Kaimusailing

s/v Kaimu Wharram Catamaran

Vessel Name: Kaimu
Vessel Make/Model: Wharram Custom
Hailing Port: Norwalk, CT
Crew: Andy and the Kaimu Crew
About: Sailors in the Baltimore, Annapolis, DC area.
08 January 2016 | St. Mary's, GA
05 January 2016 | St. Mary's, GA
01 January 2016 | St. Mary's, GA
27 December 2015 | St. Mary's, GA
26 December 2015 | St. Mary's, GA
25 December 2015 | St. Mary's, GA
24 December 2015 | St Mary's, GA
23 December 2015 | St. Mary's, GA
21 December 2015 | St. Mary's, GA
19 December 2015 | St. Mary's, GA
17 December 2015 | St. Mary's, GA
15 December 2015 | St. Mary's, GA
14 December 2015 | St. Mary's, North River, GA
13 December 2015 | Fernandina Beach, FL
12 December 2015 | Fernandina Beach, FL
10 December 2015 | Fernandina Beach, FL
09 December 2015 | Fernandina Beach, FL
08 December 2015 | Fernandina Beach, FL
02 December 2015 | Georgetown, SC
01 December 2015 | Georgetown, SC
Recent Blog Posts
25 May 2017 | st marys, ga

Rig, Rain, Rearrangement

The mast work was almost done. The starboard upper shroud was removed and two 3/8" nylon thimbles were lashed with 7 strands of dynema 6 inches apart. One thimble was pinned to the tang on the mast, the other thimble had been carefully split at the teardrop end and fitted over the eye at the top end [...]

17 May 2017 | st marys, ga

Mo' Riggin'

The lack of internet in the boatyard makes ordering parts particularly difficult. The Google Chrome browser on my phone wants to autocomplete entries, but it goofs up, and shipping address becomes billing address. All the entries have to be painstakingly typed in on the little phone virtual keyboard [...]

15 May 2017 | st marys, ga

Catamaran Sophie's Launch

Here’s a link to photos of the launch of catamaran “Sophie” at St Marys Boat Services:

15 May 2017 | st marys, ga

Rigging

With the topsides painting completed work could commence on the rig. The chainplates were reattached to the hulls and now fittings for the stays had to be sussed out. The lashings of the past will be no more, I will be going back to turnbuckles with only lashings on one upper shroud to isolate it from [...]

13 May 2017 | st marys, ga

Chainplates

The punch list for getting the rig ready to restep the mast included torquing down the beam mounting bolts and installing the chainplates. It was important to check the beam mounting bolts because the rig pulls on the hulls and if the bolts are loose the hulls can become canted. Some of the rigging [...]

13 May 2017 | st marys, ga

Fairing and Painting Complete

The internet is still down in the boatyard, so posting the blog requires a ten mile drive for free wifi at Walmart, or at one of the lunch spots.

Rig, Rain, Rearrangement

25 May 2017 | st marys, ga
Capn Andy/May Showers
The mast work was almost done. The starboard upper shroud was removed and two 3/8" nylon thimbles were lashed with 7 strands of dynema 6 inches apart. One thimble was pinned to the tang on the mast, the other thimble had been carefully split at the teardrop end and fitted over the eye at the top end of the shroud. The dynema has a breaking strength of 1 ton each strand. The standing part of the lashing was covered with excess dynema in half hitches so that there could be no U/V exposure of that part.
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Both upper shrouds were pulled taut at the base of the mast and the starboard shroud was cut back so that a Sta-lok eye fitting and its 1/2" D shackle would terminate the shroud 6 inches shy of the length of the port shroud. Later another pair of nylon thimbles will be lashed here, thus insulating the starboard shroud for use as a SSB radio antenna.
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I began clearing out the space under the boat so that the boatyard could get access to hoist the hulls with slings after the crane comes over to hoist the mast. We don't have a definite date for when this will happen and I expect to take a few days moving tools and supplies out from under the boat.
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Gill and Richard had left a homemade plywood table that they called the "floppy table". The complaint was that the carriage bolts I gave him to bolt the table's legs and braces together were "galled" and unusable. The result was loose bolts and legs that were braced fore and aft, but floppy side to side. It was now my turn to try and stabilize the table so I could use it to help stow my stuff that comes out from under the boat.
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I bought 3 ten foot 2X4's, one to stiffen the table top, corner to corner, underneath, and two that would be cut in half to make cross pieces to "X" frame the legs at the ends of the table to keep them from flopping side to side. I worked along screwing the long piece under the table top, then sized the crosspieces and began screwing them to the legs. I noticed the loose bolts and could see that the carriage bolt heads had not been driven into the wood to secure them, they turned freely, so it was impossible to tighten them. If you don't drive them into the wood, they gouge out the wood as they are turned by tightening the nut, and then they will never bite in. I decided to use a deck screw with a washer right at the edge of the bolt head. After driving the screw home, the bolt head was secured tightly. Then the nuts could be tightened. Perhaps I didn't have to put all those crosspieces on, but they were on, and now the table could no longer be called the "floppy table". It was very sturdy now.
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There was a considerable amount of what is called trash underneath my boat. It consisted of plastic gloves, paper towels, bits of wood offcuts, and anything else that had been tossed aside or thrown down from above on deck. The task of gathering the bits of debris is made easier with a device called something like "grab 'n get", which is a stick with little plastic jaws at one end a handle with a lever at the other end. The one I inherited was discarded as broken. I found that a little wire inside had snapped, so I replaced it with a piece of string and was able to peck along on the ground, gathering up debris.
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The string broke after a little while and I had to repair it again. This time I used annealed stainless wire that is used for mousing shackles. So far it has worked perfectly.
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We were delayed for 4 days due to an extensive cool front coming through and drenching us with rain. There was a little time here and there to get things done, but mostly it was a time to wait for the weather to clear. Once it had cleared up, the work to rearrange everything continued.
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I had been using an old rusty roll around scaffold as a work table with a cast off cabinet laid horizontally as a paint and epoxy mixing station that could be closed to keep out the rain. This pile of stuff was in the way, so the paints and epoxy stuff were relocated under the floppy table off to the side of Kaimu, in a large plastic set of storage drawers. The scaffold was then rolled away for someone else to use, and the cabinet was demolished and thrown into the dumpster.
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It was time to move the mainsail and boom out from under the boat. A dynema zip line was rigged from the bow crosstube to the stern crosstube and tightened as much as possible. A pair of double blocks was set up as a 4:1 purchase that would lift the boom off its sawhorses and slide along the zipline toward the bow crosstube where it could be lowered onto the repositioned sawhorses. It would then be out of the way of lifting straps to raise the boat.
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I took some time to inspect the mainsail to see what damage had been done. I already knew there was a missing batten and one badly damaged batten. What I found was much worse. It looked like there were no battens left intact. The batten pockets which had reinforcement with seat belt fabric were OK where they were reinforced, but in other spots the sailcloth had been worn through by chafe between the batten inside the sail and the shrouds rubbing from the outside.
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The outrigger canoe was taking up a lot of acreage, so it was demounted and stacked up in a neat pile against the Westsail 32 hull that is in front of Kaimu. The photo shows the main hull inverted with the hiking seat stacked on top of the outboard side deck and the crossbeams and ama hull stacked on top of the main hull's bottom. It makes a very compact package.

Mo' Riggin'

17 May 2017 | st marys, ga
Capn Andy/Warm Spring
The lack of internet in the boatyard makes ordering parts particularly difficult. The Google Chrome browser on my phone wants to autocomplete entries, but it goofs up, and shipping address becomes billing address. All the entries have to be painstakingly typed in on the little phone virtual keyboard and I’m noticing the right margin of the phone has some dead spots where the touchscreen is failing. That means the phone has to be rotated to the landscape position so that the virtual keys that were dead can now be typed. Of course the dead area now includes the “shopping cart”, so the phone has to be rotated back and forth to complete the order.
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Although the boatyard had said internet would be restored right away with a temporary cable, they decided to lay new conduit and build a new electrical panel, and the temporary cable never happened. They will restore it soon, they say.
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My punch list for preparing the mast for restepping included reinstalling the chainplates, installing new mast winches, shorten the starboard upper shroud and terminate it at both ends with lashings to insulate it for use as an antenna for the SSB radio, identify the electrical wiring in the mast and get the anchor light, spreader light, and steaming light working, measure the halyard runs and order new halyard line, rebuilt the windex wind indicator at the top of the mast, replace the spreader boots, rebuild the purchases for the running backstays, and I added a note to add two more bolts to the mast step.
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The large 2 ft square viewing port at the midships inboard waterline of the port hull needed to have its lower bolts replaced with bronze bolts due to corrosion of the stainless bolts that come in contact with seawater. The 1/4-20 two inch bolts were ordered from Albany County Fasteners. 8 bolts, nuts, lock washers, and fender washers for the bolt heads, all made out of bronze.
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I had also been completing the fixed portlights that were replacing the opening portlights in the forward twin bunks. Each bunk has two portlights, one on each side. They were replaced using the same procedure I used quite a while ago to replace the galley’s opening portlights. The only difference is that I’m using Bed-it butyl tape to seal the panes.
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One of the painstaking phone orders was to Defender Marine for hard bottom paint, 2 gallons, and plastic thimbles for the insulating lashings on the starboard upper shroud. I mistakenly ordered only 2 thimbles, but of course I needed two at each end of the shroud, so I made another order the next day, including a bulb for the steaming light, and a couple hundred feet of line for the spinnaker and staysail halyards.
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The main halyard is serviceable as well as the genoa halyard. The staysail halyard was badly chewed up and the spinnaker halyard could be spliced and used as the main topping lift.
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All the fittings for the rig had to be organized and missing parts acquired. Changing from lashings to turnbuckles is more difficult than changing from turnbuckles to lashings. The lashings are simpler and each lashing provides almost infinite adjustment. On the turnbuckles, pin sizes have to match the holes in the chainplates. The terminations of the shrouds and stays have to connect to the turnbuckles, and the process is very exacting, if the parts don’t fit together on mast raising day, the yard bill for the crane could be doubled when it all has to be redone with correct parts.
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I still had the original turnbuckles from when I converted to lashings, plus I had purchased Richard’s old rig to get the two forestays out of it, and now I had a total of 10 turnbuckles. Of course the French catamaran turnbuckles are totally different from mine, but out of all of his rigging there were enough good pieces that I didn’t need to order many new parts.
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I had to adapt the turnbuckle toggles to fit the swageless fork fittings. I used the boatyard’s hydraulic press to squeeze the toggles so that they would fit in between the jaws of the forks. They used the same 9/16“ size pin. The rod bridle fitting, pictured, was designed with 1/2“ hole for the toggle pin, so I modified a turnbuckle end by adding a piece of toggle that used a 1/2“ pin. All the pieces of each stay and turnbuckle were assembled to make sure it all fit together. The last step is cutting the stays to length after the mast is suspended in place by the crane, assembling the swageless terninations, and pinning it all together. Then the turnbuckles can be adjusted for proper rig tension.
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I had a bunch of winches that became available when owners upgraded to self-tailing winches and were practically giving away their old non-self-tailing winches. I had two small winches which would be perfect for the running backstays, a couple of large heavy two speed winches that would be used for the headsail sheets, plus another set that could be installed so that we’d have a pair of headsail winches on each side. Finally, there remained a pair of Barient #12 single speed winches that wouldn’t be of much use as sheet winches, only having the single direct drive speed, but they would be fine as halyard winches mounted on the mast. So I installed them.
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The old winch pads on the mast and the mast itself were drilled and tapped for the old winches and the new winches had a different pattern. I decided to use 1/4-20 flat head machine screws to mount the winches. I ran out to the hardware store and bought the screws and a tap to thread the holes in the mast. The correct drill size for the tap is 13/64‘s by the way. The winches come apart by removing a screw in the center of the winch handle socket at the top of the winch. Then the drum of the winch slides off and the inner workings are exposed, as well as the flange that is bolted to the mast.
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The flange is held in place and a single hole is drilled for the first bolt. The hole is tapped and the flange is bolted with that first bolt. A second hole diametrically opposite the first hole is drilled, tapped, and a second bolt attached. Now the flange is securely held in place and the remaining bolt holes can be drilled, tapped, and bolted.
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Unfortunately I dropped the inner workings of one of the winches and it all came apart in the dirt. The nice roller bearings and shiny surfaces were covered with sand and debris from the ground. Also a tiny pawl spring had sprung off to oblivion. Barient is no longer in business, so getting a replacement spring might be a problem.
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I put all the parts in a bowl and gave them a shot of citrus cleaner which would also degrease them. Then they were rinsed with fresh water, dried, and assembled, lubricated, and ready to install. Fortunately I found an old winch body that had an identical pawl spring, so that problem was solved.
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I now turned my attention to the mast wiring and lights. There are three lights and six wires, plus a coax cable for the VHF antenna. The steaming light had broken off its mount, but I had the parts. The bare wires at the steaming light were wire brushed to remove any oxidation and the ends of the wires at the base of the mast were also brushed. I could identify the steaming light wires by shorting them together and seeing which two wires of the six at the base of the mast were shorted together with an ohm meter. I labeled those wires, then started to test the remaining four wires with jumper cables from a battery to see if I could get the anchor light and spreader light to light up. They did light up, which was a great relief, not having to reinstall those lights or try to order replacement bulbs on the phone.
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Catamaran Sophie's Launch

15 May 2017 | st marys, ga
Capn Andy/Warm Spring
Here’s a link to photos of the launch of catamaran “Sophie” at St Marys Boat Services:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/8728395@N03/albums/72157680791634223
The photos are in an album in the order they were taken, so passing through the album is like a slideshow of the launch. Each photo can be selected and downloaded full size

Rigging

15 May 2017 | st marys, ga
Capn Andy/Warm Spring
With the topsides painting completed work could commence on the rig. The chainplates were reattached to the hulls and now fittings for the stays had to be sussed out. The lashings of the past will be no more, I will be going back to turnbuckles with only lashings on one upper shroud to isolate it from the rest of the rig for use as a SSB antenna. The other upper shroud has an eye pinned to a tang on the mast and the other end is an eye shackled directly to the chainplate with a long D shackle. The lower shrouds are already pinned to the mast and the lower ends will be cut to fit and terminated with swageless forks by Blue Wave of Denmark. Each lower will get a turnbuckle with toggles and pins to attach to the chainplates and the swageless forks. The running backstays will be as before, pinned to the mast and terminated in 6;1 purchase shackled to their chainplates. Up forward the new headstay is increased to 3/8“, pinned to a Y shaped pair of tangs on the mast and terminated with a Norseman swageless stud that fits a turnbuckle which is pinned by a large shackle’s pin. The large bow shackle holds the two inboard eyes of the bridle, of 3/8“ wire, and the outboard ends are shackled to tangs on the bow crosstube fittings. The inner forestay remains at 3/8“, pinned to Y shaped pair of tangs on the mast and terminated at the bottom by a ;Blue Wave swageless fork which is pinned to a large turnbuckle which is pinned to the inner forestay bridle which is 1/2“ stainless rod which is backed by nylock nuts in the ends of the bow crosstube and the inner ends terminate in a heavy stainless fitting again with nylock nuts, and the fitting provides an eye for the adjusting turnbuckle.
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The old rig had the staysail tacked to an eye at the center of beam #1 and the sail overlapped the main. Now it will be tacked forward at the bow crosstube and will be club footed with the club boom sheeted to a short traveler just in front of the #2 beam, with a traveler car that will make this sail self tending. The old RF genoa topsail will be replaced with a yankee topsail hanked on, or a large genoa for light airs, also hanked on. No more roller furler. It is expected to not cause a great deal of extra foredeck work while sailing, just the difference of hoisting a sail rather than rolling it out.
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The photo is of the trawler that dwarfs Kaimu.

Chainplates

13 May 2017 | st marys, ga
Capn Andy/Warm Spring
The punch list for getting the rig ready to restep the mast included torquing down the beam mounting bolts and installing the chainplates. It was important to check the beam mounting bolts because the rig pulls on the hulls and if the bolts are loose the hulls can become canted. Some of the rigging cables are cut to fit and would therefore be an incorrect length. The result would be finding out later that the beam bolts need tightening, and whoops!, the sailing rig doesn’t fit anymore.
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It took 2 days to mount the chainplates, way longer than I expected. One problem was a heat wave, hitting 98 on successive days. The chainplates have bolts that pass through them, then through the hull skin, and are secured with nylock nuts inside. This means a lot of climbing up on deck and then down in the hull to hold the nut with vice grips or a wrench, then going up and down outside to turn the bolt and tighten it.
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Each bolt in the chainplates is a unique length. Some are passing through several backing pieces of wood, some are passing through a stringer, and all had to be checked for proper fit. My solution was to shove a lot of bolts into the chainplates to dry fit them, then climb up into the hulls and mark in a notebook which bolts are too long or too short. Then go back outside and rearrange the bolts until all were the right length.
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Next was a trip to the hardware store to purchase 3/8-16 stainless steel nylock nuts, after spending considerable time looking for the ones I took off not that long ago. When the chainplates were removed, they took with them some of the glass surface of the hulls and some bedding compound, probably 5200. This all had to be ground off the chainplates. I found using the multitool with a scraper blade removed the most material the fastest, then a quick clean up with the angle grinder and flap disk made the chainplates look as good as new.
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Carefully keeping the bolts in order and not mixing them up, Bed-it butyl caulking was wrapped around the bolts just under the head, then around the shank after they were inserted through the chainplate. Next came running up and down, in and out, putting fender washers and nylock nuts on each bolt, tightening it, then moving on to another.
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The photo is of the starboard upper and lower shroud chainplates. Aft of them is a chainplate for the running backstay.

Fairing and Painting Complete

13 May 2017 | st marys, ga
Capn Andy/Warm Spring
The internet is still down in the boatyard, so posting the blog requires a ten mile drive for free wifi at Walmart, or at one of the lunch spots.
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I continued working like a dog, grinding the hulls with 40 grit belt sander until it stopped working. The trigger switch was bad. First I tested the electrical wiring with my Harbor Freight DMM, it was only about 6 months old, but it read something like 9.89 no matter what function I switched it to, or what I stuck the probes onto. Off to Walmart for a $15 DMM, about as basic as you can get. That is what I used to find out the trigger switch on the belt sander was defective.
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Knowing what happens when you take a spring loaded switch apart I did my disassembly in a bowl. When I got it all apart I had a bowl full of little copper contacts, springs, dust, and the trigger and plastic shell. The contacts were burned, so I scraped them bright with my trusty knife. Suddenly there was a SPROING, and a hidden tiny spring with a tiny ball bearing in the end of it flew off. I did find it and was able to reassemble the switch.
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It is possible to grind the 165 sq ft of one hull side in a day, including a lunch break and other breaks, usually when it’s time to change the sanding belt. The belts seem to last up to 50 sq ft.
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After going over the whole hull with the 40 grit belt, the angle grinder with 36 grit flap disk is used to grind out any cracks or pits in the surface. The idea is to explore any spot that may have let moisture into the substrate. Then the pits and cracks are filled with epoxy thickened with 50/50 phenolic microsperes/colloidal silica. The thicker the mix, the lighter it will be and the more easily it will be sanded, later.
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Next the filled spots are hit with the belt sander with 120 grit belt. Sometimes curvature in the hull surface or a slight depression in the filled epoxy surface evades the sanding belt, so the orbital sander or pad sander is used to smooth the surface. The pad sander is using 3M 150 grid “gold” self adhesive paper, while the orbital is using 120 grit ventilated velcro sanding pads made by Klingspor.
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After the hull is sanded again with the pad or orbital sander, paying attention to any roughness felt by hand, the sanding dust is brushed off and a primer coat of unthickened epoxy is rolled on. I used 3/16“ nap rollers, but after using Whizz foam rollers for the cyanoacrylicurethane, I think they would make a better epoxy surface too. The epoxy was rolled on in 1 1/2 cup batches due to the tendency to thicken right up in the high heat before an entire batch was used up. 2 batches would do one side of one hull, about 165 sq ft.
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The paint, arctic white acrylic urethane from Trinity1945, was mixed according to the ratio 8:2:1, that is 8 oz of paint to 2 oz of reducer to 1 oz of hardener. My procedure was to take a drinking glass that had been marked at the 8 oz level and measure out the paint, then empty it into the paint tray, scraping out any residue with a small chip brush. Then a 1 oz shot glass was used to measure out the ounce of hardener that was then poured into the paint tray. Next the shot glass got an ounce of reducer which works like a solvent or cleaner, to wash out the remnants of hardener. Before pouring the ounce of reducer into the paint tray, the paint and hardener were mixed. The ounce of reducer was poured into the paint measuring glass and then swirled around to wash out any remnants of paint. Then into the paint tray, followed by another shot the same way, further washing out the measuring shot glass and drinking glass. Then the paint in the tray was mixed to incorporate the reducer. There is an induction time supposedly, but I would then get to work painting without waiting.
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The paint color for the topsides of the hulls was tinted with blue pigment from Raka epoxy, 1/2 teaspoon in each batch of paint. This produced a very slight blue tint. The pigment is viscous and it was necessary to clean the measuring spoon completely into the paint to make sure the same amount of pigment went into every batch. This was done during the mixing process when the first shot of reducer was in the drinking glass. Then the measuring spoon with pigment was washed off with the chip brush and the ounce of reducer in the glass. After dumping the ounce of pigmented reducer into the paint tray, the second shot of reducer came along and cleaned up any remaining pigment in the drinking glass.
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Radio Bill had given me a cheap foam little paint roller, I think they are called Whizz, about 4 or 5 inches wide. In my experimentation using DIY paint pads and 3/16“ nap rollers, the pads didn’t apply enough paint and did it slowly, and the rollers left tiny bubbles that dried to form a zillion pimples in the paint surface. The foam Whizz roller was tried and made a nice smooth paint surface. Richard the Brit had recommended them also, as he had used them on his galley cabinet doors and they came out very nice.
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I had bought a dozen of the Whizz rollers, after hearing that they dissolve in the solvents of the paint, but they seem to last a long time. They never came apart while I was painting. The technique for minimizing roller marks in the paint was to paint a vertical stripe about 30 inches long and then continue with another right next to it, then repaint the stripes in the opposite direction, so if you paint downward with the first stripe and upward with the second, then paint the first stripe again in the upward direction and the second in the downward direction. Then take the roller in a horizontal pattern, it is mostly dry of paint now, and very lightly roll back and forth down the two stripes. This will remove vertical roller marks and hopefully won’t leave horizontal ones. The key is to have the roller nearly dry of paint as you make the horizontal swipes.
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The goal is to put paint on the surface but not so much as to drip or run. Going over the vertical stripes a second time redeposits the paint where it is needed and removes it from where there is too much.
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The painted surface can only be as smooth and blemish free as the surface that it is painted on. In our case the original surface was kind of rough. After the sanding and filling, it is better than it was, but still not perfect. The boatyard owner said it looked good, how polite, I replied that it was adequate.
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In one marathon day I sanded the filled areas, touched up the surface, rolled on a primer coat of epoxy, and finally rolled on the first coat of urethane. The next morning another coat of urethane finished the painting and after lunch the mylar decals for boat name and hailing port and the designer’s logo were stuck on.
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After the Brits had launched their catamaran, the boatyard put a 42' Grand Banks trawler in their place. It is a magnificent boat, very well maintained. It towers over Kaimu and from the bridge deck the entire boatyard is visible, like being in an observation tower. The Brits’ boat was quite a contrast to Kaimu’s workboat finish, but the trawler was every bit as exquisite.
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Richard came back to shore one day and came over to some items he stored on the port side of Kaimu on a worktable he had covered with a tarp. I came over to him and said “After months and months of being upstaged by your showroom quality boat, finally you launched and I had a sigh of relief, but then they park THIS next to me....” And I showed him the trawler.
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