Sunday, April 8, 2007

Paint fumes and a sailplan

Out of all of the decisions that need to be made before and during a project such as this, I was surprised to find that I spent more time trying to decide on paint and varnish options than most of the other decisions that needed to be made. After studying paint brochures from Epifanes, Pettit, System Three, and Interlux, I finally decided to go with Pettit. Since I had no prior experience with marine finishes, it mostly came down to color choice. I was also influenced by a conversation I had with a gentleman at Dover Marine, where I bought the paint. He suggested that the Pettit Easypoxy would flow well and cover better perhaps with less coats. I'm reasonably sure that any of these brands are very good products.

Yesterday, I taped off the hull interior and applied the first primer coat. I used 3M Fineline tape to mask off the edges of the seats, dagger board trunk, and inwales. Then I rolled on a thin coat of the Pettit White Undercoater with a foam roller. Even though it was a thin coat it covered very well. Unfortunately, it was too cold outside to paint with the windows or doors open, so the fumes were very strong. I did wear my respirator while painting, but the fumes were fairly strong in rooms adjoining my shop space. I think I will wait for warmer weather before going to the next coat so that I can have airflow during and after the painting.

I have decided to paint the interior with Pettit Sandtone 3518, and the exterior of the hull will be Pettit Grand Banks Beige 3520. The seats, dagger board trunk, dagger board, mast, boom, gunwales, and rudder will all be finished with Flagship varnish.

The custom sail kit I ordered from Sailrite was delivered on Wednesday, so I spent some time reviewing the instruction packet for how to assemble the sail. I had given serious consideration to ordering a completed sail from Chesapeake Light Craft, but after some research I decided that I wanted some options in the sail that they did not offer in the standard Jimmy Skiff ™ sail. I also wanted to get the experience of building my own sail, but would not want to try this without using a kit. The Sailrite kit has all of the Dacron panels pre-cut and marked for where the stitching and all of the parts go. I decided that I wanted a row of reef points and a battened roach. These are features not available on the stock sail from CLC. The reef points allow the sail area to be reduced in size when the wind gets strong. The battened roach extends the back edge of the sail, providing more sail area than what the stock sail has. This is like ordering a sporty car with the larger engine option.

I used Sailrite's Sail Kit Web Quoting System to specify the sail kit and options. In addition to the options which are selectable in the web form, I included a message to indicate that I wanted to add the hardware for an external track and slides for using a halyard to raise and lower the sail on the mast. Within a day or two, I had received an email quote from Jeff Frank at Sailrite. I placed the order, and received a call from Jeff the next day. He was calling to make sure that I didn't have any additional questions. He has been very helpful in answering questions I had while deciding on sail options.

As I build the sail, I will include photos and text which will further describe these and other features.


Anonymous said...

Ron: Do you remember how much varnish, undercoat, and paint was needed to finish your boat? I'm getting ready to buy paint/varnish and I have no idea how much I need to order.

Thanks in advance. Once again great job.


Ron Paro said...

Hi Mike, if I recall correctly, one quart of each was sufficient. - Ron