Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Painting a GRP Boat (3)

OK, two coats of Pre-Kote manufactured by International Marine, followed by a significant amount of time sanding back the second coat which had been applied in too fierce a summer heat.  It wasn’t particularly hard work but after all the sanding I had done to prepare the surface for painting it was disheartening.
Regular readers will understand that on applying the second coat of Pre-Kote I made a mess of the job by trying to paint when the GRP was far too hot, probably about 50 degrees C in the strong sunshine. Well, it went on more like plaster than paint and it dried showing every roller and brush mark so it had to be sanded back.

So then I had to wait for cooler weather. Typical isn’t it, a few months ago I was moaning about snow and lack of decent weather, now I’m moaning that there is too much of it. Still, on Tuesday, we had 19 degrees C, with no breeze and so I managed to get the first top coat on (Toplack International paints).

This time, I decided to do without a roller because, despite lots of research and careful purchasing, the recommended roller still tried to create an orange peel effect. This time, I tried a kind of paint pad. Best way to describe it is to say it looks like a foam- rubber (or plastic) lollypop. It was for sail from the chandlery for 1.5E and it worked like a dream.

I applied the paint following the best advice which is to apply the paint as if you are describing a union flag to avoid obvious unidirectional brush strokes and the result was excellent (well to an amateur’s eye  anyway). Weather forecast for Wednesday suggested a possible shower so Thursday was set for the second and final coat.

I woke early on Thursday morning with a view to getting the paint on early enough in the day while the temperature was suitably low. Over a six thirty am coffee however, the BBC announced that this could be the hottest day of the year in the UK. Now, I am not in the UK but I’m close enough to be concerned so I re-checked my French Meteo forecast and discovered they too had changed their opinion and were now suggesting we were in for a very hot and breezy day. In truth the afternoon temperature in my back yard exceeded all forecasts, my yard thermometer read 50 degrees at 16:00 hours and, given that there are only 50 degrees on my thermometer, the chances are it exceeded even this high temperature.

I’m desperate to get this painting job done, partly because I don’t want to do any more dusty work on the boat until the final coat is on and dry but also because I masked the area to be painted two weeks ago and I’m becoming increasingly concerned that the tape and/or its glue might be a real problem to remove.

For the moment though, all I can do is wait until the meteorological conditions are right for this crucial final coat. In the meantime, I’ve brought a good deal of the wooden bits back here to the house so I can sand, repair and oil them in the back yard. The trick is to keep pushing on using delays in some jobs as opportunities to do other things (see below).

Well one is sanded!
Given that it is so hot, I’m tempted to take the kayak out on the water, maybe catch a mackerel or two for
supper, but I’ve just looked at the kit and discovered the kayak trailer has a flat tire – another job to add to the list.