Sunday, October 26, 2014

Hatching A Plan....

Tackling the deck sounds so straight forward. Just slap on on new deck hardware, a a little butyl tape and get on with it. But this is our home we are talking about and she hasn't been through a really thorough revitalization and at 30 years old, it's way past time. Also, Mark is not called Captain Perfecto without good cause. Due to these factors, we figured if we are going to take the time to refit and refurbish the top sides, might as well get it ALL in tip top shape while we have the boat apart.

While we have the hatches off to paint the decks, we thought it best to get our hatches in the best shape we possibly can before rebedding and reinstalling them. I documented how we managed to save the lenses previously with polishing, now it's time to get the frames themselves in the best shape possible.
Hatch frame before anodizing and refinish. I think you can see why we had to do something....

We sent the frames out to have them bead blasted and anodized with a hard finish. We got them back recently and well, while they were improved we still had concerns. The finish achieved was a bit rough and pitted. To us it was more than a cosmetic issue. We are were concerned that those tiny little pits and crevices would provide an entry for salt water to make it's way into the structure and just chew through the aluminum. We really do not want to have to replace these at over $1,000 a piece so we got to thinking...

After thinking it through for a bit, Mark got busy.

First off,  he carefully sprayed the frames with a coating ofWest System epoxy. We seriously love West Systems. So so many uses. Usually West Systems won't adhere to aluminum but we had enough pitting to provide "grip" for the epoxy. We let it cure to a hard finish before sanding it with 220 grit sand paper. Add another thin coat of West Systems, cure, sand and repeat for a total of 4 coats.

  Now we were faced with yet another challenge. West Systems is wonderful stuff, but it is not UV resistant. Paint however IS UV resistant. The question now was what pain

We knew we wanted to keep the frames silver. We just assumed we would pick up some Awlcraft 2000 in silver. Not so fast peeps. Silver in either Awlgrip or Awlcraft is special order so there is the time element. Then there was another big tick against it in this application. It is also $175.00 a quart.

After having a good, long think about it and reading all the info we could on various paints we decided to bite the bullet and go with Paint Shop Duplicolor in silver. $25 is a lot easier to swallow than $175. Our worry is whether or not it will adhere well over time to the epoxy. We are going to watch and will give a report in a few months time. If you are thinking of going this route, wait a bit and see how our paint holds up. If it all goes horribly wrong, you can skip it and just thank us for doing you a favor. That's us, doing the stupid so you don't have to,

While the final coat of West System was still tacky, Mark applied a primer coat of paint. After letting it dry completely, he applied 3 additional coats of paint. We have found through trial and error that many thin coats gives a much superior finish to fewer, heavier coats.

After the final coat of paint has had a good cure,  a bit of wet sanding with 400 grit paper and we are ready to add our final clear coats. We once again busted out the Interlux Perfection Plus and applied 2 coats. One of the ON label uses of Interlux is as a clear coat for painted finishes and it offers really great UV protection so fingers crossed it all goes as we think it will.

And Voila!
Newly anodized, sprayed with epoxy, sanded and painted, Just awaiting one final clear coat then fingers crossed!


  1. I positively love how meticulous you all are about each part of the boat. Those frames are gorgeous!

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