A Little Polish, A Little Paint
By clanders - Published August 11, 2014 - Viewed 1915 times
One of the reasons I chose this particular boat was the condition of the fiberglass. It was a little chalky, and oxidized, but I thought it would polish up okay. It did, but man did it take a lot of work.
For starters, once I cleaned off the grime and took a close look, there were about a million tiny cracks, gouges and dings all over the hull. Nothing that needed major repair, just a lot of little stupid patches. Patching holes is easy. Don Casey gives the rundown in this article (link). The harder part, as Don notes (and I foolishly didn't believe) is color matching, which is next to impossible. After 5 or 6 attempts at matching the blue (okay, blue and white... and yellow? Is there yellow in it?), I never got the same shade twice, and I never quite matched it. The offwhite hull was even harder. There's a reason people paint these things. I didn't succeed so much as give up, but I'm hoping it's one of those things that's glaringly obvious to me, but no one else notices. Even if they notice, they probably won't care.
As far as polishing, I believe I've now used every fiberglass polish, wax, and compound known to man, and finished up by following Lenny Rudow's guide to making your fiberglass gleam. I'm not sure it gleams, but it's a lot gleamier than it was when I started.
With the transom back in, and before I put in the seats and new ski racks, I painted the inside of the boat as well. I picked an incredibly sunny day to do it, and after a few hours of staring at white primer I started to go snowblind. Rolling and tipping went pretty quickly, though. I used fancy Interlux Brightside paint for the inside as well, because I've found that good quality paint makes up for a lot of my poor technique.
Here's the inside with primer applied:
And after the final coat on the sides. Notice the aluminum cap on the transom! (And also the stupid leaves.)
So with everything polished and painted, It's time to start re-installing things. The ski racks on the sides were plywood, so they're a handful of mush now. I picked up some back-to-back seats on Craigslist (the cheapskate boater's best friend), and thanks to an internet website I met a very nice lady with an MFG splash well that should fit (I was planning on building one from scratch, so that's good news).
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