Baggy Wrinkles

Baggy Wrinkles
S/V Nautica, Hull #614, Built at Whitby Boatworks Ltd., Ontario, Canada 1977, one of the most recognizeable Carl Alberg designs. A masthead sloop displacing 9000 lbs, keel hull, Yanmar 15 hp diesel, LOA 30.27 Beam 8.75, Draft 4.29, roller furling headsail, tiller, berths for 4, interior teak bulkheads, teak cap rail and cockpit teak coamings, 12 volt lighting, aluminum mast support, Harken self tailing winches, in its day was designed for customers as a Cruiser-Racer, the Alberg 30 remains a Classic design of the modest Alberg inventory.

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Thursday, May 7, 2015

A classic boat needs a classic look. 

Now don't get me wrong, I love dark blue, reds, and even black for certain hull paints.  But it's a small boat with a big tradition, so I didn't want to over compensate for its size but to permit her style and appointments to show off her character.  So, after mulling it over, I thought that I'd go for less impact as sometimes, less is more!

I'd given it a quite a bit of thought, after all, you never see hull paint unless heeled-over underway, or if the boat is on the trailer in the yard.   But tired of the ablative red paint, which seemed to get all over everything, I chose a hard mono-urethane paint from Epifanes, color 3221 medium gray for the hull and "matahorn" white 3140 for the boot stripe.  I wonder if it is not matterhorn because it is made in New England and the accent prevailed in the spelling of the brochure?  Now neither color is either grey or white, just a version of it. 

I wanted something subtle for this old girl.  Like you don't want to see an old guy wearing a muscle shirt, or a dignified older lady wearing a mini-skirt, a classic old boat need be careful to not be too brassy or bold or trendy.  So, subdued she goes...  And I had to match the colors to the freeboard white which has had some wear and tear, a bit of age to it, like old ivory.  I couldn't get too exciting with colors up against the existing white.  And I wanted to balance the boat's appearance a bit more too, raising the waterline, and resizing the bootstripe to give her a bit more panache underway.  Can I say that, panache?  Will anyone understand that?

The big challenge in this process was waiting for a weather "window" which would permit me the best combination of temperature and humidity and pollen count so that the paint would adhere and tighten-up the best it could.  This worried me a lot.  So, during painting I only managed to get a couple of action shots.  Going through a gazillion surgical gloves, I managed to snap one or two photos while I was painting.  However, most of the photos came at the conclusion of the process.  Here she is after the bottom is complete and drying...
The wobble in the finish is due to the paint being a bit too thick on first application.  The bunks are not touching the hull as they are really about 12 inches from the hull.  The only place not painted is directly under the keel.  Oh well.

I made some mistakes!  What a surprise!  Of course I did.  My first coat should have been thinned 5-10%, but I missed reading that until later, lol.  No wonder it was like glue going on.  Brilliant.  I learned quite a bit in the process and managed to sidestep the crisis as best I could plus, the paint is so good that even with the application misstep, the paint still beams.  The temps were variable, and though in 60s, the sun's rays managed to dry out areas of the paint a bit too quickly in my opinion.  I didn't get the optimal mirror-like hull I'd hoped to achieve after all my work.  Frustrated with my thinning failure I compensated by being careful and rolling and tipping as best I could given the circumstances.  Maybe I will revisit this experience in a couple of years when I've forgotten how painful it is to crawl around and under a boat tied-off between two trees.

But, for all my self-criticism, I think she turned out better than I'd expected for the first coating.  Maybe I'll gain half a knot hull speed?