To Be Faaaaiiiiirrrr
|Sanding and fairing, fairing and sanding...
We're finally starting to put things back into the boat! Well, it's fairing compound to make the surfaces sealed and smooth. Fairing compound is a thing, right?
The inside of the hull is unsealed fiberglass, which tends to shed glass fibers and absorb liquids that land on it. In addition to the lack of interior coating, there are a lot superficial voids in the layup (think: nooks and crannies of your favorite English muffin) and globs of polyester resin from the original construction. We removed the 40 years of funk from the hull interior with a combination of TotalBoat EcoSolve, denatured alcohol, and copious elbow grease.
|The left test section was faired; the middle and right sections were not.
We did a test with fairing, then high-build primer, and compared that with just high-build primer. Maybe we could get away with less work (HAHAHAHA!). The picture above kind of shows the difference. The area that was faired is way less prone to gathering dust and is easier to wipe clean. And the dust that collects in damp compartments and bilges is a great food for all the fungi that make for the distinctive boat smell.
These hull and bilge areas are mostly just getting covered up with furniture, water tanks, and floorboards. Why bother? Glad you asked! All that surface area makes for a good growth medium. You know that aforementioned boat smell? We would like to prevent that. Should anything spill down there, the smooth surface allows for easier cleanup. A clean, smooth surface also makes it easier to find drips and leaks. Which boats leak? All of them. Finally, we will be using these formerly "lost" spaces as additional storage. Sealing the fiberglass means no glass fiber surprise on whatever we store there.
We are using West Systems epoxy with slow hardener and their microlight filler. This allows for a long working time and easy mixing. TotalBoat TotalFair is an excellent product but more expensive per area covered. Furthermore, I (Wayne) injured my arm on a sailboat delivery and mixing the TotalFair is an arm workout.
With a little luck and a lot of focus, the next update will be a smooth, painted bilge and hull interior.