It's hard to believe that after several weeks I may be getting closer to painting this old girl. At first, the task was overwhelming. The ablative paint feels like felt to the touch. It wipes off so easily and gets on your clothing, your hands and legs, even in ordinary use when launching and hauling out. Seemed to me it might be easily removed but not a thought of that. The ablative was like a protective shield against the creatures of the brine.
|Before removal it is the chore you just don't want to face...|
|After removal it is a remarkable journey of persistence...|
However, once begun, the task moved ever so slowly. It's a painfully slow process and also physically painful task to reach, extended, push, draw back and forth, attempting to etch away at the hard ablative base. While I used a vacuum to evacuate the red dust that fell quickly away from the hull, the remainder was tenacious. Do not attempt this if you are weak spirited!
|My Dewalt's size kept me from removing too much fiberglass|
I had devoted several weeks or more to the process. I knew it would "smoke me" physically. There isn't a good position from which to sand the hull. I've tried them all. The best I could do was a 5 gallon bucket and an old flotation seat pad. Otherwise I was on the ground wrenching my body under the hull, precariously tied-off to trees above, and crawling over the trailer axles, something which requires flexibility not always available at my age.
There's always a long of it and a short of it. The short of it was that I could have just paid for the work to be done, something rather painful in another aspect! The long of it was that I could do it myself, risking physical entanglement beneath the hull and the many questions on procedure, mechanical blunders, the weather, the fire ants, and the long road to accomplishment. I chose the long road. I'm hard-headed. Plus, I love my Typhoon, it seems easy to endure this just because I want to do it. Strange sort of motivation isn't it?
And after what has seemed a marathon race or weeks of incarceration depending on your view, I'm on the verge of painting the hull. Awaiting the arrival of paints, I've found a new surge of energy using 320 grit sandpaper, my latex gloves run across the hull and back, finding the least imperfection. "It's just about done, don't you think?" I muse to myself ,and seem unwilling to stop this insane prep work for some odd reason. I've become accustomed to this ordeal in a reflective sort of way you might get used to something like military service, something you at first thought was incredibly hard and unusual which later became second-nature and after, fondly thought of.
So then, it's almost time to paint...
|Notice pencil mark at upper left the new waterline. Boot stripe will be above that line reaching to the tip of the lower stern.|