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Project Log:  Sunday, April 17, 2011

Sometime earlier in the week, I cleaned up and sanded the fuel/water tank fill enclosure plugs, and then applied two coats of plain epoxy over the entire things.

I'd had higher hopes for progress over the weekend, but a five-hour power outage on Sunday, during a dark and stormy morning, pretty much quenched my enthusiasm and limited how far I could get once I was able to get to work later in the day.  Springtime brings with it a variety of other hibernated chores, from house to grounds to shop to boat, and these various obligations worked also to limit my availability this weekend and beyond.

Nonetheless, I made progress on some of these busywork projects while I waited for a better time to immerse myself in some of the larger, more important jobs looming on the horizon.  Knowing that I had a period ahead where I'd not be able to work much on the boat, I decided this was a good time to install sealant in the large void between the caprail and the cockpit coaming, on both sides of the transom.  I knew that the sealant in this quantity would take quite a bit of time to fully cure, so I'd avoided its installation till there was a time when I'd be away from the boat for a period.

To begin, I set up staging around the stern, and masked off the caprail and the coamings, after first marking a line on the coaming even with the top of the caprail all the way 'round.


Next, I filled the gap with polysulfide sealant; I chose black in color as I thought it would look the best, as I didn't particularly like the appearance of the "teak" colored sealant and white would only turn brown in the sun.  I used a plastic squeegee to smooth out the sealant in the gap and trowel off the excess even with the masking tape, or at least to the best of my ability.  The void required three cartridges of sealant to fill.  Later, once the sealant cured, I'd remove the masking tape, but planned on leaving this area strictly alone for quote some time.  This fit in well with my other commitments in the near future.


Moving back to the male molds for the fuel/water fill enclosures, I sanded the epoxy coating with 220 grit to smooth it to an acceptable level.  I actually chose not to water-wash the epoxy, as the goal later would be for the laminate not to stick to the surface, so if any amine blush remained in the surface so much the better in this case.

I knew the finished parts would require minor fairing and, of course, painting, so my goal with the male molds was not to create a perfect, finished surface, but rather to smooth them as needed to help ensure release of the finished fiberglass parts.  So once I'd sanded things adequately, I applied several coats of paste wax to the molds.

I'd hoped to lay up the parts, but with the delay caused by the power outage I just didn't have the time or inclination to fuss with cutting and installing fiberglass, so I left that for another day lest I make a botch of it by rushing.  I had to accept that progress for the next month or two would be slower than I'd like no matter what, so I figured there was no need to push things; in any event, these parts wouldn't be required for some time, and I chose to build them now simply because I had no other great focus on board, but wanted to generally maintain inertia and at least keep the project moving inexorably forward.

Total Time Today:  3.5 hours

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