Stella - Nearly ready for paint

After a few more days of sanding (and burning arms), Stella is just about ready for paint. I finished off today by filling in the pinholes I found beneath the gelcoat (where I sanded right through by accident or on purpose) and dings with thickened epoxy. Tomorrow I can sand the filler quickly with 80 grit, then sand the whole hull with 180, and then prime.

The sanding process taught me a few things. The sander I’ve got (Bosch DERS 612) can be switched between random orbital and rotary eliptical – with the rotary mode being much faster for sanding. It has drawbacks, though: it’s much more tiring (harder to hang onto), and it leaves more scratches than with the same grit on random orbital. I started out with 40 grit, on rotary eliptical (I used rotary eliptical despite it’s drawbacks for all of the paint removal), and when I ran out of the 6 or so discs I had of 40 grit I moved on to 80 grit and finished the bulk paint removal with that. When it came time to go over the hull and remove the scratches and swirls with 80 grit on random orbital it took much longer on the part that I had done with 40 grit – to the tune of an hour for 1/3 of the boat vs. 30 minutes for the other 2/3rds.

Here’s an example of what I had to clean up after the 40 grit:

Oh! – and the worst part of the boat to sand – by far! – is the overhang. Despite the Cygnus having almost no overhang, the little bit she does have aft nearly killed me. I think If I could have picked the boat up and been able to stand underneath it would have been better, but sitting on a bucket and holding the sander at roughly top-of-head height was no fun!

Here’s a couple of mottled shots of her with the thickened epoxy on and not sanded – tomorrow I’ll sand (80 grit), then sand (180 grit), then prime.

I also decided to go another route with paint after realizing that I didn’t have time to order anything and would have to paint with what was available in local stores: I’m using Interlux’s two part. The primer is Prime-Kote (I think), and the paint is Perfection (red). We’ll see how it comes out with rolling and tipping.

More tomorrow.

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