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#1 20 May 2020 9:11 am

Curlew
Member
From: nr Skipton, N Yorks
Registered: 8 May 2020
Posts: 17

Painting, any tips? Fairing filler anyone?

My Shearwater 16 hybrid is nearing completion. I have decided to paint the hull (Cypress green) as I think the deck is so much nicer than the plywood. This is my first boat build incidentally.

I wondered if anyone has any paint tips from hard won experience.

I have the undercoat and some Isopon P38 at the suggestion of Anthony. His advice was after the final skim coat to sand then undercoat then fill/sand where needed and repeat as often as required to get it really smooth but I wondered if anyone has used a bit of the micro fibre filler in the final epoxy skim coat as a 'fairing filler'? I have seen this suggested in the manual. I think it would have to be a fairly small amount or you could end up with a really thick and heavy layer!

All suggestions appreciated.

Bruce

PS I am also writing a tips and tricks list as a result of my build-things not in the manual or that I wished I had known when I started. Do people thing this would be a good thing to have on the Forum? Maybe people could edit and update it from their experience.

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#2 22 May 2020 7:59 am

Paul
Employee
From: Gatebeck Cumbria
Registered: 4 Aug 2011
Posts: 121

Re: Painting, any tips? Fairing filler anyone?

It is good to hear that you are getting close to finishing your boat.  I think that hulls always look better if they are painted and also, should you ever capsize, it will not look like a log and be ignored.

Using a little filler in the final skim coat does work to even out some of the imperfections but it has to be sanded which, since it is hard, creates a lot of work.  The best way of getting a mirror like finish is to use epoxy filled with glass balloons for above the water line or phenolic balloons for below the water.  The idea is to cake this onto the surface in a thick coat and then sand over 90% of it off so that it is only left in the dips of the surface.  It is necessary to do this a couple of times thus many hours need to be spent sanding.  Balloons are very easy to sand and give a perfect finish but they are also expensive especially as most of it is placed in the bin: glass balloons are about £8 per litre and phenolic micro-balloons are about £15 per litre –Fyne Boat Kits do sell them: Balloons.  However, I do not recommend spending time and money getting a mirror smooth finish because the very first time that you use your boat you are likely to scratch it and so all of your effort would be wasted.  I have known people who were too frightened to use their boat for fear of scratching the paintwork: boats are for using not just looking at.  It is far better to get the surface as smooth as you can in a reasonable amount of time and start using the boat.  Normal shallow scratches are not pretty but the epoxy and fabric will protect the wood until after a couple of years you decide to re-paint the hull.

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#3 22 May 2020 8:50 am

Curlew
Member
From: nr Skipton, N Yorks
Registered: 8 May 2020
Posts: 17

Re: Painting, any tips? Fairing filler anyone?

Thanks Paul for taking time to reply.

Sensible comments; it is all going to need sanding as you say and I was also worried about creating a line between the thicker (and slightly white) layer of the hull and the varnished edge of the deck.

Have no fear i am not aiming for perfection. I've enjoyed making the boat and am quite happy with the little bumps and errors that probably only I can actually see. It will also be well used. Like having a good mountain bike they look best a bit battered and covered in mud, not polished hanging from the wall.  I note your log comment-but is is going to be Cypress Green!

Blustery day here in N Yorks, perfect for sanding outside. Hope it will be finished by the time I can return to The Lakes, although I do have water literally outside the door on the canal that is good for a quick paddle.

Cheers

Bruce

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#4 22 May 2020 9:21 am

MatthewP
New Member
From: Chester
Registered: 23 Nov 2019
Posts: 1

Re: Painting, any tips? Fairing filler anyone?

Hi Bruce

I'm building a Northeaster Dory and using West System 410 Microlight filler to fair the hull. I'm very pleased with the results.  It is easy to apply and accurately sand. 

An excellent video showing the technique can be seen at Mastering Epoxy Russell Brown Part 9 Fairing on the Off Center Harbor website (note North American spelling). Off Center Harbor is a subscription site but good value and has excellent boat building and sailing content.

Fyne Boats supplied me with the 410 Microlight filler.

I like your idea for a tips and tricks list.

Matthew

Last edited by MatthewP (22 May 2020 2:58 pm)

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#5 25 May 2020 12:37 pm

Arne H
Member
Registered: 18 Dec 2015
Posts: 21

Re: Painting, any tips? Fairing filler anyone?

Hi Bruce,

I also very much like your idea for a tips and tricks list - go for it. (Albeit not with that title of 'tips & tricks', the build log of my Chesapeake 16 that I published here in 2015/16 had the same intention. Even if only reminding myself for possible later builds of additional boats - but the number of views that I got indicates to me there's merit for others in recording issues during the build, too.)

Arne

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