First post. I thought I'd start off strong out the of the gate
I live in the SF Bay
Area, and no, I donít work in tech. I actually keep bees and take photos for a living. Itís a gold mine! Just kidding, but I digressÖ My new boat is a Skookum 47. I crewed aboard her for 6 months from Mazatlan, Mexico
to Costa Rica
and know the boat well. The captain
reached out to me a while back and wanted to know if Iíd like to purchase
her. I tentatively agreed pending a 1st person visit/survey. So last January I drove myself down for a look. (Ah, nothing like the smell of Mexico
. Thereís something so familiar about smoldering trash, exhaust
fumes, and grilled jalapeŮos that just gets me. I love it.) Anyway, back to the boat. Sheís as big and sturdy as ever - daunting almost - as my first boat was a Pearson
Ariel (all of 26ft). The only (wink wink) problem is that the gelcoat
(topside only) is delaminating.
My first question is, with such an impressively overbuilt boat where quality seemed to matter most, how and why is this happening? Did the factory take a short cut? Was it just sloppy workmanship? Was this a chemical reaction they were unaware of? Iíll attach some pictures to give you an idea of what's happening. What I do know is that she was laid up in 1980 at the yard in Washington
, but not launched until much later, maybe even as late as the early 90's. Wondering if anyone knows the history
of Skookum, or even possibly some kind of first hand knowledge about the current
issue? I don't know how many 47's they built or whether this is/was a common issue. Any help/insight would be greatly appreciated. Iíve looked down a few avenues, but have come up short on information.
As she lies, the gel on the walkways and the coachroof, are in places, coming off in slabs. In a way, I guess is a good thing, as it will mean less grinding for me
stops an inch or so from the bulkworks for the entirety of the boat, so I am hoping/guessing I can grind a clean line and work from there. I donít really care about getting the decks perfectly faired, as I will be putting an aggressive tread coating over that will mask imperfections. Iíve got a pint of Kiwigrip coming soon, and will throw down a test patch on some plywood
to see what I think of it. On my Pearson
, the molded non-skid was toast, and I used a one-part poly with coarse grip and liked it. I also did some deck-coring repair work, and the non-skid/paint + primer masked my rough fairing job perfectly.
I do, however, want the sides of the coachroof to look nice and faired (nay, factory finished!). Iíll be pulling all hardware
, etc for a clean working area (the ports
need re-bedding anyway - what's the best bedding compound for ports out there so I can make a reference of it?). Iíve been lurking here for a little while, typing in searches to gain as much knowledge as to the varying roads I could take. I have to say a big ďthanksĒ to the Nauticat 52 thread by Minaret. I was tossing and turning in bed
the other night asking myself, ďIs this even possible? Can I even tackle this and not majorly muck it up?!Ē But after seeing his thread, I believe I can do it. I also was blown away by the abrupt change with the course of the thread. I hope everything is righted in the end.
I am putting together a list of equipment
to bring down to tackle this job. My crazy plan is to head
down in early November from SF, hauling most of what I need to get this done in my trusty í84 VW Westfalia. Now before you scoff, sheís rebuilt with a bigger engine
and is very reliable. Iíve already made it down once with her!
And itís perfect in that I donít have to live aboard while work is going on. Already did that once, and it sucked.
Based on the decision to re-shoot gelcoat
, as I think itís the more repairable and forgiving material to work with, I still have a few questions. I am not looking for perfection like Minaret, but I would like this to look nice. My main concern is not having this ever happen again, and looking good is a close 2nd. Doing anything less to this beautiful boat would be a disservice. I used to be a paint
contractor with good spray/masking skills, and as such, I have a pretty good idea of the prep involved (weíll see if that statement comes back to bite me!) The caveat is Iíve only got 3-4 weeks to rock and roll, and then I have to get back home. I donít know if I can even get the decks prepped in that period of time, let alone get a layer of gel on. Maybe Iíll only be able to grind and put on a layer of primer? Maybe I just do a section at a time? I dunnoÖ still trying to work a plan.
One of my big questions is how to go about stripping the gelcoat that still remains intact? Grinders? A peeler ($$$)? Iíve seen some murmurs about using a concrete/mason grinder (I think?). I donít currently own a grinder, so any recommendations for this specific job would be helpful. But once I accomplish stripping the deck
, I am thinking Awlgrip 545 for the base coat, then a coat of Awlquick, and then starting with the gelcoat. Does that sound like a decent game
plan? I am also going to take Minaretís advice and purchase
these items for spraying the gelcoat:
Amazon.com: DeVilbiss 802342 StartingLine HVLP Gravity Spray Gun Kit: Automotive
along with a 20-30gal compressor
. Will I need some sort of extra pressure regulator
for proper flow rate? Iíve only ever used Graco airless sprayers, so technology wise, this is sort of new territory for me.
I am also putting together a spread sheet of materials (plus quantities needed), tools, and equipment
that I'll upload at some point, but this is what I have so far:
rags - tons!
drill + bits
I will be getting a few tyvek suits, using a fully enclosed face mask/3m respirator, as I plan to enjoy life moving forward
I welcome recommended ideas on materials/tools that will make the job move along quicker, more efficient, etc. The list I have now is pretty bare bones, but I just wanted to get this up and get some feedback. Thanks in advance!
Here are a few images
of the decks.