Rite of Passage
10 February 2013
I am sure I will at some point over the next few days regret this decision. When I bought Zingara it was with the aim to learn as much as possible and with jobs that I can do myself with a bit of research and hard work, do myself.
So tomorrow, or now looking more like Tuesday/Wednesday due to the snow, I will head down to the boat, scraper and orbital sander in hand to start preparing the bottom. Of course antifouling seems just a bit too straight forward, so I have taken the decision (foolishly or not, we'll see) to Coppercoat.
I have read everything from blogs to product instructions, watched you tube clips until I am dreaming about it and heard opinions vary from "its hard work but well worth it" to you will never regret starting anything more in your life. The thing is that I didn't grow up with boats and although have been sailing for a while now I have never been asked to help with the job of antifouling. I could very easily pay someone to grit blast it and do the coppercoat for me but this feels like my boat ownership rite of passage. This is something every rooky owner should go through at least once and lets just hope I get it right so I really do only have to do it once. I am sure that there will be some blood sweat and tears. Some swearing, stamping feet and most likely sulking but if I can do this and get through it with success I'm pretty sure I will be beaming with pride and satisfaction.
So here goes. As I mentioned I have done a lot of research once part of which was checking if Zingara is even appropriate for Coppercoat. Thankfully she seems to be. The survey from the purchase showed very low moisture content, the first issue when it comes to coppercoat. She also has an epoxy barrier on underneath all the old antifoul although I do not know what brand of when it was done, hence planning on adding a new coat.
My plan is to break it down to loosely the following;
1. Scrape hull using a Bahco pull scraper with the corners of the blade filed down to avoid gouges to the epoxy coat currently on there.
2. Finish using a random orbital sander grit pad 120
3. Sand keel rust using orbital sander and grit pad 36
4. Finish the pits with a sanding disk flap and possibly a wire brush attachment on an electric drill. Taking the keel back to bare metal
5. Coat keel with a rust convertor to stop any new rust.
6. 1 or 2 coats of epoxy primer
7. Finally coppercoat.
Originally I had planned to grit blast but for various reasons I have decided to give it a go and see how I get on. For a bit of price comparison and economic analysis on it all..... In terms of cost, the grit blasting had been quoted at £400.
Currently I have purchased the following equipment:
Bahco scraper (£27.95),
4 replacement blades (£40),
bosch random orbital sander (£49),
pack of 24 assorted sanding pads from grade 60-120 (£17.95),
pack of 5 sanding pads grade 36 (£7.98),
pack of 5 sanding pads grade 120 (£4.98),
sanding flap (£12.98),
rust convertor 500ml (£17.95),
epoxy primer 2.5l (£94.95),
Coppercoat 5l (£396)
Overalls, goggles, mask etc (£20)
Dust sheets (£5.99)
Roller tray (£1.99)
That's a total of £697.72 but of course I will have some nice additions to my tool kit for the future. If I had gone with grit blasting the total would have been around £836 and I wouldn't have had those extra tools to keep.
If I had chosen to simply paint over the current with regular antifoul I would most likely had still purchased the random orbital sander but not so many accessories for the hull, most likely just a couple of packs of 120 grade pads. The keel however really is in a bit of a state so this would still have needed treatment. I estimate that I would have probably spent about £270.
So we're looking at Coppercoat being about 2.5 times more expensive although as long as its all done properly I should have made the money back in 2 years and of course I wont need to do the nasty job on antifouling again. I have also justified it to myself slightly but thinking I will most likely leave the boat in the water the whole year with just a quick lift for a wash off. That means I should save a few hundred on storage ashore next winter.
It is worth mentioning that I'm not working at the moment so along with being a lady what lunches I have plenty of time to do this. If I was working full time and only had my weekends I might have made a different decision.
So there you have it, decision made, tooled up and raring to go. I really am quite excited, I can literally hear eye rolling going on by all those who know I how quickly I will loose that enthusiasm but for now that's what I'm running on. Now all I need is the snow to stop so I can actually get down to Lymington.
Wish me luck, I'll keep you informed.