Just leave it alone.

Pathfinder build project, end of April 2022.

For the first time ever I left the covers off the boat last night to let all of the paint skin off and start to harden a bit – I didn’t want the covers rubbing against yesterday’s fresh paint : yesterday in the morning I flatted the antifoul and laid on the third and last coat and then in the afternoon I masked again and laid on one coat of the gloss topcoat. The topcoat gloss is nowhere near perfect as it’s a light grey over a darker blue/grey undercoat and I can see where it’s not dense enough – on top of that I made a few mistakes so there are a few drags and at least one minor ‘curtain’. But, this morning I took off all of the masking tape and now I need to leave the whole thing alone for a few days to let the paint all harden enough to let me turn the hull over….I reckon on leaving it now for five days so mostly I will be taking a work break after 8 weeks of solid push.

For those readers who are following the project then here’s a quick look at the paint job so far – to my eyes it looks ‘plain but smart’, crisp if you will and even better my partner likes it too. Iv’e been entertaining thoughts of doing what many other JW design builders do and adding a color contrast panel to the top hull strake with rubbing strakes above and below – seems to be a bit of a feature of many of John’s designs. At the moment though I quite like the plain working boat style finish so I may leave it as is with a second topcoat in a few weeks and just the one rubbing strake in Iroko.

I was worried about the whole paint scheme being too dark and thus absorbing lots of sunlight , thereby getting too warm and softening all of the epoxy joints : this week with the boat upside down although still under the shelter we had air temperatures in the teens but the underside was almost too warm to touch. What I did was move my sun protection panels around to give better shade and at one point had all of the tarp cover over one side – I think now that the pale grey topsides should be ok and the deck and interior is going to be a combination of white, pale grey and cream so that should be ok ; it’s likely to have covers on some of the time as well.

2 shades of grey !

So, i’m having the weekend off except that I’ll probably tinker with the various bits of the steering gear and I’ll definitely be spending some time tidying the bench and cleaning up after the paint job. Next week iv’e got a big job to do in the garden – moving the greenhouse from one garden to another – my plan is to literally carry the bare frame up the lane and back in over the neighbor’s wall. During the week I’ll lay out all of the gear for lifting and turning the hull and I’m also going to make up some drawings and notes to send to the sailmaker to discuss the standing Lug rig concept and detail…..that and having a good look at the how the mast step and partners would work is the last stage of decision making about the rig. Then I’ll go back into full time work with the hull right way up and all of the fitting out to do.

Something I do every week is post my project blog on several social media sites and iv’e noticed a couple of trends – one is that the view count is steadily going down so I may just cut back on the posts to once a week or fortnight ; another thing that happened is that one person commented that I should just have a full-on month, go at it really hard and just get the whole thing done. Well, the situation is that I work on the project every day, have done so for 8 weeks this time around and I think it would be better to have a short break and breather now – also, although i’m capable of pulling long days I think my work quality goes down but more importantly I’m at the stage where I’m low on the budget funds and iv’e got all of the expensive stuff yet to buy…..the rudder fittings and a can of epoxy will account for nearly all of a month’s spending so i’m trying to do the most amount of work with what iv’e got in store.

I think iv’e got enough materials in stock to do the decks, seats, cuddy and the rebuild of the king plank to take a lug rig…..what I don’t have is any materials for the rig so that’s the next big order. I think that at best I might be ready to move the boat , rig it and see it on the water maybe around the end of September…..would be good to get it on the water this year and then there’s a whole load of winter work I can do after the first sea trials.

That’s it for now…..Iv’e already written a few project posts so those will appear once a week but I’m also taking a blog break and concentrating on my book project.

Best wishes Y’all.

1 Comment

  1. All looking very good — you deserve a break. Retirement isn’t meant to be a full-time job! A simple wooden rubbing strake will definitely complement the no-nonsense aesthetic.


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