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Old 10-08-2012, 09:18   #1306
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Re: Trimaran - Especially Searunner - Owners

Least said soonest mended.....Oil and urethane based paints to tend to crack and peel, latex tends to wear off eventually but way outlasts other oneparts. Newbies should approach deadly paint systems with caution. The Darwin award paint contest has the players sit in a small enclosed bow without a respirator stirring a gallon of paint of their choice. Some have no problem, some get high and some don't paint anymore. And now a word from our sponsor... DON"T TRY THIS WITH ANYTHING BUT LATEX!
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Old 10-08-2012, 11:02   #1307
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Re: Trimaran - Especially Searunner - Owners

On to the various other projects... And Cavalier, rest assured that in all of my posts, I am not talking to "you" or referring to your posts at all. Please do the same... I have no interest in a debate, or what ever you call what you do.

The hot summer grind:

First we were painting various touch ups (after repairing minor damage), all over the boat, which were easy to do by masking off the repair, (usually a glass zipper), and touching it up with a "soft" artist brush after a quick rub with the Scotch Brite "stripper" pads, or 320 grit sand paper. Folded over 5" DA discs work best, to use by hand...

The first step of coarse is multiple coats of grey primer on day one, then sand and multi coat the white topcoat on day two... For these repairs, (and we've have over a dozen over the years), a respirator is not needed. I have even done them hanging over the side or hanging over the bow, to spots right above the water line. The way the new Awl Grip shines and the old doesn't, as well as the tape edge, makes it show. Thing is, its a cruising boat, it doesn't matter, and when you stand back 15', you can't see it!

The reason "they say", that you can't touch it up, is that unlike a lacquered car, you can't buff out the overspray and get a perfect, "never been repaired" new appearance.

This is not true of their "acrylic" AwlCraft two part paint, btw, but it has a bit shorter lifespan. New LPs are coming out now that get around this downside, and you could spray "touch ups" in the field with a Preval sprayer, but unless you then buff the whole boat to a new shine, the repair will still shine differently, so you've only avoided the tape line. I consider the shine to be LPs biggest draw back, but this is partly why it sheds stains so well.

"Form follows function" is the engineers axiom, and as I said, the "function" of LP paints, (for us)... is to form a hard, very long lived, solvent and stain resistant, UV barrier, to protect the epoxy from the Sun.

I think that for a cruising boat, touch-ups that are picture framed with a tape line, are quite acceptable. They are incredibly easy to do as well. After a while the shine goes away and it looks fine.

The number of times I got "paid back" for time spent painting years ago...

During our summer months in the yard, I got hundreds of feet of sticky tape residue, all over the boat, even though I used the high dollar "long life" tape. I also pulled this tape before its theoretical half life! Luckily, due to LP paint, I could clean this mess with MEK, but it still took a couple of days. With a milder solvent... who knows how long?

I could also use all manner of harsh cleaners and solvents on hundreds of stains, as well as waxy boatyard contaminates... and even Phosphoric acid on the rusty chainplates, as well as rust stains on deck. I also used "Ospho" on the hull's waterline "ICW mustache". I have never heard of another way to remove this stain.

When coating the nets with vinyl dip, the little drops got all over the hull in high winds, in spite of masking paper around the border. Only MEK, and large repeated wiping with it, would get them off.

When re-caulking around our new transom boot, as well as the chainplates, I could solvent wash up what got past the masking tape. It goes on and on...

The chemical resistant characteristics of LPs, as well as their lifespan, makes multi decade boat ownership possible for us. Like I've said... at least for me, I would have given it up a long time ago otherwise.

These photos show a couple of repairs that were just touched up. They show now, but when out sailing, they just go away...
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Old 10-08-2012, 11:22   #1308
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Re: Trimaran - Especially Searunner - Owners

Never been a worry Mark, just championing the greener, healthier alternatives......
Speaking of we did/are redoing our boat in WEST as we go along. I'd suggest anyone doing this do a smaller area at a time on the inside not to burn out. We stripped the entire maincabin at once scraping and sanding and it did take awhile. Thankfully inside the wings it had never been painted. For those with those old preservatives in any parts of the structure a epoxy coating will seal the stuff off. I was lucky in that only the ama bottoms were coated.
I've had good results on with Pettit Hydrocoat on bottom paint. you can dry out and relaunch with no problems making it ideal for a boat that takes the ground in tidal water. The water based paint makings painting less fumy. It does dry fast in warm weather but is a tougher abalative making over scrubbing less of a problem. Jamestown Marine has started to carry their version of it at reduced price which might be worth trying out.
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Old 10-08-2012, 13:01   #1309
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Re: Trimaran - Especially Searunner - Owners

The next step was the underwings, and the ceiling inside the wings' "vent hole". (We put our mesh trampoline in the top of ours, btw, rather than at the bottom of the hole, as drawn)...

When we did a "mostly" complete re-paint, 8 years ago, we DIDN'T do these two areas, because they looked so good. This was even though I had originally only used two top coats, (rather than the now preferred 3), and I had used inferior "white" primer, that lets the sun shine right through.

SO... these two areas were now just beginning to show the signs. There were fine, little cracks that were actually shrinkage of the epoxie's surface, due to UV exposure. The paint job had lasted 17 years!!! I have no doubt that under here, with only reflected sunlight, it could last 30 years or more, if applied to 3 top coats, over consistent, un-sanded through, GRAY primer. Our repaint under here will therefore never have to be done again! Knock wood...

The experiments begin!

I lower my cosmetic standards a notch every year, and figure we and the boat should weather together, so decided that I would not only do the vent hole ceiling with a brush, but the underwing with the "roller tip" technique. I am a "sprayer" from way back, and this would be new to us.

This technique also releases a lot of nasty VOCs, because each method uses the same ratio of solvent... (which also has to evaporate). The environmental advantage is that there is perhaps 30% less wasted paint, VS spraying. Either way, our carbon footprint has always been in the smallest .1%, so we just get "forgiveness" for this one. We will make up for it elsewhere.

We started with the vent hole ceiling, by acid washing away the hardware's rust, with Ospho... Then came the "guide coat". Next was the masking & solvent prep & tacking. This area is maddeningly difficult to paint. Look at these overhead areas and gussets that had to be painted! Those 50+ lashing eyes were all 316SS with 316SS screws, and bedded in epoxy. They were a lifetime, permanent installation, over the original paint, and NOT removable! This can only be done over LP paints or gelcoat, btw.

TEDIOUS:
As I said... we had to mask off each lashing eye leg, and scotch brite the ceiling between them. The flat areas were easy to prep, but the gussets' radii and fillets were also a challenge.

After a MEK solvent wash, we painted 3 coats of grey primer in one day. A 1" badger hair brush worked for most areas, with an artist brush used between the legs we otherwise couldn't get to. The next day, with NO sanding, and within the 24 hr chemical bond window, I did a repeat with 3 coats of top coat. It was two days of hard work, but for a 30 year solution... Removing and re-lashing in the tramps here, is is the real bitch.

One lesson here... I wanted it to dry fast enough to get on my 3 coats in one day, so added the number of accelerator drops I was used to spraying. I should've just omitted the accelerator, for paint that would sit in the pot all day. I could still get all 3 coats on... As it was, the paint was almost "going off" on me toward the end of the day. The brush marks show up, looking close, but from the ground, it look just fine!

Next was the underwings. I started by smearing "guide coat" over the surfaces to be painted. (This is Acetone with black pigment stirred into it, and smeared all around in little circles). This is later sanded off with 320 grit, on my Porter Cable DA sander. (Takes a day)...

Next, the same routine of solvent wash/tack, was followed by two coats of Gray primer. This was applied with what I referred to as a "Tampon roller". I was then verbally assailed by my wife, who said: "A tampon is NOT that large"! So, we'll call them "the little white hot dog rollers" from Lowes.

PROBLEM... The primer dries REALLY fast, too fast to tip in fact. This meant that the little roller induced bubbles didn't all pop. A quick call to AwlGrip confirmed my assumption, that I couldn't just roll coat #two over these bubbles. Now we QUICKLY hand sanded the wings with 220 grit, VERY lightly, just to pop the bubbles. Then tacked, and rolled on coat #2. This was the most possible in a day. Three coats would have been better.

The next day, although within the 24 hr chemical bond window, we had to at least "pop the bubble" sand. Our two coats of primer were not enough to sand "smooth", without going through, so I used 320 grit in my DA and knocked down the orange peel about 50%. Then we applied our first top coat...

The top coat goes on relatively smoothly, but has to be thinned to spec. Since I have more skills, I got Mariam to be the pan holder, paint mixer, & gofer, while I both rolled AND tipped. At 85 or so degrees, I could roll a 4' square, and then stop and tip what I just rolled. Then repeat... Every 5th time, Mariam would swish the 3" Badger hair brush in solvent to get a clean tip.

We got a coat on (both sides) for the 3 successive days this way, so counting the primer application, one needs 4 successive days with NO RAIN, to maintain the chemical bond... OR sand before your next coat.

The top coat levels out nicely, but is only as good as the primer, which we half sanded. So, the results look a bit "orange peel" to me. Under here, it just doesn't matter.

I am too hard on myself, however, because the numerous boatyard pros that came to take a look, thought it was GREAT!

So, now the wings too, will never need paint again!

Overall, I found it harder than spraying, with a bit less cosmetics as a result, but it requires FAR less masking, and there is less paint waste. It does, however, require a nice long 4 day weather window to avoid sanding between top coats. Other than our upcoming nonskid refresher coat... If I use Roller/tip on more areas in the future, (VS spraying), I will consult a roller/tip pro, to find out how to avoid those pesky primer bubbles. I know it can be done. They get a paint job as nice as sprayed.

M.
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Old 10-08-2012, 13:36   #1310
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Re: Trimaran - Especially Searunner - Owners

This was the partly sanded "guide coat". Then primer, followed by topcoats #1 and 2. They achieved 99% coverage. The 3rd and final topcoat WAS total coverage, and then some. Another advantage of gray primer, besides being opaque, is that it makes thin spots obvious. You get good consistent coverage, once NO gray is ghosting through.

M.
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Old 10-08-2012, 15:35   #1311
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Re: Trimaran - Especially Searunner - Owners

OK... winding down this segment on painting here. While in the yard "experimenting", (and thinking of alternate ways/places to haul out next time), I was thinking ahead to the next "whole boat" re-paint. In about 4 more years, when the majority of the boat's paint is at 12 years old, it may be due. Time for a bottom job too. Whether or not I can still do it is yet to be seen!

Since the underwings are now "done" for the duration, as is the vent hole's ceiling, the tramps can be left lashed up next time. (lashings are good for 10 years) The walls in there will still be OK too, as there is little UV exposure.

So... from the rub rail down, we're talking about the hulls only. Above the rub rail...

ALL of the cabin & deck non skid will be fine, and just beginning to turn flat, because we will roll on two very thin coats this summer. This will be REALLY easy to do... We will not use primer or add more grit. It is now "over done", and will still be rough enough, just easier to clean. (Our creek turns fresh in winter, and nasty green moss on deck becomes a problem).

Once you have an unbroken gray primer, UV barrier, all future top coats can be applied with NO primer. AwlGrip may say otherwise, but for wood/epoxy one offs like ours, the bond will be 100%, IF you do your prep. This is why ALL future painting on this boat will now be 1/3rd the work, time, and money.

I wish I'd known to apply a good layer of gray primer, followed by 3 topcoats, 17 years ago... and that's why I'm passing this on.

So, in this big 12 year re-paint, besides the hulls, there is the cabin sides, hatches & combings, and miles of trim stripes around the nonskid. The trim stripes around hardware, under cleats, hand holds, solar panels, etc, are FAR easier to do with a very small touch up spray gun. The hatches can be removed one at the time, taken home, and sprayed there. At the same time, the exposed deck portion of the combing can be done too.

We can do the cabin side "roller/tip", from our slip, as well. If this works out, what's left when we haul out is just the hulls. They are the big areas, but BY FAR the easiest to paint, and can be done either way, depending on the yard situation.

While in the boatyard recently, we also needed to change out the rudder's 8 year old rubber gear shift boot, for the tiller arm pass through. I looked hard to find these! It is VOLVO truck part # 8169281. The view of this, which is available on the internet, is universally WRONG, and pictures a small round boot. Ignore the diagram. That model # looks like this photo below.

If you have a square tiller arm, and bond in a schedule 40 PVC ring (made from sewer pipe), the fit with this boot is PERFECT!

I gave the old "surface cracked boot" a destruction test recently, and without a knife, I CAN'T! It was probably good for several more years. Nevertheless, I have two spares, and one goes cruising with us. (I always buy spares of small but important items, that wear out, and may become obsolete)...

The outside of the boot's base is glued to a Micarta trim ring, which is then caulked and bolted to the transom. The boot's outer "round end" is hose clamped to that tiller arm's PVC bonded in trim ring, with a wrap of 1/16", double sided, peel n stick foam tape... in the interface.

There ya go... a 10+ year, totally watertight, flexible boot for a Searunner tiller arm. Its the best solution that I've seen so far, and easy to replace. (I will try to discipline myself to keep 303 Protectant on this one)...

While the rudder was off, even though the paint was fine, I decided to take it home and spray paint it preemptively. This way, in that 12 year big paint, the rudder will not need painting, and need not be removed to paint the transom. I have grown weary of removing the rudder!

Hope these tips do someone some good!

M.
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Old 10-08-2012, 18:21   #1312
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Re: Trimaran - Especially Searunner - Owners

I have been hard at it in Alaska for the last two months. I have been on Face Book a lot. Mostly posting photos. If anyone is interested in seeing things you will probably never see anywhere else. Lots of ocean/big boat and land shots Check me out: Jack Molan

I will be back in Mexico in October after it cools down a bit. Hope all is well, looks like Mark is setting the bar higher with every post! Way to go Mark, you are a legend!

Jack
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Old 11-08-2012, 16:35   #1313
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Re: Trimaran - Especially Searunner - Owners

Hi Jack,
Welcome back!

Thanks for the kind words... Coming from an experienced searunner like yourself, that's quite a compliment!

Loved the photos! I have never used Facebook before, (being a computer Neanderthal), but Mariam new how. The shots of Scottish fishing boats brought back memories...

Last year we went to St Andrews and stayed at a good friend/client's flat. From there we toured all over Scotland. What a wonderful country! There is a fisherman's museum in Anstruther, where we learned the old ways of some very tough people. Fishing couples would get up and be off before Sun up, in freezing temps and sometimes gale force winds. The STRONG wife would carry her husband through the surf (to keep him dry), and he would board the anchored out "open" fishing row boat. He would get back after dark, exhausted... and his wife would have a simple dinner ready, after having worked in an oyster shucking plant all day. Tough life & tough people! You should all visit Scotland someday. Its a must see.

You know Jack, we all like "cruising" for different reasons. Some folks just like being at sea... I'm into preferably clear, shallow water, bucolic anchorages, and free diving, 5 or 6 hrs a day. One thing, however, that we all seem to have in common, is simply a thirst for a rich and varied life experience. You've got that one nailed down! What an interesting life!
Congratulations,
Mark
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Old 12-08-2012, 06:34   #1314
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Re: Trimaran - Especially Searunner - Owners

The next thing I was going to pass along to you guys was about these "zipper" repairs, but first I have to lay the groundwork...

ANY BOATER NEEDS TO KNOW THIS...

3-M, 471 blue, (now purple), plastic tape! I usually have a 3/4" wide roll in my car, the boat, and my tool bag. This very expensive, flexible/stretchy tape is > $20/roll, and worth every penny. I rate it above even duct tape for overall utility. (Order it from NAPA or CarQuest in ONE day.)

It is solvent resistant, and made for pinstriping around even VERY tight radii, (with the 1/4", as tight as a 1" radius). So, it is great for hundreds of painting chores, (even with LPs). Also... think about masking off the inside of our round cornered Searunner ports, for painting the interior of the cabin... The 1/4" will do this, and then the wider stuff, in lots of 2" pieces, makes the border wider. (The tape conforms better when warm). The rounded bases of stantions, cleats, hand holds, etc. can all be done this way. You streeeatch the narrow stuff around corners, then make the border wider with little tape pieces.

The lifespan out of the sun, and still be removable, with no mess, is YEARS! In the sun, about a month. It is still removable, however. NOT LIKE DUCT TAPE!

It is far superior when used as electrical tape, and doesn't turn to a gooey mess over time.

It is stretchy and springs back, so it is perfect for taping tools to a stick for reaching, or any two objects together. By wrapping each turn with 15#s of force, stretching as you go... after 10 wraps it is like it was mechanically attached!

I use it for burning rope ends the same way. (makes a compressed = "smaller" burn through with a hot knife. Then I remove the tape and ease the edges.

Likewise, it is perfect for end to end attachment of halyards to a length of 1/8th" parachute chord (with 2 knots in its end). This makes a connection so small and tight, that it goes over a sheave easily, when replacing halyards. You run multiple 8" pieces parallel, over the joint, then TIGHTLY spiral wrap that.

It can be used to temporarily repair leaks on any dry surface, (if wrapped enough times, TIGHTLY).

When preparing for hurricanes, I tape up all loose rope tails or coils securely, with it, so that they don't tatoo the paint. WIND AND WATER HAS NO EFFECT ON IT!

In a hurry? You could grab a whisker pole in the middle, hold it at the top lifeline wire, and wrap 471 around the two 5 times. With the middle secure, then do both ends, and then between those sections. With it wrapped like this, in 5 places, In less than ONE minute, I have secured a large pole for a Cat 4 hurricane, and it endured 150 MPH winds with no problem. A week later it all was removed, with no problem. Get the picture?

Now, HERE is how this relates to boat building & repairs. Epoxy WILL NOT STICK TO IT! It makes a perfect mold release for anything that you want to fiberglass. I can wrap a tennis ball tightly with strips of 3/4" 471, and then using glass fabric CUT ON THE BIAS, I can glass 60% of the way around the ball. Then I easily remove the glass shell, which DIDN'T stick to the taped ball, and trim it into a perfect hemisphere... Or use a funnel, or sections of a funnel (for making glass scoops and such).

For glassing a cardboard paper towel insert, for example... you can use >5 wraps of clouth, to make a fiberglass pipe. (Since the 471 covered cardboard doesn't stick, you collapse it later, and it pulls right out, leaving a fiberglass pipe). The possibilities are endless!

When we get to glass repairs later, basically... IF you border the repair area with 471, VS paper tapes, the excess glass won't stick, so it can be flipped up a bit, and sliced off with a razor blade, when the cure is "green". More on that...

Mark
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Old 12-08-2012, 07:34   #1315
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Re: Trimaran - Especially Searunner - Owners

The other groundwork info is about Bias cut fabric. (Not to be confused with Bi-axial, which is an EXPENSIVE, stiffer, factory produced product) As I intimated... If regular fabric is cut 45 degrees to the roll, the piece of cloth will compound conform to almost any shape. (Cut away selvedged edges). The example above tells it all, about this technique...

The other issue is in "reinforcing tapes" for seems, radii, and fillets. MAN, do Searunners have a lot of these! For the REALLY stressed joints in Delphys, (Mid wing & chines)... we used 3 successively narrower strips of VERY dense biaxial fabric. The varying widths made feathering out the edges easier. The stuff was a beast to work with, hard to wet out, and too stiff for tight fillets. It was also overkill if used in fillets.

Here, as well as in hundreds of linear feet of radii and fillets, (mostly radii), we used bias cut, 10 oz regular fabric. Being on the bias, it conformed better than lighter weight selvedged edge tape, but primarily, it was TWICE as strong at reinforcing the joint, because ALL of the fibers went across the joint, rather than just half, like with factory produced glass tape.

I used one or two layers in places, but on cabin top radii & gunnels, I used 3 successively narrower strips. (like 2, 3, and 4" wide) Then after careful feathering out, sanding away 40%, it left a VERY reinforced joint. NONE of these have ever failed.

For a small repair, cutting little pieces with scissors is the way to go, but for a BIG project, you need hundreds of feet of bias tape, in varying widths.

20+ years ago, when I had my own shop, I had a GREAT 5X9' vacuum bagging table. This had a removable pressboard cover on it when we were cutting glass. I would roll out the 10 oz fabric, covering the table. Then, I'd lay my aluminum straight edge DIAGONALLY, (= 45 degrees to the roll), and cut my tapes. For cutting, I used a pizza cutter style roller that you get from a fabric store. They are cheep, razor sharp, slice right through glass fabric, and one blade lasted us 5 years! (5 seconds per 8' cut)...

After each cut, MEASURE IT! Then carefully roll it up, (so as not to stretch or hourglass it at all, which they WANT to do). Next, wrap the little roll of bias glass tape with paper and a rubber band, then mark the length.

You make a box of hundreds of 2s, 3s, and 4s in width. This way, later, when building, you grab it, look for the right length piece, (as they will vary), and use it.

This process of making bias cut tape, like the rest of a boat project, is done mass production, assembly line style, for efficiency. Mariam and I, working together, cut HUNDREDS of feet, (enough for an entire boat), in ONE day.

For big projects, you need a lot of this stuff. Now that I just do little repairs, I just cut them from my scrap bag.

For all future repairs, use either biaxial OR the above bias cut tape, IF it is linear, and the crack is a joint OR with wood grain. If so... it will want to open up that way again, because that's where the stresses are. You want to waterproof the wood AND reinforce the obvious week point.

M.
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Old 12-08-2012, 08:10   #1316
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Re: Trimaran - Especially Searunner - Owners

Now, when I made reference to "zippers", I meant the little glass openings that happen on occasion, and look like zippers. So far, we have only had a few, and seldom from an over stressed joint. Usually it is near an opening in the glass job, like a caulked on fitting. The caulk can start to fail, and if it is a screw hole, (VS epoxy lined bolt hole), small amounts of water can get to the wood. Over time, it still doesn't rot, due to the lack of oxygen, (IF WEST system), but the wood swells, pulling the glass apart. If you keep a "one off" composite boat long enough, you will get these.

In the case of this hatch combing zipper, we put 471 tape over the crack to seal it, until it was convenient to repair it. This was a couple of months later...

When I was ready to tackle it... I made a quick & dirty dummy ama hatch, to keep it closed up, while I took the hatch home. Then I sliced off the 3/4" wide X 3" long piece of de-lammed glass on the combing, and sanded it down to clean looking wood. (1/8" deep) Next... Acetone swash and hair dryer it several times, to remove latent moisture. After this I carefully bordered the area surrounding the dishout with 471 tape. (2 rows wide) This is my mold release.

Now, for the repair, which will on a horizontal surface... I cut several pieces of bias cut scraps, and layed them onto the 15 minutes ago pre-coated "wound". This stack of layers stood high of the hatch around it, and lay on the tape as well.

You come back in an hour, and either stand by, or come back every 10 minutes. There is a point where it is "green". This is when 90% cured, dry, and fairly hard, BUT it will dent with your nail & bend. AT THIS POINT ONLY, you pick at the glass edge over the 471 tape, that it will not stick to, fold it up a bit, and work a single edged razor blade, Exacto knife, or scalpel in there, and slice off what is not stuck in the repair.

Time it right, and its "like butta"...

Next sand level & fair, "and then some", to make room for several topcoats of resin, (right away, 30-50 minutes apart)..

The following day, sand lightly, and with an artist brush, multicoat with your gray primer. Then on the third day you sand with 320, and "multicoat" top coat over it, and you're done. (About 4 hours total, for the entire job)

All references to "multicoating" are assuming 2 part paints, in a WARM environment, hours apart! With one part paints, follow their instructions, but STILL use a grey primer under the topcoat, if the rest of the boat has it.

For small "gouges", on the other hand, that do NOT go through to the wood, in a non stressed area, filling with Silica thickened epoxy works fine...

This may sound a little complicated for some, but with practice it becomes second nature. This sort of repair is WELL within the skill range of "anyone" who has any business owning a wood/epoxy composite boat. If you don't have these basic skills yet, practice on samples so you have them when you need them... And you will.

M.
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Old 12-08-2012, 08:24   #1317
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Re: Trimaran - Especially Searunner - Owners

Thanks for the insights on techniques. A couple of current problems eased and a question or two added. Seems to be the way it always goes, as I think about it.

First, I know you are located in eastern NC. As I live nearby, I'd like to know where you source things like glass cloth, carbon cloth and tapes, etc.? Second, regarding the 3M 471 tape, you specify the blue variety (or seem to, at least). Is there a difference between the colors in terms of characteristics in use? No distinction is made in the 3M literature that I can see (in my initial foray). Not picking nits here. I'll take hands-on experience to technical lit any day but is the tape color a distinction without a difference?
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Old 12-08-2012, 09:30   #1318
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Re: Trimaran - Especially Searunner - Owners

Quote:
Originally Posted by pwratch View Post
Thanks for the insights on techniques. A couple of current problems eased and a question or two added. Seems to be the way it always goes, as I think about it.

First, I know you are located in eastern NC. As I live nearby, I'd like to know where you source things like glass cloth, carbon cloth and tapes, etc.? Second, regarding the 3M 471 tape, you specify the blue variety (or seem to, at least). Is there a difference between the colors in terms of characteristics in use? No distinction is made in the 3M literature that I can see (in my initial foray). Not picking nits here. I'll take hands-on experience to technical lit any day but is the tape color a distinction without a difference?

Unfortunately, my volume of use is now so much lower, that I lost my true wholesale accounts years ago. (Out cruising for 12 years)... My PS account at West Marine gets me by here. For emergencies, Roys Marine in Bayboro has WEST System and AwlGrip stuff at better than West Marine retail prices, and the Ace Hardware marine store in Morehead City has a HUGE supply of commercial stuff, but at retail prices. For gallons of Awlgrip, Bock Marine boat yard will cut you the best deal. (20% off) Of coarse for large quantities, I order off of the Internet...

My guess is that the reps at 3-M don't know ANY of the things I reference about this tape. I have called them many times, and they are good at FAQs, but not much else... The tape I reference, 471 PLASTIC tape, always came in "blue only", for decades! This past year, they switched it to purple, and claim better adhesion. Otherwise it hasn't changed. ALL new 471 will now be purple, unless it is last year's stock, in which case it will be blue.

The green "fineline" is a totally different tape, with totally different characteristics. I seldom use it... It can't do much of the other things that 471 does, but DOES pop a VERY straight line, and is great for that, IF removed right after painting, say... bottom paint. It gets over stuck after 1 or 2 days!

ONE THING ABOUT BOTH FINE LINE AND 471... They are great for places that you must sand over the tape, or scuff it severely with a scotchbrite, because they don't fuzz up and get thin like paper tape, making them hard to pull later. (Places where you need to get RIGHT up to a line, or the base of hardware)

BUT, if you will be painting with LP paints, (which have fantastic film strength when dry), you need to pull the plastic tapes first, (PARTICULARLY if its the stretchy 471), and re-mask with 3-M blue PAPER tape, OR mask over the 471 with paper tape.

LPs won't stick to 471, so you can end up pulling the tape "out from under" the paint overspray line, (or overbrush line), thereby leaving little pesky flaps that have to be broken off later.

For all of our recent LP paint under the wings, we used the 3-M blue PAPER tape, Scotchbrited the 1/8th" paint overlaps with an acceptable amount of fuzzing up, sanded elsewhere, and the tape pulled fine, (when our final coat was still wet).

EXCEPT for radii... I don't normally use the purple 471 with LP paints... I use the blue paper tape.

Mark

BTW... After priming and sanding the 2 part primer lightly, (OR "completely", if after 24 hrs), remove the tape, and re-mask the line, or you will regret it after the topcoat is done, and pulling the tape means breaking the primer line too... all at the same pull.
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Old 13-08-2012, 07:49   #1319
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Re: Trimaran - Especially Searunner - Owners

The weekend was a washout for boatwork, and today I really do have to get some work done, but I have time for this one.

Multihull TRAMPOLINES:

Now, among Searunners... only the 34 has these, so some of this is exclusive to them, some to cat owners, and some applies to our bow nets as well. That's later...

In the US, many, perhaps most, get their tramps custom made by "Sunrise Nets". They do great work, and have been around a long time.

They tell me that my tramps, (which are 16+ years old, and sometimes get walked on 100+ times a day), are FAR beyond their usual service life, and wondered how it is that they are still in good shape. Here it is guys...

They have bolt rope track on the ama side, and frequent grommets on the other three. The corners are lashed in first, at a diagonal, and VERY TIGHT! Then the others are lashed in, starting with the middle side "trisecting" two. These two are TIGHT! Then the rest. That's 25 separate lashings on each tramp, VS lacing, zig zag style. This way, it is much tighter, immobile, and a lashing failure doesn't undo the rest.

Each lashing is 1/8" polyester parachute chord, from West Marine. I start with a 4' piece, tie to the pad eye with a small, tight bowline, and wrap through the grommet and around, three times. I then tie around these wraps in a single half hitch. I go round and round, loosening the half hitch, and grabbing the last wrap of chord, I re-snug the lashing, (1/8" tighter each time). SEVERAL times... This takes patience and strong, sailing gloved hands! When each lashing is under 100 lbs or more of tension, evenly, I tie in the half hitch, plus two more half hitches. Then snip the excess chord, burn the end with a melting iron, and while melted, mush it into the knot with a WET thumb, "ouch", and then apply a drop of epoxy to the outer half hitch portion, (only), of each lashing. These will stay bar tight and strong for > 10 years, NEVER come untied, and the tramps are SO tight that they DO NOT saw back and forth when you walk on them. Also, with only about 1" of sag with each step, it is really easy to walk on them. This lashing job takes me a long, blister handed day, (to do both tramps), but its worth it!

The other tip is: If your tramps start out with the black vinyl dip, and black vinyl border, like most do, RE-COAT them at the first sign of wear in the coating. (= white fibers showing) My guess... every 5 years for you.

We've done ours 3 times, and prefer the thicker of the two vinyl paints, (which is still like water). The folks at "Sunrise" are very helpful, and glad to sell you a quart or two of the stuff.

While still in place... Mask off the border. The mesh in the middle is easiest coated with a 3/16" nap roller, (1 very wet coat), and work it, but move on. The bubbles that stretch over some holes, pop with any form of air pressure, even blowing hard on them! after the top, do the bottom too! Yes, this is difficult & messy.

We re-did ours again this time, in the yard, and masked off the surrounding boat with paper, but that still left a mess in the 30 knot winds we had. The thin vinyl paint left a LOT of spatter drops, that wash up with water, but ONLY for about a minute! (Some were 20' away)! After that, it took MEK and a lot of close inspection. It had been blowing like stink for weeks, but we still should've waited.

SO... for the mesh it needs to be suspended, and the first time, that may be all that needs it, but after "10" years, the border will be weathered too. Then it is best to take them out, as the lashings are now due for preemptive replacement.

Next was coating the BORDERS only...

At home, we plopped them on the floor over a sheet poly tarp. Then we used 2" throwaway brushes, and coated 4 coats on each side. (2 per day) This stops the vinyl fabric's breaking down, as well as the stitches, which start becoming threadbare. It also halts the corrosion of the grommets. (We paint them AND the bolt rope too)!

I should mention, however, that BEFORE WE COATED THE ENTIRE BORDER, we glued down the small flaps of vinyl that extend beyond the stitches...

In our case, with the tramps being 16 years old, there was an area of concern. That area was where the polyester mesh disappears into the vinyl border. The vinyl had become more brittle, and pollen, as well as dust, had gotten under the flap, chaffing a bit on the mesh (on the bolt rope side only).

We lifted the 3/8" flaps, and after vacuuming, multicoated, (with an acid brush), the mesh down to the lower layer of the vinyl border. (In 6 or more coats, this stuff makes a GREAT long life glue)! Is is slightly flexible, but quite strong at bonding... Then we did the upper flap too, essentially filling the void and holes in the mesh, sealing this border/mesh interface, ALL around the tramps. Then we put tape on the under side, and filled the holes for one row inboard of this border's edge too. Debris can never get in there again!

The only place we were concerned, was parallel to the bolt rope, where the mesh meets the border. As I said, this was where we saw some chafe earlier.

We were sent some mesh to sew on a strip here, but I decided against it. I felt it was actually strong enough already, and with the old fabric mesh being so well coated (= a bit brittle), the needle holes might actually weaken it. As an extra safety measure...

ON THE UNDERSIDE, where it would not show... We mostly filled the holes on this side for 1" in toward the center. We would bridge this junction using 2" wide, selvaged edge glass tape (that was PRE "wet out" in a small mix pot of vinyl paint). After painting the mesh border edge, we immediately layed on this sopping piece of glass tape, with half on the sealed mesh, and half on the vinyl border. This was pressed out to remove any bubbles, and there were none. After setting up for a while, this tape got 5 or 6 top coats. It is PERMANENTLY burred, and bonded to the area of concern, with liquid vinyl. The border will remain "slightly" sticky for months, but this goes away, and it does NOT peel off over time.

This glass tape reinforcement was an experiment for us, but worked beautifully! Now the 16 year old tramps are like new again, "strength wise", and may last another 10 years... OR more.

The combination of separate "low stretch" lashings, keeping it really tight and immobile, eliminating chaff, filling the pores in the mesh, and vinyl paint re-coats every 5 years, has been money and energy well spent, imo. These things were EXPENSIVE, and new ones would be slightly "different". Making it to LAST, saves money in the long run.

Bow nets later:

Mark
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Old 14-08-2012, 05:26   #1320
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Re: Trimaran - Especially Searunner - Owners

Winding down on these posts now...
A couple more that I thought I'd pass on to you all, before I shift gears back to my maintenance schedule.

Homemade BOW NETS:

On production cats, they are mesh tramps instead, because they get walked in, laid in, and are far higher above the water. With our tris, the end of the net where the ama gets depressed in the water can actually scoop water, so you want either, NO nets, minimal sized trapezoidal nets, or triangular nets, and you want fairly large openings in the net.

The photos of huge bow to bow nets depicted in the old Searunner books, are from a different time. Only if your boat is equipped like them, does that make sense. What I'm referring to is multiple, hanked on headsails, (VS ONE that's roller furling/reefing), and a cutter rig that usually SAILS as a cutter. Also, back then... they used full spinnakers with no roller devices OR a sock! With all of the bow work going on with these older boats, full nets would catch your loose sails, give you a place to put the bagged one going up next, and offered quite a safety advantage!

Most boats these days DO use roller furling and spinnaker socks, so the needs are different. Performance oriented, sloop sailed boats, can omit the bow nets.

On Delphys, I started out with no bow nets. We even cruised to Central America and back without them. Then one day I found that I had sailed ALL DAY, with my lowered, rolled, and tied down staysail, DRAGGING UNDER THE BOAT, between the hulls! Waves had untied it, and put it over the wing's leading edge, and under the boat...

I SOON put in bow nets! Mine are fairly small trapezoids, that will catch a falling person, but are primarily to catch sails, hold the ones going up, and provide a place to dry dive gear.

On my SC 28, "Mana Loa", I did have hanked on headsails, but with such deeply depressed amas, I opted for a small triangle. I made these similar to the ones on Delphys, but have since learned a lot about how to make them last for decades, for the same money and a bit more work.

These were Mana Loa's nets. The side ones, btw, would sag TWO FEET when you walked in them!
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