Monday, September 12, 2011

During the weekend that I was gone from Lake Erie the marina moved Second Wind out to the center of the floor so that they could lift her off the cradle and put her on stands in preparation for finishing the bottom under the spots left by the cradle stand pads and the keel blocks.

The five coats of barrier on the lower hull took a full five gallons of the two-part epoxy barrier coat (alternating between gray and white coats), so it was necessary to purchase a sixth kit and divide it into five small batches. Of course, until the pad spots were exposed I had no idea what blisters or other damage I would find underneath.

As luck would have it there were six untreated blisters and four that Fred Nelson, the original owner, had ground out and partially filled. With the experience in doing the rest of the hull, these took just a few hours to remedy. Naturally, once the job was done I discovered another web site on blister repair that cautioned against using the "high density" epoxy filler since it cured extremely hard and was difficult to sand - now they tell me!! Oh well, if that's the biggest mistake I've made it's nothing to be concerned about. But using the "low density" filler would have cut my sanding time in half and probably yielded a slightly smoother, more faired finish.

I had plenty of antifouling paint left over, so I quickly rolled on the final coats and had enough left over to put a third coat on almost all of the hull. The thickness of the seven coats is amazing - about as thick as three playing cards - and is hard as a rock. In between coats I finished reinstalling the mast lights and sorted out all of the standing and running rigging. The final chore was storing everything aboard for the spring launching and then packing up all the tools, extraneous parts, etc. to take home. By the time I was done the only available space in my SUV was the driver's seat!

Brands' Marina wasted no time in moving the mast to the storage rack and putting Second Wind back on her cradle, and within 24 hours she was shrink-wrapped and stored outdoors until next April's launch. Stay tuned for the final chapter in the saga - launch and the shake down!