Few things go together as well as backbreaking physical labor and loud Metallica.
When our boat was first hauled out, I thought the bottom paint looked pretty good considering we were in the water for 18 months. Upon further review I noticed some things… flaking ablative paint… blisters on the rudder… a confusing blister pattern on the propeller strut support… bare cast iron on the keel… dissimilar paint wear… and an overall condition that seemed to say, “Hello Mr. Barnacle, please attach yourself to me and cause Brad’s life to consist of scraping and cleaning this bottom for the next 18 months.”
After some serious soul searching, (and trying multiple alternatives,) the marina’s industrial 6″ orbital sander came out and the sanding began. The keel, rudder and prop strut needed to be fully stripped so I could repair the underlying blisters and barrier coat those items. The rest of the hull was sanded smooth so our new bottom paint will adhere properly. Furthermore the base of the keel was ground to bare cast iron so that I could cover it with a protective coating of thickened epoxy. Years of cruising the upper bay with our keel dragging through oyster shells, rocks, mud, and crabs had left multiple deep gouges and holes in the original gelcoat covering.
I’m happy to say that yesterday we finished up the sanding and grinding. It was painful labor but the mp3 player helped immensely. Today it’s raining, so tomorrow I’ll start the tedious process of filling the blisters, applying 5 coats of barrier coat and 2 coats of bottom paint.
We should be back in the water in time for the trick-or-treaters to stop on by. I already have my Halloween costume picked out, I’ll be going as a coal miner: