The Uffa fox event was the perfect excuse for me to finally address the top-sides.  Mary was in good condition when I took over her care.  But the paint had definitely gone powdery and lifted in places. Maintenance, like the tax man and must be paid.

I have not been looking forward to this but the prospect of a sail in company to the IOW was the push I needed.  Probably because it generates the help and focus I can get from you guys.

I always find knowing the correct ‘depth’ of repair a bit difficult.  Too little and it may not be worth doing.   Too much and I won’t make the deadline.  Do I fix the through decks, do I take off the tow rails?  Or do I even just slap on some masonary paint, it has deck grip in it and is very flexible.

I decided on the long term repair, take the tow rails off and repair the through decks.  I also wanted to minimise the deck fittings.  A light sand for a new coat of paint in a couple of years will be a lot easier if I don’t have to sand around fiddly bits.

I started at the read and found that trying to sand through the paint was hard work and as there were a couple of different layers some sanded quicker than others.  The paint in the shoulders was a white and the decks was an international blue deck paint.  The deck grip was difficult, the paint is hard and full of grit.

Forward of the cockpit I used that a heat gun worked really well at lifting the white paint but I had to sand the deck paint.  I believe the paint was International and I have moved to Epifanes, no particular reason.  I used their primer, and found their fairing compound easy enough to use too.  If I understand correctly the fairing compound is glass balls suspended in epoxy resin.  I am not sure of its long term flexibility, I guess I will see.  But a set of digital kitchen scales is an absolute must.

Once I put the primer coat on, I thought the grey brought out the varnished wood better than the original colours.  I also thought the different colours for shoulder and ‘deck’ were complex and added overhead for things like tapeing and swapping paint rollers.  So I opted for a single colour, and probably quite gullibly opted for what seems to be the colour dejour for electric cars.

Due to some time constraints and deferral of decision making, I have not used deck grip.  It is contentious and a safety issue, but I avoid going on deck and will use the fore-hatch.  But not having deck grip may be very serious.  I think I will mix some with the paint and use it on the raised strips.  I find deck grip holds the muck and hard paint will not be flexible enough. But on a dewy morning the shiny decks are quite treacherous.

Ultimately I want a softer paint that after a couple of coats, in 10-15 years I can lift off easily with the heat gun.  I am hoping the undercoat is harder and prevents damage to the wood.  In this way and with few fittings it is not too difficult a job.

 I am also happy to have gone through the shroud bolts and replaced these.  Seeing rusty streaks inside the cabin and wondering if the bolts are a shadow of their former selves is unsettling.   I also had somebody build new tow rails this was expensive but saved me time I didn’t have.  I also had a nasty split in the mast which I was concerned about.  So true to the old “oh and while you are there can you also ….” I managed to get this fixed.

It was a very close call as to whether I could make the Uffa fox event and if it hadn’t been for the boat yard I wouldn’t have.  Truth be told I had been talking to “the yard” since at least March but I guess this is all part of the adventure of boat ownership.

But all of this hardship paid off as I had an awesome adventure this year.  As usual I am very grateful to those who shared in this and made it happen.

  • dry_paint
    dry flaky paint
    Most of the top sides were now beyond their best.deck repair
    deck repair
    Remove stove through deck.
    The through deck for the stove was removed and repaired.bow roller
    bow roller
    Rot under the anchor rollerheat gun
    heat gun
    a heat gun made quick work of fibre
    glass fibre
    the nose had a sheet of glass fibre but was solid underneath.good surface
    good surface
    the heat gun lifted the old paint. I think she has been west system'ed but I needed to be careful with the scraper. I only gave this a light sanding and avoid biting into the wood.old bolts
    old bolts
    bow roller and shroud bolts were good. Lucky I had not checked these before.fiddly through decks
    fiddly through decks
    too many fiddly bits
    The decks used grip which aft of cockpit
    aft of cockpit
    Aft of the cockpit I just sanded through the old paint. Fore of the cockpit I used a heat gun.
    I like this view of an atalanta. I think it shows its heritage.deck support
    deck support
    Mary's rib.
    A new rib was required where the through decks were removed.motivational picture
    motivational picture
    I think it was this picture I had in my mind when I need to push my way through another day of sanding.new_bow-1d388bcf
    The sand keel seems to be laminates of agba. So I used the same to pack out the bow roller. Much of a gap would have left room for movement. Water ingress and nastyness.

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