kind of wished I’d soaked some penetrating epoxy in the area before filling it. I guess I’ll know in a few years if I should have done that. By the way, there’s a watertight compartment behind this area. I would not have sunk even if I’d been holed through.

August 17, 2011

Haul Out

Filed under: Building - Painting — tomlarkin @ 11:16 am

Took her out of the water for the first time since we launched. Changed the oil and filter, changed the lower unit oil, scrubbed and repainted the bottom, cut the skegs down and mounted them permanently, and got the boat name painted on. I raised the boot stripe on the stern too, to make her look like she’s floating on her lines instead of being stern-low.

First thing I did was to scrub off all the green scum and repaint the bottom.


Checking out name sizes.

Nancy painted the letters free-hand after outlining with chalk.


Dark gold trim finishes the lettering.

May 14, 2010

Oh Gnats!

Filed under: Building - Painting — tomlarkin @ 10:50 pm

While painting the doors in the back yard last evening a cloud of gnats came by. IMG_0519

Here’s the scene of devastation this morning. Oh, the humanity! Death toll in the hundreds.IMG_0522

February 22, 2010

Night View With Port Light

Filed under: Building - Cabin, Building - Painting — tomlarkin @ 1:28 pm

Port Light

I like this picture. The Port navigation light throws a soft glow through a cloud of cigar smoke. I sat in the boat in the dark and listened to music and enjoyed a cigar and a beer. It’s about the first time I could easily imagine being on the water.

November 25, 2009

Paint Details

Filed under: Building - Painting — tomlarkin @ 12:05 am




June 1, 2009

Primer on the Bow and Other Progress

Filed under: Building - Painting — tomlarkin @ 11:44 am

I primed the bow and the stem post. It still needs some sanding, but the primer makes it look a lot more finished. I’m about ready to prime the whole inside of the hull and the gunwales. This is a lot of area because of the high bulwarks all around the boat.  I’m also finishing the space under the pilothouse sole. The forward area will hold the batteries, and the rear area will have the fresh and grey water tanks, with the galley above.

Here’s the view from inside the pilothouse, with the mooring bitt set in place. I’m going to paint the inside of the chain locker with gray Bilgekote paint:
Facing forward

I like how the stem post is coming out:
 Stem - primed

Inside the pilothouse, just forward of the steering station. This is a removable board sized to hold a standard large chart book. It will lift out for access forward to the head. The part on the right is fixed and will be used to mount electronics.
Chart board 

Here’ a shot of the galley roughed in. The butane stove is dropped into the cutout  on the right. The cutting board covers the stove. The sink will go on the left, where the drill is now. The photo is from the aft cabin facing forward. The vertical board is the underside of the pilothouse seat mount. The seats tilt forward to give access to the galley.
Galley mockup

April 20, 2009

Forepeak Primer

Filed under: Building - Painting — tomlarkin @ 10:33 am


I finished glassing and sanding up front, and applied primer this weekend.  Priming the underside if the deck with just 2 feet of clearance was really hard and really messy. I wore my full coveralls with hood, and a full-face respirator. When I finally came out the respirator window was splattered with paint. I had to clean it with solvent.  The drop-in panels will be varnished and hinged. The two holes in front will have clear screw-in covers. I’d like to get some finish paint applied next weekend. 

March 13, 2009


Filed under: Building - Painting — tomlarkin @ 9:05 am

Ordered through Jamestown Distributors.  I’ve spent the last couple of weeks sanding and filling the bulwarks, chain lockers, and stern lockers to get ready for primer and paint.  I also made the Dorade boxes mentioned in the previous post. Another weekend of this and I hope to be able to prime the rest of the exterior of the boat.

Actual exterior paint colors

Outside (Red and Yellow will be made semi-gloss using flattening agent)

Cabin side lower : qt (2) KIR-24 KIRBY #24 RED MARINE PAINT QT

Cabin side upper: qt (1) KIR-11 KIRBY #11 YELLOW MARINE PAINT QT


Hull: qt (2) INT-YHY999KITQ INTERLUX PERFECTION JET BLACK QT 6/CS (looking for a flattening agent for Perfection 2-part poly – don’t want this too shiny)

24-Red Kirby 11-Yellow Kirby Cream Perfection Black Perfection

Inside (will be given a satin finish using flattening agent)

Main interior: qt (2) KIR-6 KIRBY #6 IVORY MARINE PAINT QT

Overhead and trim: qt (1) KIR-15 KIRBY #15 STRAW MARINE PAINT QT


6-Ivory Kirby 15-Straw Kirby

January 19, 2009

First Primer

Filed under: Building - Painting — tomlarkin @ 11:51 pm

 Cabin - white primer

Chain locker   Port fwd view  I finally primed the whole cabin yesterday. This makes me very happy 🙂  I could have spent another weekend or two filling and sanding, but I need to keep telling myself that this isn’t a piece of furniture, it’s a tool that will get banged up and abused, and a fine finish is not necessary. Getting the thing in the water before summer is the priority!

I’m in the process of ordering the portholes and the main windows now. About $4500 for the lot of them.  This should be the last big expense before the motor and electronics.

January 2, 2009

Boat Colors

Filed under: Building - Painting — tomlarkin @ 8:39 am

(Edited 1/2/2008 to use the cleaned-up pictures. I used to smooth the lines.)

Here’s the boat with Kirby paint colors.  I like the top one best so far. Maybe a little brighter than my final choices, but very pretty to my eye. 







…and a matching Coot burgee!


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