The bottom line: What it cost to epoxy Duet

June 21, 2014 at 3:50 pm

I have just about finished the bottom scraping/filling/sanding/painting now, bar underneath one pad (whoop!).

Duet Hurley 22 Epoxy
As a recap this is what has been completed below the waterline:

1) Professionally sandblasted to remove all old antifoul
2) Rub over with Hempel Degreaser
3) Filled any obvious blemishes with Plastic Padding Marine Epoxy Filler
4) Sand off filler (fair)
5) 1 coat of Hempel Gelprotect SFE 200
6) Fill again with the Plastic Padding (and fair again)
7) Another coat of Hempel Gelprotect SFE 200
8) Fill again with the Plastic Padding (and fair again)
9) A 3rd coat of Hempel Gelprotect SFE 200
10) Fill again with the Plastic Padding
11) At this point I had some hot weather and I’d left the epoxy paint on too long before overcoating so it had cured and I had to rub it all down lightly with some wet and dry (only needed a tickle though) before proceeding to:
12) A 4th and final coat of Hempel Gelprotect SFE 200!
13) Masked up again for the boot top and painted that and the antifouling together as they didn’t touch. I’ve left a masking tape width of epoxy paint visible between the antifoul and boot top. If it fouls badly this season I’ll paint it over next year (and it should be easy to keep scrubbed off anyway)
14) Final second coat of antifouling (and a third along the waterline and the leading edges of the keel and rudder)
15) I’ve got plenty of paint left over for the bottom of the keel and again for the leading edges when she’s lifted to go back in!

That’s alot of steps, eh? So, in a nutshell, I used just over a litre of paint per coat (so a 2.5 litre tin did 2 coats easily). I’ve lots of antifoul left, and had plenty of epoxy left for touch ups (eg halfway through I took out and refitted one of the skin fittings and then painted over the sikaflex again with epoxy – there’s no way that’s going to leak!). I’ve also got half a tin of boot top paint left, ready for next year.

Duet Hurley 22 Epoxy Paint

I’ve never used a 2 pack paint (like the Gelprotect) before and was a bit nervous about all the horror stories I’ve heard about it going off in the tin before you’ve had a chance to use it, but I found it really easy to use. The Hempel has a thin coloured part, and the other is thick white and smells of copydex glue, rather than the noxious smell of International’s Interprotect i’ve seen others use (and smells like it would make you high!). I mixed up enough for both sides at a time (half a tin of each part) and it was just about going tacky by the time I got to the end of the second side.

Gelprotect supposedly has a 5 day overcoat window at 20 degrees, though we have had a warmer spell and between the 2nd and 3rd coats I left it 5 days and it had gone off too much for the 3rd coat to adhere so I had to key it again with some wet and dry.  Didn’t take too long though…

There wasn’t much to fill, just lots of small ‘pinpricks’ which apparently aren’t osmisis but an anomaly with the gelcoat. These were most noticable in one patch on the waterline (as seen in this video here) but were also on the keel and around the outboard well hole. I just kept filling between each coat, and then filled them with paint on the last epoxy coat.

Duet Hurley 22 Epoxy Filling

Filling between coats

It was quite an expensive operation all told, though I did save a lot of money buying the paint at Beaulieu Boat Jumble. I think I saved about £120 on retail prices on the Gelprotect and Tiger Xtra I bought. All the tins were dented as it’s these that are sold off cheap and I was a little concerned about their age and whether they would go off OK. However, the Gelprotect is labelled Hempel (so couldn’t have been that old as they were only rebranded from Blakes fairly recently) and despite a nervous wait after the first coat went off fine! The tin of Blakes Tiger Xtra was very settled and took some stirring but it came together in the end. The proof will be how badly she fouls this season, though she does look very smart!

What I have also done to cut costs is shop around a lot for tools.  Tool Station has become my second home (and you get free tea/coffee ther too!) It is crazily cheaper than Wickes or B&Q.  For example a white disposable suit is £7.99 in Wickes, but only £1.80 at Tool Station.

So below is a breakdown of what I have spent on the exterior works (including the topsides and brightwork). I could have saved £300 straight off if I had scraped her myself instead of sandblasting (and I think it would have taken 3 days to scrape and sand), but I was having back issues and am quite glad not to have been covered in noxious antifoul dust. Also, I used the rollers, trays and brushes as disposable – there just isn’t anywhere at my yard to safely clean brushes other than the open drains in the yard and I think they go straight into Portland Harbour, which clearly you don’t want to pollute! Painting the bottom of a boat is very messy and it was easier just to do the job and then put everything, including your suit and gloves into a bin bag and put it straight in the bin.  Probably best not to dwell on the landfill aspect, but brush cleaners and thinners aren’t cheap either…

Duet Hurley 22 Epoxy Paint Costs

Would I do it again? Well, I’m not actually sure, to be honest… The antifouling badly needed to come off, as it was cracked and flaking and pretty much falling off by itself… and then I hurt my neck so couldn’t do the scraping easily (and I’m not the most patient person…) so I had her sandblasted, and that presented a really good opportunity to epoxy her, which creates a waterproof barrier and is supposed to prevent osmosis.  I don’t think I’ve added much value (other than looks) or safety for a whole heap of effort, but think these things add up to make her more saleable if ever (when) I decide to do that.  On the other hand, I do feel comfort having sealed up all those pinprick holes I found in her gelcoat. I’m pretty sure they would have let water through to the matting and had the potential to start osmosis. (Though, at the end of the day, no boat ever sank of osmosis…) I might also get an extra half a knot with a smooth bottom?  We shall see…

It is a lot of money though, when you consider the value of the boat and I can’t help thinking it would have been better spent on, say, the rigging… or even a sprayhood as originally budgeted.  On the other hand, it is less than the cost of a chartplotter…

What do you think?

Top Tips:

  • Buy lots of disposable gloves and when you get messy and it’s going down your arm and your hair’s going in your face just put another pair on over the top.  Instant clean hands.
  • I bought a pack of proper paint stirrers like this.  They were great! The antifoul opened to to reveal a lumpy stodge covered in thinners and it easily stirred back together.
  • It’s recommended that you buy 2 different colour epoxy paints and then alternate them so you can see where you’ve been.  I had no choice other than grey on offer at Beaulieu so got all grey.  My mixing wasn’t that exact (half a tin of each part, bosh) so they were ‘slightly’ different hues which worked.  Also, of you look closely the paint has a different finish wet and dry.
  • I didn’t bother buying expensive measuring kettles that you can only use once: I think there is a good range of variation built in, and it’s not difficult to measure out half a tin.
  • According to the tin (and the paint manufacturers) you’re supposed to do a coat of underwater primer between the epoxy and the antifoul.  The chandlers said not to bother though, which I didn’t, and it seems to have stuck properly without it.

How I Saved My Sole

May 28, 2014 at 7:17 pm

When I bought Duet she had fitted carpet.  It was green (though it may once have been blue?), hessian backed and full of sand.  It was stuck to her 3 piece plywood cabin sole with lots of double sided carpet tape and it had to go.  I think ripping that out was one of the first things I ever did.

However, I was only able to remove 2 pieces and it left a horrible residue that stuck to your flip flops so I quickly bought some cheap door mats that didn’t fit properly and looked worse than the carpet had been.  The middle section remained carpeted as it was not only sticky taped down but was also sandwiched in place underneath a corroded table leg fitting.  It wasn’t nice.

Hurley 22 Cabin Sole

Before: Green carpet, sand and corrosion.

Originally I had planned to bin the lot after cutting some new ones using them as a template. However, to be honest my woodworking skills are pretty minimal and besides I don’t own a jigsaw, so one day while I was prepping the rubbing strake I had a bit of left over Nitromors which I slapped on the glue tape, and lo… it was dissolved and could be scraped off!  I brought the boards home for some intensive TLC.

Now, anyone who knows me will know that I do rather like stripes… And I have always thought that the lovely striped teak and holly cabin soles on boats are very smart. However, teak and holly inlaid 12mm ply is an eye watering £300 a sheet, while laminate to stick on top yourself is over £150 a sheet. Way out of my budget.

Then I saw this awesome hack with a roll of masking tape and some white paint. I clearly had to give that a go!

The sticky tape and varnish took 2 goes with Nitromors to remove, and I scraped off the gunk each time before reapplying.  Finally it had a good scrub with a hard brush and some washing up liquid.  Once it was dry it had a good sand and then a wipe over with some white spirit to remove the dust before I started with the masking tape and white paint trickery.

Cabin Sole Refurbishment Hurley 22

Left: one go with the Nitromors, Centre: Original, Left: 2 coats of nitromors and sanded

Cabin Sole Refurbishment Hurley 22

Stripped, sanded and ready to go

Cabin Sole Refurbishment Hurley 22

Masking up. I did this by eye using the width of the tape

Cabin Sole Refurbishment Hurley 22

Painted with a watered down white emulsion

Cabin Sole Refurbishment Hurley 22

“The Reveal” Unfortunately I didn’t press the edge of the tape down well enough in places and there was some bleed. But I neatened it up again by cleaning the edges with a fresh paint brush dipped in water before it dried.

Cabin Sole Refurbishment Hurley 22

Back in the kitchen it got 2 coats of exterior silk varnish.

I have also bought 2 new brass ring pulls from which came from Australia via eBay as they were 50mm size which seems to be non-standard for the UK.  They cost $30 including shipping, so that’s £15 for the pair.  I also bought a new table base from eBay for £7 – it’s plastic so won’t corrode again.

I’m really chuffed with the result, it’s a vast improvement – they’ve gone from “Grotty to Yachty” (sorry I couldn’t resist that)

There are a few blemishes in the wood, and the stripes aren’t perfect but it’s flooring and hopefully won’t be looked at that closely. Anyway it’s all “character”, eh?


May Bank Holiday #1

May 8, 2014 at 12:19 pm

Well, I took advantage of a hiatus in work and have just returned from what seemed like a mammoth 4 days down at the boat, though I only appear to have managed to cross 2 things off the list this weekend!

Annoyingly, I spent a fair bit of time on ‘rework’ after I lifted the lid on the lazarette to find everything covered in blue dust after the sand blasting, even though I’d previously scrubbed it out…

Blue lazarette Hurley 22 Duet

The blue lazarette before I cleaned it (again)

I was also really dismayed (read: p****d off) to discover that after my heroic attempts with the rubbing compound, Cillit Bang and polish that my neighbour had managed to liberally drizzle the starboard side with blue Tiger Xtra antifouling!  Luckily the yard sorted that out and the owner was made to purchase me some No. 3 Thinners from Bussells and with some elbow grease and another polish it did come off, though for a bit it looked like I was going to have awful blue streaked staining down one side.  It will need another wax though… Interestingly the owner swore blind it wasn’t him as he didn’t get any on his glasses.  It must have been really windy and just come off the roller and gone sideways straight onto my boat.  Some of the drizzles were over 3 inches long!  Let that be a lesson to us all.

Slowly progressed on the interior, just about managed to finish with the wire brush and drill this weekend – I have a video update here:

I also managed to get the middle section of the bilge boards / cabin sole off by unbolting it from underneath. There is a crack in it (circled red below) and it’s pretty wobbly, even with the boards in.  I was also really surprised to see how flimsy the middle section  is! I think this will need to be repaired with some glass matting to strengthen it up somewhat. I had originally intended to replace the boards with new but I think they’ve shown surprising promise after a little Nitromors so I have plans for them and have bought them all home for a little tlc.

Cabin Sole Hurley 22 Duet

The red circle marks a crack. Very wobbly.

I managed to get 3 coats of Olj Deks on the brightwork on the cabin roof  before the rain set in.  Always good to see your progress… Annoyingly though I left the replacement teak strip at home (I bought it from Taff Howells at Beaulieu last week end).  There’s nothing like manky teak deck fittings to make a boat look unloved, and it’s not that much of a job to turn them around. I’m loving the Deks Olj, think it has a really nice finish and it’s really easy to apply.  No need to worry about a drippy finish like with varnish.

brightwork Hurley 22 Duet

In other news, I have booked my re-launch for the 3rd June.  Fingers crossed I should make it: I need a nice run of 4 days to epoxy and antifoul the bottom and I think I can get the painting done in another 2 days or so…  But at least I think I’m nearly at the end of the really grotty jobs now.

All systems go!

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