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Old 29-04-2013, 15:28   #2041
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Re: Trimaran - Especially Searunner - Owners

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Originally Posted by slowbat View Post
Hey Drew,
Been following your blog for some time now..... How is the house paint holding up from your Oct re-fit.
Just wanted to address this question specifically.

Putting house paint on our Searunner was definitely our largest mistake of the past few years. It didn't stay "pretty" for even a month - the first time an anchor rode pulled against the bow it took the paint off in strips, and the dinghy rubbed through all the aft corners in a matter of weeks. Marine growth is odd - barnacles don't like it, but this blackish-green slime mold seems to thrive on the paint near the waterline and won't wash off no matter how hard we scrub. The paint picks up dirt and holds onto it.

Miya did the antiskid on the upper decks, and had a seriously lousy time with it - we went with "marmolina" (powdered marble) for the grit, which actually looks very nice; it's a fine white grit and holds well. The paint, otoh, cracked as it dried, so our antiskid looks somewhat like a dried lakebed.

The sheer amount of paint it took, I swear the boat dropped at least two inches of waterline! Several times over the summer we had big boat parties with a lot of raw water up on deck, and I know of at least one patch where water got *under* the paint and caused "bubbles" that needed to be popped to get the water out.

We had a quote for a professional LP paintjob while we were in the yard - $7000. Asking around, that was a pretty great deal - nobody else would tackle a job that size (at least not a spray job) for under $10k - but we figured that if we were to go with housepaint instead we could finish the job for <$1000 and have money left over for a refrigerator and a few extra months of cruising.

Well, we got that refrigerator... but the next time we paint we're going to have to remove every bit of this latex garbage, which is a job I'm definitely not looking forward to. I suspect I can make a shorter job of it with liberal application of MEK or something, but it'll still be a horrible, dirty, physically demanding waste of my time and money.

Short version: less than a year later, our boat looks WAY worse than it did before we painted it with house paint, and I've known since two weeks after we finished that it was a mistake. Next time I will go with either LP or two-part epoxy; probably the epoxy as it will stick to the two-part epoxy primer that is already on the boat.
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Old 29-04-2013, 15:59   #2042
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Re: Trimaran - Especially Searunner - Owners

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Originally Posted by Boatguy30 View Post
Mark

I know it is on here somewhere, but what did you end up with the glass schedule for the underwing to hull joint?

what Richard is showing seems way overkill and I added the Searunner wing stringer which he doesn't account for.

Cheers,
Jeff

Jeff, I was in regular consultation with John Marples at the time, about glass schedules, rigs, etc... As far as I know, our 34 was one of the last ones built. We were glassing under there in about '92 and '93, and a lot of Searunner's frequent failure points were made evident to John by that time, which he passed on to me. (Builder/cruiser's feedback is invaluable. It means far more than one's personal experience)!

He considered the center longitudinal wing seam to be one of the places MOST in need of beefing up. The chines, cabin & wing radii, etc. got heavier glass too, for a different reason. It adds very little weight to the boat to heavily glass the stress points and "elbows"...

OLD GLASS SCHEDULE:
Most of the old construction manual is obsolete, and now only considered a starting point. With newer building practices, high tech fabrics, and epoxy resins, along with LP paints, a practical service life of well over 50 years became possible. The "Manual" made sense for the materials available back then, and quicker build/shorter lifespan intentions of the day.

THAT CENTER SEAM:
The problem with that center wing seam is that the ply is held rigid at it's edges, AND by a longitudinal ply bulkhead right under this seam. Even with the athwartships stringers in there, the left half of the wing, and right half, can flex up a bit on hard wave impact. The edges and center can not flex with them, as they are held absolutely rigid. The result on many searunners, is "zippers" from the glass over this seam opening up as these panels flex.
Once there are glass "zippers", then water gets in, ply swells, and the tapes start to fail.

As suggested by John, this is what I did:
I made a lot of 2", 4" and 6" glass tapes of very heavy = dense biaxial glass fabric. The stuff was a beast to wet out, and I had to go slowly, but it could be done. I would stagger the widths and fair the edges first with a layer of "Microlite", then sand the considerable hump fair, with a minimum of glass removal. This made the mid wing joint absolutely bulletproof!

CHINES:
I used the same 3 layer schedule on all of the chines as well, because I unfortunately got into this project after another builder started it, leaving out some critical steps, (like half of the thickness required on the heavy glass buildup on the inside of the chines' troughs). This is, btw, one of the main reasons our project took so long. I found myself correcting other's "shortcuts" that weren't really... The price has to be paid up front, or years down the line.

For Searunners that DO have the correct 1/4" thick heavy glass buildup on the "inside", I would put just one 4" wide run of heavy biaxial fabric on the exterior of the chines. IF you put on a nice radius... the ply is sanded to paper thin on these edges, (or completely away), so the extra glass is a good idea here.

WING FILLETS:
On the wing fillets... I had glassed over my small Silica fillets, then applied large Microlite fillets over these. Being purely cosmetic, these larger fillets only got 5 coats of epoxy. 8 years later, these outer fillets had developed shallow cracks in their front 4', due to vibration from pounding over the years. During this year long re-fit, I applied 2 layers of much softer (= more flexible), and lower density bi-axial fabric, over the front 4' of these newly repaired fillets. The cracks had only been cosmetic, but I didn't want them to return. 10 years and 20 countries later, and they have never returned!

PLY SEAMS, as well as TRANSOM, WING, & CABIN RADII TAPES:
For all of these I made hundreds of feet of Bias cut glass tapes... again in staggering widths. (If you knew what you needed, and did it mass production style, you can cut enough tapes for an entire boat in 1 day)!

We had a 5X9 work table, with an optional fold away pressboard cover on it when cutting glass. We would roll out our standard 10 oz fabric, and using a straight edge with dress maker's "pizza cutter" for fabrics, we would make what we needed in short order. All you do is hold the metal straight edge at 45 degrees to the edge of the fabric. This bias-cut fabric is FAR more flexible than standard selvedged edge glass tape, so rolls over tight radii like a charm. (I could glass a golf ball with it)! Also, since all of the fibers go across the seams joint, it is TWICE as strong for a given weight, than standard glass.

THE SCHEDULE:
I used 2 staggered layers of bias-cut tapes (like a 4 and a 6"), over ALL of the hull, wing, and cabin ply butt seams. On transom radii, cabin radii, wing edges, bow & stern extensions, and ama to topside radii... I went with 3 layers. (2, 3, & 4")
By sanding the NEXT day, with my Porter Cable RO sander, I would feather these out to perfection, removing perhaps 40% of the glass, (& weight), but leaving full thickness in the 1" over the joint. It goes really fast, if you time it right.
Searunner radii are vulnerable to zippers! I have never had a radius glassed this way get a zipper. My only failures were to the hatches, which were originally under glassed for the fact that they flexed. Now, with carbon fiber in the corner seams, they too have been fixed.

THE 3 STEMS:
These got multiple staggered glass tape layers, more on the bottom half, near the WL.. They were just a couple of layers thick 8" aft of center, but 3/16" thick in the middle 2"! This is the main IMPACT zone! You will hit flotsam...

BROAD AREA GLASS SCHEDULE:
I stuck with the original 1 layer of 4oz on 80+% of the boats surface, except switched to 7 oz on the front 6' of the wings to stiffen the ply a bit. This may or may not have been useful?

Below the WL got many times this thickness, I don't really remember exactly... The "bottom" of the hulls, however, and 6" up the sides, got between 1/8" and 3/16" of glass everywhere. It is a very small % of the boat's surface!

The really heavy glass went on the mini keel (@1/4" thick) and I have a 3/8" thick solid glass wormshoe.

The CB and rudder/skeg are glassed at a MINIMUM of 1/8" thick, with the for and aft edges (at ALL possible impact zones), being a full 3/8" thick! This is hard to do, as it changes the shape. The trick is to make the wood level of the blades too small/thin, in these areas, to make room for the glass later.

WHY GO TO THE TROUBLE:
Because, as has happened to us... when you go through a dozen hurricanes, beach the boat, have the wind blow the water right out of your marina regularly, run up on an oyster rake at full speed, snag a crab pot with the CB, WHACK the hull with your SCUBA tank, slip with the blade when scraping barnacles, etc... you DON'T want to immediately have to haul out, because you exposed the wood part of your boat.
It IS a lot of trouble to do all this up front, but imo, it's time and money well spent, IF you plan on serious cruising, and want it to be a "good trip".

Most older Searunners were under glassed in these vulnerable areas, (ESPECIALLY minikeels, the CB trunk & blades) and since they are only 10 or 15% of the surface of the structure, extra glass here "alone", is well advised, in spite of the extra weight. In new construction, you can mostly make up for it with cored composite interior panels, as Roy & I have.

Jeff,
How this specifically Searunner stuff applies to your Vardo cat, I have no idea, it's your call. I would look at the engineering, determine the loads or impact likelihood of ALL joints & seams, then estimate their cumulative sq/ft of surface area. Then, IF it is only 5 or even 10% of the glassed surface of the boat, going with bi-axial or bias-cut tapes, or multiple "extra" layers of glass on hull bottoms & blades, may only add a couple of hundred pounds to the boat?

Mark
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Old 29-04-2013, 16:52   #2043
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Re: Trimaran - Especially Searunner - Owners

A rugged "CRUISING" boat, with plenty of glass on ALL vulnerable areas, gets around the fragile nature of owning a soft plywood boat. If the other 85% of the vessel is just lightly glassed, the weight penalty becomes tolerable.

For racing boats, built to a racing design, build and glass it ALL of it as lightly as possible! They are not supposed to hold up as cruisers...
M.


PS... Different subject:
Drew,
Really sorry to hear about your paint gadilla! When you get around to the painful "strip crap" and re-paint with 2 part... I'd avoid epoxy based 2 parts, VS the much better LPs. The Epoxy is really tough, but doesn't have LPs UV resistance. 2 part epoxy paints will therefore, chalk badly, way earlier than LPs will. Epoxy based will still last WAY longer than ANY 1 part paint, however. Whichever, USE GREY PRIMER and 3 topcoats, not 2!

If you look back a number of pages, you will see a report of my last summer's "painting vacation" in the boatyard. On my underwings, I got surprisingly tolerable results with the roller/tip technique. You could do this yourself, and use a Preval sprayer for the really difficult places to brush, like hatch combings, etc. The hulls are the EASY part.

On the other hand... IF you can get it sprayed for $7,000, AND they will prep the boat so that it WILL STICK, that price is a steel. At least half of that is the cost of the paint!

MANY of the cheep third world LP jobs I have seen, btw, looked GREAT but failed due to poor prep, so you must do your homework and BE THERE!

AwlGrip offers their little blue book with complete prep and application instructions. If done correctly it is 100% bonded to the hull and good for over 10 years, but if you take shortcuts on the removal of the Latex, or the 100% glazing and cleaning of the surface, it too will fail.

You don't want this paint failure thing to become a habit.

Best of luck...
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Old 29-04-2013, 18:59   #2044
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Re: Trimaran - Especially Searunner - Owners

Darn it Drew, there were reasons I suggest good latex and recommended the nano tech version. As with all paints quality matters....Good luck next time, sounds like it should come off easy! Glad you guys are having fun.

Jeff, underwing to hull joints work in a couple directions. Wave impacts come from underneath and they also have to help dissipate the side loads coming from wave impacts on the windward hull so be sure its beefy for everything.
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Old 29-04-2013, 19:42   #2045
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Re: Trimaran - Especially Searunner - Owners

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Originally Posted by Cavalier MK2 View Post
Darn it Drew, there were reasons I suggest good latex and recommended the nano tech version. As with all paints quality matters....Good luck next time, sounds like it should come off easy! Glad you guys are having fun.
See, we did that though - we asked around a bunch and got the best stuff available at the paint store, almost double the cost of the "regular" latex paint. We went with the kitchen/bathroom style "high traffic / trim", supposed to be for damp environments, and the name had cleanup right in it, like "duraclean" or something along those lines.

It really did look on paper like the best choice, but in the end the downfalls far outweigh the savings and benefits. :/

anyway. living in a shoddy-looking boat just underlines the whole living-on-a-budget ideology... it's a good idea, in theory, just a shame that to keep her looking decent we'd have to re-paint every year. Miya did all the anti-skid by herself (while I was at the office every day), and it took her damned near a month - she'd kill me if I suggested we do it yearly!
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Old 29-04-2013, 20:01   #2046
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Re: Trimaran - Especially Searunner - Owners

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I happen to have this pic taken today in B&W to make it a little construction manual-ish. this is 1/2 the saloon underwing. the panel is 97.5" by 63" wide. The other side is the same then there is a sloping piece about 10' wide by 7' long forward to form the front of the saloon and anchor locker area.

So I'm planning 3 layers of 14 OZ biaxial 4 to 6" wide.

cheers,
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Old 29-04-2013, 20:59   #2047
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Re: Trimaran - Especially Searunner - Owners

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Originally Posted by drew23 View Post
See, we did that though - we asked around a bunch and got the best stuff available at the paint store, almost double the cost of the "regular" latex paint. We went with the kitchen/bathroom style "high traffic / trim", supposed to be for damp environments, and the name had cleanup right in it, like "duraclean" or something along those lines.

It really did look on paper like the best choice, but in the end the downfalls far outweigh the savings and benefits. :/

anyway. living in a shoddy-looking boat just underlines the whole living-on-a-budget ideology... it's a good idea, in theory, just a shame that to keep her looking decent we'd have to re-paint every year. Miya did all the anti-skid by herself (while I was at the office every day), and it took her damned near a month - she'd kill me if I suggested we do it yearly!
I seem to remember something about a 5 gallon bucket of Dutch Boy but kitchen and bath doesn't sound like the house exterior formulated to handle the sun and weather......Maybe there stores sell more if it doesn't last! The only place I've had peel was on a wing back where the old finish let go in a spot I didn't strip.

Think about keeping the rough look, the bandits will pass you up for the yuppies gold platers and people might bring more to your parties if they think you're suffering....

Send Miya here for a vacation. I'll show her how I can paint the deck in a day while she kicks back in our cooler weather.
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Old 29-04-2013, 21:49   #2048
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What about Valspare exterior from lowes that is a primer and paint in one its latex and has uv protection. Any one Try it. I have 2 boats i need to paint the decks and redo the non skid. But wonder if i should go the 2 part epoxy primer instead?
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Old 29-04-2013, 22:12   #2049
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Re: Trimaran - Especially Searunner - Owners

I've had good results with Behr Premium Plus Ultra exterior avaiable from Home Depot. I use semi gloss as it's harder. It really does stick well and my rough ,adventure - exploration boat goes through a lot of weather.
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Old 30-04-2013, 01:21   #2050
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Re: Trimaran - Especially Searunner - Owners

Re: Painting your boat
If you wanting to keep your boat for some time like 3 years or more then there is only one way to go. the only way to go is get the best paint you can that is marine grade.
If your want a quick job done which will not have the lasting ability then paint your boat in house paint.
There is a reason why LP and Epoxy two pots are sold for marine applications and that is they are most suitable.
Reading over these pages of this thread ... the reality of what to expect has become all too apparent.
You get what you pay for .... short cuts are not worth it ..... do your homework first.
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Old 30-04-2013, 05:11   #2051
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Re: Trimaran - Especially Searunner - Owners

Seriously, stop now with the paint. there were pages of this only about 4 months ago. latex sucks in the tropics...... Maybe sorta OK in colder climates
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Old 30-04-2013, 08:40   #2052
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Re: Trimaran - Especially Searunner - Owners

Latex can work anywhere if done correctly and last for years. I've used marine and latex and will stay with the latex for durability and easy refinishing. Most people I've seen comment haven't used it on a boat or prepped incorrectly (solvents?) or used the wrong product. Decks do wear more quickly though you can still get several years out of them if you repaint the high traffic areas. And it has already been said, I'll find the "Boatbuilder" article to reprint. I've refinished the epoxy etc.... boats, when that finish goes the cracks g all the way down and it is a hard job indeed to get the rest off for a smooth finish. You do get what you pay for so check out what you are buying. Using examples of a bad job doesn't tell the story.
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Old 30-04-2013, 15:20   #2053
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Re: Trimaran - Especially Searunner - Owners

Hey Drew you guys comming back up in the sea or down the coast.Dupont imron paint is cheap in mexico like a little more than 100dlls a gallon and prime and seal epoxy primer is 80dlls a gallon.You can use prime and seal to put down your sand and then use imron for the top coat.Lasts down here in the mexican heat for 14yrs or more.And imron is easy to do touch ups.
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Old 30-04-2013, 19:50   #2054
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Re: Trimaran - Especially Searunner - Owners

Drew23, get over the Soda stream thing. Buy the basic unit at Costco. Purchase the carbonation valve thingy. Find the bars that have carbonation tanks and refill your system. If you make your own syrup, and bypass the Sodastream control of refilling the tanks, you are now truly independent. Off the grid. And create a mango syrup!
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Old 01-05-2013, 18:49   #2055
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Wing Joint

Here are a few pics of the joint. I realize this is not a Searunner, but who's building a Searunner these days? As a former SR 34 owner, I feel this Vardo design is the natural evolution of the Searunner concept and close to what Jim would design today given the same objectives driving the design of the Searunner 37.
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