Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Refitting Crystal Blues - Island Style

Painting The Mast
With Crystal Blues out of the water we've launched into our refit list, attacking a range of maintenance and re-finishing tasks.

Areas of corrosion had developed on the painted aluminium mast, particularly where the spinnaker pole track was fastened. So we removed the track, drilling out 130 pop rivets in the process, before grinding, sanding and re-priming the metal surfaces with epoxy paints.

Then we faired and finished the front of the mast with high build epoxies and finally applied two coats of Awlgrip polyurethane topcoat by brush. Using the Awlgrip brushing converter and brushing reducer we can achieve a good film thickness and a great finish.

Most of this work was done from a bosuns chair, swinging in the breeze, so it has taken some considerable time. It takes just over 100 turns of the halyard winch handle for Ley to hoist me up to the top of the work area, and she's done that probably 30 times over the course of this little project. Tough work, but someone had to do it!

Sand Blasting With Basic Protective Clothing
Sand Blasted Area Before Priming With Epoxy
The illegal fishing net that trapped us off the coast of Suriname (read that story here & here) did quite a lot of damage underwater - bare wire twists on the top line of the net dragged down the hull gouging the paint system badly.  In a couple of places we it went back to bare metal, so we needed to properly prepare and re-finish those patches.

We purchased a bucket of "black beauty" blasting grit from a local ship yard and used our small sand blasting gun with a rented air compressor to prepare the damaged areas. After blasting we quickly applied the first coat of Jotun Jotamastic 87 (silver), the highest solids steel primer that Jotun manufacture. The repairs were finished off with four more coats of Jotamastic plus Jotun Penguard HB, a high build epoxy primer.

While the work list is still quite long, we do have time for some R&R here on the island.  Regular cruiser BBQ's are held each Thursday night in the boatyard, and on Friday evenings the resident musicians come out to play - usually between six and ten of us working on a range of songs from blues to rock, some new and some golden oldies of course.

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