October 23, 2016 Hours spent building to date: 2,992
I spent many boring hours last week sanding, taping and painting in the berth area. Also finished up the basic wiring with big fuses to handle the loads coming into the batteries from the charger.
The berth painting got a big assist from Matt and Jessica from mjsailing.com, an excellent sailing and boatbuilding blog that has become one of my favorites with Sundowner Sails Again.
Even for interior paint, I like to use WEST system foam rollers since they give a very smooth surface with almost no stipple, even on plywood. Its possible to cut them in two for tight areas, but they don’t fit well on handles they aren’t designed for. So I was doing too much brushing and getting the inevitable brush strokes.
But I saw a video of Jessica (their first) painting out their berth area using those four-inch foam rollers with a proprietary handle that you see at the hardware store and home center. I have been suspicious of them since they seem a little lightweight, and Ray had given them a try with not great results. But I forged ahead and got a really good finish using them in the tight spots, just as good as the WEST rollers in the larger areas. Reviewing the video of Jess painting several times (watching Jessica is not real hard work, I might add) I think the secret is to make sure the roller is saturated but not dripping paint, then just roll and roll until the coating is really thin. The rollers are very dense, so once you get to that point, the surface becomes quite smooth. Then I did a final “cleaning” pass with an almost dry roller. You really wouldn’t want to try this on a house or your arms would give out, but on the small areas of a boat, the roll-then-roll-some-more technique seems to work.
Matt and Jessica are interesting kids. The look like the handsome, cool, totally wired millennials that crowd the streets of Brooklyn these days. But they started off in Michigan on a Sabre 34 Targa (a very good boat, but what I would describe as a coastal cruiser), worked their way down to Central America, then across the Atlantic to the Azores. They spotted a “fixer-upper” they wanted back in Florida, so they sailed BACK across the Atlantic to buy the new boat, sold the Sabre, and have been working like dogs on it ever since, doing a really fine job. They also adopted a sea-going cat during their travels, which puts them in good stead with the Kessinger-Cole-Sparta family.
If Matt and Jessica and Tate and Dani are truly representative of the thirty-something generation, their grit and determination bodes well for the future.