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Thistle 1040 - Last round of fairing...

By Thistle1040 - Posted on 18 May 2012

Thistle fairing

There are two kinds of fairing when refinishing a boat. When you're sanding with a long board you're working on the overall shape of the hull, taking down the high spots. Then you add filler to the low spots and try to get the curves and shape of the hull smooth and fair. We're past this stage now with the Thistle. After the fairing for hull shape was complete the hull was glassed with 6oz cloth and epoxy. 

The next stage for fairing is preparation for paint. The fiberglass cloth often has pinholes and there may be areas where the cloth pattern is not filled with resin. All of these imperfections need to be filled and once completed, the hull will have a super-smooth finish ready for paint. I'm using epoxy and West 410 filler as a final epoxy coating before the first round of epoxy primer. The 410 filler sands well and after a few long dusty days, I should end up with a good finish for primer. I'll knock down the high spots with my DA using 80 grit, then use the long board with 80 grit to be sure things are nice and flat and finish off with 80 grit again with my 1/2 sheet sander. Before the primer goes on, I'll have to roll on one last barrier coat of epoxy. I like to use Progressive Low-V because it levels out well and I can sand this with 150 grit and get a good finish that's ready for the System Three Silver Tip primer that will be sprayed on as the base coat for the paint system.

It takes several days for the Silver Tip to fully cure. While it's dry but still curing, it's easily sandable. The last step before the topcoat is a two-part surfacing primer that is formulated specifically to work with the top coat. The top coat will be Mustang Grabber Blue and is applied as a two-part urethane base coat followed by a urethane clear coat. Yes, that's a long list of steps and layers of paint. From all the research I've done, it should all work together (as long as I let the epoxy primer fully cure) and we'll end up with a nice shiny blue boat. 

Warning: These paints have isocyanates in them and yes that word sounds like cyanide because that's what's in there. I have a forced-air respirator that I use when working with these. Don't try to use them without one. The Silver Tip Primer is water-based and is supposed to be non-toxic but I had a strong reaction from it the first time I used it. I use my respirator with Silver Tip too.

Best Marine Epoxy

My favorite epoxy? Progressive Basic No-Blush Epoxy

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