Admiral Hornblower

Iips for painting a Laser hull.

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Hi, any tips for painting my laser hull? The gelcoat is faded and dusty as well as being covered in fine scratches. 

Could I use paint? Or does it have to be gelcoat? Would paint like this work https://www.amazon.com/Rust-Oleum-206999-Marine-Topside-1-Quart/dp/B000BZTJT2/ref=sr_1_

I'm trying to get this done before the wet season sets in here in Ohio, (I would have to paint it outside)

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11 minutes ago, Admiral Hornblower said:

Hi, any tips for painting my laser hull? The gelcoat is faded and dusty as well as being covered in fine scratches. 

Could I use paint? Or does it have to be gelcoat? Would paint like this work https://www.amazon.com/Rust-Oleum-206999-Marine-Topside-1-Quart/dp/B000BZTJT2/ref=sr_1_

I'm trying to get this done before the wet season sets in here in Ohio, (I would have to paint it outside)

Wet sand, compound and polish. No paint needed.

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3M Heavy wax then use the 3M cleaner wax and finish it off with collinite. Here's some before and after on the one I did but I didn't use collinite, please ignore the giant patch on the side it lost a fight with another boat before I got it.

IMG_3258.HEIC

IMG_3273.HEIC

IMG_3274.HEIC

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how does a sanded polished hull...ect, compare to  fresh paint in looks?

someone from our club said that if I sanded down all the scratches without repainting it would weaken the hull...

 

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I didn't sand mine, it looks pretty fresh after taking years of club boat neglect

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I should probably add that I used acid to get the yellowing out

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3 minutes ago, LTFF said:

3M Heavy wax then use the 3M cleaner wax and finish it off with collinite. Here's some before and after on the one I did but I didn't use collinite, please ignore the giant patch on the side it lost a fight with another boat before I got it.

IMG_3258.HEIC

IMG_3273.HEIC

IMG_3274.HEIC

For some reason I can't view those pics...

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A little disappointed by the suggestions so far, given the title of this topic... (wink)

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11 minutes ago, thengling said:

A little disappointed by the suggestions so far, given the title of this topic... (wink)

Tempting, but the Admiral is a minor...

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Scratches in the gel coat are not an issue. The dullness may just be oxidation. Lots of product out there to deal with that. I had a very faded Lightning that I brought to life. 
Kudos for pride in ownership!

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51 minutes ago, Admiral Hornblower said:

For some reason I can't view those pics...

I re-uploaded them hopefully they work

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15 minutes ago, LTFF said:

Here’s another one I did

CB059E6B-F215-4FF2-8ECB-AE6524399372.jpeg

Wow, I think that might be the way to go for me! Much simpler and cheaper than painting.

My laser happens to be a 73' as well

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The scratches on my gelcoat are all the way through to the laminate and there are very many. This is presumably because it is a former club boat from Whistler that was dragged over pointy rocks in a glacial lake. Will a good coat of wax fill in those voids, and render the scratches cosmetic? If I sand the gelcoat right off and paint carefully, am I a creating a "cheater" boat? 

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2 hours ago, spankoka said:

The scratches on my gelcoat are all the way through to the laminate and there are very many. This is presumably because it is a former club boat from Whistler that was dragged over pointy rocks in a glacial lake. Will a good coat of wax fill in those voids, and render the scratches cosmetic? If I sand the gelcoat right off and paint carefully, am I a creating a "cheater" boat? 

Eh wax probably won't fill them like your thinking yea it'll fill it but you're still going to notice them. As far as the gel coat its depends on how bad the damage is that might be more work than its worth. It might be best to wet sand the light ones and leave the bad ones. Do you have a picture?

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My most useful tip for painting a Laser hull at home, DONT.

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18 minutes ago, Xeon said:

My most useful tip for painting a Laser hull at home, DONT.

Unless the gelcoat is really gone, yeah.  ^ this ^

My suggestion... turn the hull upside down, get a bucket/hose and a stack of wet-dry sandpaper, and a wide, limber, batten. A wood paint-stirrer is a little too stiff but if you plane or belt-sand it by 1/3 or so, that's perfect. 

Start with 600 grit, wet-sand the entire hull with the batten fore/aft. Then go to 800 grit, with some dish soap added to the water. Then 1000 grit, by which time you don't need the batten.

After it's all down to 1000 git fine ness, and the humps//hollows have been at least somewhat smoothed out, you should have a fast surface that is relatively decent looking. You might see some splotchy-ness if the gel coat is getting thin.

This will not weaken the hull, the strength of fiberglass is in the glass fibers. If you start seeing cloth, THEN you're at risk of weakening the hull. Don't!

If you want it shiny, go to the car parts store and get some Meguire's wax-free polishing compound. Use fine or very fine. The 3M heavy compound that was mentioned above is great for smoothing out and spiffing up chalky gel coat, but for a racing hull it will not address fairing (humps/hollows) and I think it only comes in wax.

FB- Doug

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2 minutes ago, Steam Flyer said:

Unless the gelcoat is really gone, yeah.  ^ this ^

My suggestion... turn the hull upside down, get a bucket/hose and a stack of wet-dry sandpaper, and a wide, limber, batten. A wood paint-stirrer is a little too stiff but if you plane or belt-sand it by 1/3 or so, that's perfect. 

Start with 600 grit, wet-sand the entire hull with the batten fore/aft. Then go to 800 grit, with some dish soap added to the water. Then 1000 grit, by which time you don't need the batten.

After it's all down to 1000 git fine ness, and the humps//hollows have been at least somewhat smoothed out, you should have a fast surface that is relatively decent looking. You might see some splotchy-ness if the gel coat is getting thin.

This will not weaken the hull, the strength of fiberglass is in the glass fibers. If you start seeing cloth, THEN you're at risk of weakening the hull. Don't!

If you want it shiny, go to the car parts store and get some Meguire's wax-free polishing compound. Use fine or very fine. The 3M heavy compound that was mentioned above is great for smoothing out and spiffing up chalky gel coat, but for a racing hull it will not address fairing (humps/hollows) and I think it only comes in wax.

FB- Doug

Thanks! this is just what I needed.

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7 minutes ago, Steam Flyer said:

Unless the gelcoat is really gone, yeah.  ^ this ^

My suggestion... turn the hull upside down, get a bucket/hose and a stack of wet-dry sandpaper, and a wide, limber, batten. A wood paint-stirrer is a little too stiff but if you plane or belt-sand it by 1/3 or so, that's perfect. 

Start with 600 grit, wet-sand the entire hull with the batten fore/aft. Then go to 800 grit, with some dish soap added to the water. Then 1000 grit, by which time you don't need the batten.

After it's all down to 1000 git fine ness, and the humps//hollows have been at least somewhat smoothed out, you should have a fast surface that is relatively decent looking. You might see some splotchy-ness if the gel coat is getting thin.

This will not weaken the hull, the strength of fiberglass is in the glass fibers. If you start seeing cloth, THEN you're at risk of weakening the hull. Don't!

If you want it shiny, go to the car parts store and get some Meguire's wax-free polishing compound. Use fine or very fine. The 3M heavy compound that was mentioned above is great for smoothing out and spiffing up chalky gel coat, but for a racing hull it will not address fairing (humps/hollows) and I think it only comes in wax.

FB- Doug

Could a a orbital sander be used for the first couple rounds? And then finish off with the batten and the finer grit?

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2 minutes ago, Admiral Hornblower said:

Could a a orbital sander be used for the first couple rounds? And then finish off with the batten and the finer grit?

How rough is it? The problem with an orbital sander is that it's going to leave scratches deeper than you'll be able to get out with 600 grit, and instead of fairing out the humps/hollows it's going to make them worse. It's also easy to go thru the gelcoat with it.

If it's really rough, then yeah.

One of the things that makes a Laser hull slow is the oil-canning of it, as it loses rigidity (slightly different than strength). The hull surface will 'spring' in & out with water pressure and that takes energy away from the boat's forward motion. Sanding by hand will give you good feeling for how oil-canny your hull is. Maybe with an orbital you can get some feel for this too.

FB- Doug

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7 minutes ago, Steam Flyer said:

How rough is it? The problem with an orbital sander is that it's going to leave scratches deeper than you'll be able to get out with 600 grit, and instead of fairing out the humps/hollows it's going to make them worse. It's also easy to go thru the gelcoat with it.

If it's really rough, then yeah.

One of the things that makes a Laser hull slow is the oil-canning of it, as it loses rigidity (slightly different than strength). The hull surface will 'spring' in & out with water pressure and that takes energy away from the boat's forward motion. Sanding by hand will give you good feeling for how oil-canny your hull is. Maybe with an orbital you can get some feel for this too.

FB- Doug

I can definitely get the hull to ''oil can'' by pushing down firmly with my hand in certain places. Will that affect my performance very much?

the hull does seem quite stiff, though. Which I think is good.

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Sure. How complicated do you want to get?

As for Laser hulls, specifically, I don't know how to compare. Even a brand-new Laser is going to oil-can to some extent. Probably yours is a little worse. The onyl practical way to compare is to line up a couple of hulls, including ones that win a lot, and (gently) push at the places that oil-can most easily, compare which ones are oil-can-iest. SA'er Gouvernail could probably write you a book on this, or some of the real Laser experts.

Because of the curve of the panels, your Fireball hull will have less oil-canning. But this one of the things that are part of the expertise in any specific class. I haven't done enough one-design racing in years to really be familiar with it,  years back I could have made up a spreadsheet of properties of 470 hulls or Lightning hulls. One thing I liked about the JY-15 is the hull rigidity.

FB- Doug

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So it seems like we're not keeping up with finishing technology here. I'm assuming that when talking about an orbital sander we're talking about a random orbit sander.  If that's the case you can use a contour pad and 3m finishing film which comes in grits from 600 to 2000.  Barely need to touch it with a buffer when done. 

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3 hours ago, Admiral Hornblower said:

BTW, is there a way to check for stiffness?

Put your forementioned lips on it...

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4 hours ago, Steam Flyer said:

Meguire's wax-free polishing compound. Use fine or very fine.

Not sure how I discovered this -- but incidentally this stuff works better on restoring old dull headlights than anything that's sold for that purpose.

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3 hours ago, dburchfiel said:

So it seems like we're not keeping up with finishing technology here. I'm assuming that when talking about an orbital sander we're talking about a random orbit sander.  If that's the case you can use a contour pad and 3m finishing film which comes in grits from 600 to 2000.  Barely need to touch it with a buffer when done. 

Thanks! I need help emerging from the Stone Age

FB- Doug

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19 hours ago, Gouvernail said:

Maybe the above was insufficient

http://www.schrothfiberglass.com/GelcoatRepairPrimer.htm

 

 

How To Make Your Gelcoat Pretty

a repairs guide for the do it yourselfer and an explanation of where all the money goes for the rest of you

written by Fred Schroth

 and edited by half of the people he knows

 

 

 After my humbling experiences in recent attempts at racing sailboats, I have decided to write about the only subject in which I remain at the front of the fleet.  If you carefully follow the directions put forth in this article, you can have the nicest bottom in your fleet.

 

            First, you must acquire the proper attitude about taking care of your boat.  If you still pull your boat up on a dock without first checking for nails, screws and gravel, don’t  even bother reading this article.  Your Laser only has about enough gelcoat for two bottom rescue jobs. Don’t do the first one until you are ready to do whatever it takes to keep from scratching it again.  Save the second for the shine that sells the worn out hull to the next owner.  There is nothing wrong with selling your worn out boat when you buy a new one, but at least save the new guy a pretty hull.  

 

MATERIALS AND EQUIPMENT:

 

            1.  a place to work for about 12 hours that can be washed down with water afterwards

            2.  gelcoat to match your hull and catalyst

            3.  acetone

            4.  buffing compound (Dupont 101, Acme 50, 3M Super Heavy Duty, or a similar grit)

            5.  a sharp knife

            6.  cardboard cut in a bout 10” x 10” squares

            7.  stir sticks (popsicle sticks)

            8.  a bucket and water

            9.  12 chunks of terry cloth (cut up old bath towels into 8 chunks each)

            10.  wet-sand paper in 320, 400, 500, 600, 800, 1000, and 1500 grits.  If your scratches are particularly large or numerous you may also want 180 and  240 grit papers.  For whichever grit you use first you will need about 5                                   sheets.  For the other grits you will need about 1 sheet each.

            11.  Gel Gloss or TR 500

            12.  Maguires Deep Crystal paste wax

            13.  a squeegee ( I use a Thalco laminators squeegee but a good window  squeegee will do the job)

            14.  a pencil

            15.  cleansers (Comet or Ajax)

            16.  sanding blocks (I use a 9” block from an automotive paint supplier)

 

 DIRECTIONS:

 

            The boat needs to be supported upside down at a height where you can stand over it for hours and hours and hours.  You don’t want to damage the boat or your back.        

 

1)   Read all of these directions before you do anything to your boat.  If you don’t understand the directions, or if you have any trouble making the various steps come out correctly, take your boat to a professional and get it done right.

 

2)  Wash the boat with a good cleanser and then clean it again with acetone.

 

3)  Every scratch that you can feel will need to be filled.  Use a sharp knife and lightly re-gouge the scratches.  Your scraping should create dust, not chunks.  You must have a freshly roughened surface so your repairs can adhere to the grooves.

 

4)  Blow away the dust and wash the boat again with acetone.  Make sure that you have removed every last particle .  If your repairs are made over a dirty surface the repairs will stick to the dirt but not to your boat.

 

5)  Test the gelcoat to make sure it doesn’t set up too fast or too slowly by mixing a small amount on your cardboard.  Dribble a half dollar size disk of gelcoat off a stir stick.  Then dribble a pea sized amount of catalyst into the center of the gelcoat and mix it as well as you can.  Scrape, wipe, smear and swirl that puddle of material until you are sure that it is mixed.  Play with the stuff for 15  minutes to make sure that it isn’t becoming hard too fast--if it sets up too fast you won’t have time to apply it to the boat.  Catalyzed gel coat can get really hot.  Set the cardboard down somewhere where it can’t start a fire if it ignites. Go away for an hour.  When you get back the surface of the puddle should be sticky but the material underneath should have hardened.  To see if it is hard, fold the cardboard.  The puddle should break.  If your test batch matches this description, you have learned how to mix gelcoat.   If the gelcoat didn’t cure, start with a new batch and either add more catalyst or find a warmer place to do your work.

 

6)  Once you have learned to mix the gelcoat, mix a fresh batch.  Using your stir stick or an artists brush, paint each of the scratches.  Just try to fill the gouges level with the boat surface.  This may take a couple of passes between which you need to go away for a soda or a beer depending on your age and preference.  Do not wait more than a couple of hours, period.

 

7)  After you are convinced that all the scratches are filled, put on one more coat.  This last coat can be mixed with a little extra catalyst to hurry along the process.  Gelcoat does not fully cure when it is exposed to moisture in the air, so this last coat is to help cure the sticky part of the previous layer.  This is a good place to stop for the night to allow the gelcoat to harden.

 

8)  Fold one of your terry cloth pieces and soak it with acetone.  (It’s nice if your terry cloth is a contrasting color to the hull.)  Wipe off the part of your gelcoat that will soak easily free.  Keep wiping until the towel shows no more color coming off.  If you have lots of scratches this may take a couple of towels.  You will also need a fresh towel to wash the sticky stuff off your hands. 

 

9) It is time to use sandpaper.  Sandpaper can follow the contour or the surface and remove the softest part, or it can ride gently over the surface, trimming off only the high spots.  

YOU MUST FOLLOW THESE RULES:

Use Sharp Sandpaper!

Do Not Press Down Hard!

 

10)  It is time to sand off the extra gelcoat.  Use sharp sandpaper.  Do not press down hard.  Ideally, you will use the finest grit that your patience will allow and a wood block.  You will sand away the excess gelcoat without ever touching the adjacent pristine surface  of your boat.  I usually accomplish this task with as tiny a wood block as I can hold and a lot of brand new sandpaper.  The sandpaper should not touch anything other than your repair until the excess is almost totally removed.  Be patient.  Use sharp paper.  Do not press down hard.  I recommend 320 or 240 for this step.  Stop often and look at how you are doing.  Remember that you do not want to sand anything except the stuff sticking out above the scratch.  Occasionally you should use your squeegee to dry the work area.  Stop.  Look and feel how you are doing.

 

            Let me digress a moment here.  What I just described can be more easily accomplished using dry sandpaper.  I use the white or gold type of paper.  However, if you choose to sand dry you will be creating a lot of dust and adequate protection is necessary.  You will need a protective mask and the work area will be coated by your dust.  The advantage of dry sanding is that you can wipe away the dust and see exactly where you have sanded.

 

11)  When all the repairs are flat and level with the hull surface it is time to begin working on the whole hull.  Do not begin sanding the whole hull until you have finished sanding all the individual scratches.  You need the shiny surface of the hull as a reference until the heavy sanding is finished so that you don’t make the surface wavy.

 

            Now it’s time to get all the ripples off the entire hull.  As long as you can smell styrene inside your boat the plastic is shrinking, becoming more crystalline and just plain getting uglier. You want to remove all the tiny ripples that your boat has developed as the plastic has continued to cure since it left the production mold. Remember that you are not attempting nor are you allowed to change the shape of your boat.  This is a cosmetic repair, not a speed enhancement.

  

            I usually start the whole hull job with 320 paper.  Using a soft rubber block, I sand at 45 degrees to the centerline until the entire hull is a consistent, dull finish with all of the sanding scratches parallel.  The reason to keep all of the scratches parallel is so that when you switch to another grade of sandpaper, you can sand in a different direction and know when you have removed all of the scratches from the previous grade.

 

            It’s graffiti time.  Use a pencil to make marks all over your hull.  When Eric Faust does this part he creates cartoons and other nonsense, but lazy guys like me just scribble.  The object is to make enough pencil marks so that it is easy to tell where you have and have not already sanded.  Turn your sanding to the other 45 degree angle and shift up to your next finer grade of paper.  Sand away all the pencil marks and then inspect your work.  All the sanding scratches should run in the new direction.  In areas where the old scratches still show, pencil and sand again.

                       

            Repeat the penciling and sanding with 400, 500, 600, 800, 1000, 1200 and 1500 grit papers.  You can skip grits or stop at a heavier grit but your boat will not be as shiny if you don’t use the whole series.  To make your bottom heavenly, you have to sand the hell out of it.  

 

12)  Now, smear buffing compound all over the hull and with one of your clean pieces of terry cloth, rub it until you are sick of rubbing.  Rubbing compounds work a lot like sink cleansers--the more you stroke the surface the better the final appearance.

 

13)  Using water and a clean rag, rinse off the remaining compound.

 

14)  Apply Gel Gloss according to the directions on the can.  If you are not paranoid about the possible loss of boat speed you may also want to wax your boat.  When you go to a really important event in fresh water, you may wish to remove the wax with a strong detergent.  I think that a hull coated with Gel Gloss is faster than a good clean hull in brackish water.  I don’t like to have crud stick to my hull--I think it probably slows my boat down.  When sailing in Lake Pontchartrain a J-24 coated with Gel Gloss will remain clean for a week while boats without Gel Gloss acquire a nasty yellow coating.  Make your own decision.

 

            A final note: the gelcoat on your hull is only thick enough to endure this process a couple of times.  If you aren’t sure that you will take care of your boat starting immediately, do not waste the repair opportunity now.

 

            Next time you are approaching the starting line you can strike fear into the competition by having your boat glare at the other sailors.

 

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5 hours ago, Gouvernail said:

Maybe the above was insufficient

http://www.schrothfiberglass.com/GelcoatRepairPrimer.htm

 

 

How To Make Your Gelcoat Pretty

a repairs guide for the do it yourselfer and an explanation of where all the money goes for the rest of you

written by Fred Schroth

 and edited by half of the people he knows

 

 

 After my humbling experiences in recent attempts at racing sailboats, I have decided to write about the only subject in which I remain at the front of the fleet.  If you carefully follow the directions put forth in this article, you can have the nicest bottom in your fleet.

 

            First, you must acquire the proper attitude about taking care of your boat.  If you still pull your boat up on a dock without first checking for nails, screws and gravel, don’t  even bother reading this article.  Your Laser only has about enough gelcoat for two bottom rescue jobs. Don’t do the first one until you are ready to do whatever it takes to keep from scratching it again.  Save the second for the shine that sells the worn out hull to the next owner.  There is nothing wrong with selling your worn out boat when you buy a new one, but at least save the new guy a pretty hull.  

 

MATERIALS AND EQUIPMENT:

 

            1.  a place to work for about 12 hours that can be washed down with water afterwards

            2.  gelcoat to match your hull and catalyst

            3.  acetone

            4.  buffing compound (Dupont 101, Acme 50, 3M Super Heavy Duty, or a similar grit)

            5.  a sharp knife

            6.  cardboard cut in a bout 10” x 10” squares

            7.  stir sticks (popsicle sticks)

            8.  a bucket and water

            9.  12 chunks of terry cloth (cut up old bath towels into 8 chunks each)

            10.  wet-sand paper in 320, 400, 500, 600, 800, 1000, and 1500 grits.  If your scratches are particularly large or numerous you may also want 180 and  240 grit papers.  For whichever grit you use first you will need about 5                                   sheets.  For the other grits you will need about 1 sheet each.

            11.  Gel Gloss or TR 500

            12.  Maguires Deep Crystal paste wax

            13.  a squeegee ( I use a Thalco laminators squeegee but a good window  squeegee will do the job)

            14.  a pencil

            15.  cleansers (Comet or Ajax)

            16.  sanding blocks (I use a 9” block from an automotive paint supplier)

 

 DIRECTIONS:

 

            The boat needs to be supported upside down at a height where you can stand over it for hours and hours and hours.  You don’t want to damage the boat or your back.        

 

1)   Read all of these directions before you do anything to your boat.  If you don’t understand the directions, or if you have any trouble making the various steps come out correctly, take your boat to a professional and get it done right.

 

2)  Wash the boat with a good cleanser and then clean it again with acetone.

 

3)  Every scratch that you can feel will need to be filled.  Use a sharp knife and lightly re-gouge the scratches.  Your scraping should create dust, not chunks.  You must have a freshly roughened surface so your repairs can adhere to the grooves.

 

4)  Blow away the dust and wash the boat again with acetone.  Make sure that you have removed every last particle .  If your repairs are made over a dirty surface the repairs will stick to the dirt but not to your boat.

 

5)  Test the gelcoat to make sure it doesn’t set up too fast or too slowly by mixing a small amount on your cardboard.  Dribble a half dollar size disk of gelcoat off a stir stick.  Then dribble a pea sized amount of catalyst into the center of the gelcoat and mix it as well as you can.  Scrape, wipe, smear and swirl that puddle of material until you are sure that it is mixed.  Play with the stuff for 15  minutes to make sure that it isn’t becoming hard too fast--if it sets up too fast you won’t have time to apply it to the boat.  Catalyzed gel coat can get really hot.  Set the cardboard down somewhere where it can’t start a fire if it ignites. Go away for an hour.  When you get back the surface of the puddle should be sticky but the material underneath should have hardened.  To see if it is hard, fold the cardboard.  The puddle should break.  If your test batch matches this description, you have learned how to mix gelcoat.   If the gelcoat didn’t cure, start with a new batch and either add more catalyst or find a warmer place to do your work.

 

6)  Once you have learned to mix the gelcoat, mix a fresh batch.  Using your stir stick or an artists brush, paint each of the scratches.  Just try to fill the gouges level with the boat surface.  This may take a couple of passes between which you need to go away for a soda or a beer depending on your age and preference.  Do not wait more than a couple of hours, period.

 

7)  After you are convinced that all the scratches are filled, put on one more coat.  This last coat can be mixed with a little extra catalyst to hurry along the process.  Gelcoat does not fully cure when it is exposed to moisture in the air, so this last coat is to help cure the sticky part of the previous layer.  This is a good place to stop for the night to allow the gelcoat to harden.

 

8)  Fold one of your terry cloth pieces and soak it with acetone.  (It’s nice if your terry cloth is a contrasting color to the hull.)  Wipe off the part of your gelcoat that will soak easily free.  Keep wiping until the towel shows no more color coming off.  If you have lots of scratches this may take a couple of towels.  You will also need a fresh towel to wash the sticky stuff off your hands. 

 

9) It is time to use sandpaper.  Sandpaper can follow the contour or the surface and remove the softest part, or it can ride gently over the surface, trimming off only the high spots.  

YOU MUST FOLLOW THESE RULES:

Use Sharp Sandpaper!

Do Not Press Down Hard!

 

10)  It is time to sand off the extra gelcoat.  Use sharp sandpaper.  Do not press down hard.  Ideally, you will use the finest grit that your patience will allow and a wood block.  You will sand away the excess gelcoat without ever touching the adjacent pristine surface  of your boat.  I usually accomplish this task with as tiny a wood block as I can hold and a lot of brand new sandpaper.  The sandpaper should not touch anything other than your repair until the excess is almost totally removed.  Be patient.  Use sharp paper.  Do not press down hard.  I recommend 320 or 240 for this step.  Stop often and look at how you are doing.  Remember that you do not want to sand anything except the stuff sticking out above the scratch.  Occasionally you should use your squeegee to dry the work area.  Stop.  Look and feel how you are doing.

 

            Let me digress a moment here.  What I just described can be more easily accomplished using dry sandpaper.  I use the white or gold type of paper.  However, if you choose to sand dry you will be creating a lot of dust and adequate protection is necessary.  You will need a protective mask and the work area will be coated by your dust.  The advantage of dry sanding is that you can wipe away the dust and see exactly where you have sanded.

 

11)  When all the repairs are flat and level with the hull surface it is time to begin working on the whole hull.  Do not begin sanding the whole hull until you have finished sanding all the individual scratches.  You need the shiny surface of the hull as a reference until the heavy sanding is finished so that you don’t make the surface wavy.

 

            Now it’s time to get all the ripples off the entire hull.  As long as you can smell styrene inside your boat the plastic is shrinking, becoming more crystalline and just plain getting uglier. You want to remove all the tiny ripples that your boat has developed as the plastic has continued to cure since it left the production mold. Remember that you are not attempting nor are you allowed to change the shape of your boat.  This is a cosmetic repair, not a speed enhancement.

  

            I usually start the whole hull job with 320 paper.  Using a soft rubber block, I sand at 45 degrees to the centerline until the entire hull is a consistent, dull finish with all of the sanding scratches parallel.  The reason to keep all of the scratches parallel is so that when you switch to another grade of sandpaper, you can sand in a different direction and know when you have removed all of the scratches from the previous grade.

 

            It’s graffiti time.  Use a pencil to make marks all over your hull.  When Eric Faust does this part he creates cartoons and other nonsense, but lazy guys like me just scribble.  The object is to make enough pencil marks so that it is easy to tell where you have and have not already sanded.  Turn your sanding to the other 45 degree angle and shift up to your next finer grade of paper.  Sand away all the pencil marks and then inspect your work.  All the sanding scratches should run in the new direction.  In areas where the old scratches still show, pencil and sand again.

                       

            Repeat the penciling and sanding with 400, 500, 600, 800, 1000, 1200 and 1500 grit papers.  You can skip grits or stop at a heavier grit but your boat will not be as shiny if you don’t use the whole series.  To make your bottom heavenly, you have to sand the hell out of it.  

 

12)  Now, smear buffing compound all over the hull and with one of your clean pieces of terry cloth, rub it until you are sick of rubbing.  Rubbing compounds work a lot like sink cleansers--the more you stroke the surface the better the final appearance.

 

13)  Using water and a clean rag, rinse off the remaining compound.

 

14)  Apply Gel Gloss according to the directions on the can.  If you are not paranoid about the possible loss of boat speed you may also want to wax your boat.  When you go to a really important event in fresh water, you may wish to remove the wax with a strong detergent.  I think that a hull coated with Gel Gloss is faster than a good clean hull in brackish water.  I don’t like to have crud stick to my hull--I think it probably slows my boat down.  When sailing in Lake Pontchartrain a J-24 coated with Gel Gloss will remain clean for a week while boats without Gel Gloss acquire a nasty yellow coating.  Make your own decision.

 

            A final note: the gelcoat on your hull is only thick enough to endure this process a couple of times.  If you aren’t sure that you will take care of your boat starting immediately, do not waste the repair opportunity now.

 

            Next time you are approaching the starting line you can strike fear into the competition by having your boat glare at the other sailors.

 

Whoa.. you got better lips than that.. (c.a.r.e.f.u.l.l.y read thread title)

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1 hour ago, Varan said:

Whoa.. you got better lips than that.. (c.a.r.e.f.u.l.l.y read thread title)

I don’t make a big deal about typos

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7 hours ago, Gouvernail said:

I don’t make a big deal about typos

Indeed.

You're practically the Ambassador to Snaggy-Land

FB- Doug

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9 hours ago, Varan said:

Whoa.. you got better lips than that.. (c.a.r.e.f.u.l.l.y read thread title)

Come on, give me a break:rolleyes::D. I didn't notice that typo until the time limit for editing had expired.

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20 hours ago, dburchfiel said:

So it seems like we're not keeping up with finishing technology here. I'm assuming that when talking about an orbital sander we're talking about a random orbit sander.  If that's the case you can use a contour pad and 3m finishing film which comes in grits from 600 to 2000.  Barely need to touch it with a buffer when done. 

Contour Sanding Pad | Bosch DIY

Is this what you mean by a contour pad? 

And are you saying to use this instead of the orbital sander?

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On 10/16/2020 at 5:15 PM, Admiral Hornblower said:

 

how does a sanded polished hull...ect, compare to  fresh paint in looks?

someone from our club said that if I sanded down all the scratches without repainting it would weaken the hull...

 

gelcoat isn't structural. I've refinished many Lasers doing exactly what was described above.  Wet sand with 400 grit, wet sand with 800 grit, then ideally you would use a buffer with Aqua Buff 1000 followed by Aqua Buff 2000 and then wax two or three times starting with a 3M Compound wax and finishing with the PTFE Teflon.  You'd be surprised at the shine that you will come up with and can avoid painting.  

If you can't get a buffer and Aqua Buff, just buy the wet sand paper and do all of the layers.  You'll be able to feel the grit, grime and scratches coming out.  Put a little bit of liquid soap into your wet-sand water so that the water stays with the hull a little longer, just a little.  Wet the boat constantly and wash the paper off continually to remove the grip that you're picking up.  Once you feel grit under the paper, wash the paper again.

All of this can be done in a few hours on one day, no dust mask required.  Just a little color gelcoat on you and the ground for a mess.

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On 10/16/2020 at 8:06 PM, spankoka said:

The scratches on my gelcoat are all the way through to the laminate and there are very many. This is presumably because it is a former club boat from Whistler that was dragged over pointy rocks in a glacial lake. Will a good coat of wax fill in those voids, and render the scratches cosmetic? If I sand the gelcoat right off and paint carefully, am I a creating a "cheater" boat? 

If they are through the gelcoat and into the laminate then there's only one way to go.  Get some gelcoat with the wax already in it, as well as some polyester based tint if it's not bright white, and tint the gelcoat to try to match the color boat that you have.  Once you're close, add the catalyst, mix it all up and you can apply it with a popsicle stick into the grooves or if there are a lot, paint it in with a brush. After it's cured wet sand and buff.  You may need to start with wet 220 first though to knock down the bumps in the gelcoat.

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Clean the boat so it looks nice but for the best on the water  improvement spend your time on exercise, staying fit, reading about ILCA racing watching  race related videos and time on the water then more time on the water. . 

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Clean and smooth for speed - and the difference is marginal unless your bottom is a total disaster. Shiny is not going to help boat performance. However, having a nice looking boat is good for the soul and the psyche. Which are good for personal performance. 
Concerning softness, it is not unusual for old boats to be soft in spots. What are your plans if you find one? I am thinking at this stage of your racing career and the competition you will have locally, your performance will be impacted to a greater negative degree  thinking about soft spots than the actual presence of soft spots. Work on technique and the stuff VWAP mentioned above.

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27 minutes ago, Bill5 said:

Clean and smooth for speed - and the difference is marginal unless your bottom is a total disaster. Shiny is not going to help boat performance. However, having a nice looking boat is good for the soul and the psyche. Which are good for personal performance. 
Concerning softness, it is not unusual for old boats to be soft in spots. What are your plans if you find one? I am thinking at this stage of your racing career and the competition you will have locally, your performance will be impacted to a greater negative degree  thinking about soft spots than the actual presence of soft spots. Work on technique and the stuff VWAP mentioned above.

Thanks! I totally agree, and i certainly would be focusing on boat handling except.. the sailing season is over at our club-_- which is a beastly shame, since the sailing season could be extended for at least another month.

And, it is very difficult to have my mom take me to the water, for many legitimate reasons. So I'm thinking, I might as well get the boat as race ready as possible, to prepare for the next season.

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My first Laser was so soft on the bottom it felt like a Topper! This didn't stop me racing it & having fun. Really the only time you noticed it was trying to beat into choppy water, it seemed to absorb the waves rather than push through them. On every other point of sail it was fine. Laser sailing, like all sailing is about spending time in the boat & working out what works for you. I found talking to the fast guys a great help & watching what they do on the water, but everybody has their own way. Just get out there & enjoy yourself & the results will come. Happy sailing.

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On 10/18/2020 at 7:02 AM, Admiral Hornblower said:

I didn't notice that typo until the time limit for editing had expired

No worries. In the future when I wish to refer to this thread again... I'll definitely remember how to find it!

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I think it's destined to become part of SA history

Good advice and good humor, hard to find both in one. That's why I think of this place as quality entertainment!

FB- Doug

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On 10/18/2020 at 9:11 AM, Admiral Hornblower said:

Contour Sanding Pad | Bosch DIY

Is this what you mean by a contour pad? 

And are you saying to use this instead of the orbital sander?

These https://www.amazon.com/Density-Interface-Sponge-Cushion-Backing/dp/B07YY14D16/ref=asc_df_B07YY14D16/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=416671577205&hvpos=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=576608533783462555

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What year is your Laser? It’s kinda sacrilege to paint one. There is a certain patina to old Laser’s that all Laser sailors can appreciate. If you stick with the same boat you will age in a similar fashion. It’s been my experience that it’s necessary to add one inspection port per decade. There is nothing better than seeing somebody getting their asskicked or blasting around in an orange hulled 1970’s Laser on a 20kt day.  The sail looks like a prostitutes bed sheet. All stretched and covered with stains. Those guys always have a smile on their faces.  

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On 10/21/2020 at 2:41 AM, CaptainAhab said:

What year is your Laser? It’s kinda sacrilege to paint one. There is a certain patina to old Laser’s that all Laser sailors can appreciate. If you stick with the same boat you will age in a similar fashion. It’s been my experience that it’s necessary to add one inspection port per decade. There is nothing better than seeing somebody getting their asskicked or blasting around in an orange hulled 1970’s Laser on a 20kt day.  The sail looks like a prostitutes bed sheet. All stretched and covered with stains. Those guys always have a smile on their faces.  

my boat is a 73'

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On 10/26/2020 at 4:11 PM, Admiral Hornblower said:

my boat is a 73'

Oldie goodie!

Has the deck broken oit and been fixed yet st mast? That happemed to me a couple times.

I first sailed a laser im '76 maybe it was '75. By '78 i was racing the sage green clib boat. It was alreafy leaking morecthancthe orange one. All the decks were eyerest buff.

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how should I repair this damage? epoxy? gelcoat?

Gov, if you have any articles on this, feel free to link them.

Thanks, Adm.

 

20201028_143901.thumb.jpg.afa33af0ce7fb4b56f8bba8f255855b1.jpg20201028_143931.thumb.jpg.1f43979e49fd94f3d0ea4c553b45dfa2.jpg20201028_143952.thumb.jpg.b3fafff130aaf9ed1cf07e19f1b67aca.jpg20201028_151158.thumb.jpg.52cc01124f00655395279fcf77d59d6d.jpg

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ON TOP AND SIDES SOLAREZ, THEN PAINT

 

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Pardon moi: where you asking for "Lips" or "Tips"?  In case the former, use these:

 

lip-fillers-1548777669.jpg

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8 minutes ago, JimBowie said:

Pardon moi: where you asking for "Lips" or "Tips"?  In case the former, use these:

 

lip-fillers-1548777669.jpg

Oh lord:rolleyes:

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I know where this is going...it's ANARCHY!

Now someone find   Tony Hawk photo with the tip of jis board on thr lip of a halfpipe

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16 hours ago, Admiral Hornblower said:

how should I repair this damage? epoxy? gelcoat?

Gov, if you have any articles on this, feel free to link them.

Thanks, Adm.

 

20201028_143901.thumb.jpg.afa33af0ce7fb4b56f8bba8f255855b1.jpg20201028_143931.thumb.jpg.1f43979e49fd94f3d0ea4c553b45dfa2.jpg20201028_143952.thumb.jpg.b3fafff130aaf9ed1cf07e19f1b67aca.jpg20201028_151158.thumb.jpg.52cc01124f00655395279fcf77d59d6d.jpg

Let's get back on topic:D. Obviously I need to fix this damage before I can do any painting or sanding.

Does everyone agree that Solarez is a good option?

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2 hours ago, Admiral Hornblower said:

Let's get back on topic:D. Obviously I need to fix this damage before I can do any painting or sanding.

Does everyone agree that Solarez is a good option?

Epoxy thickened.mask first. Then color after.

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SOLAREZ IF ENOUGH SUN, EPOXY ON BOTTOM.

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17 hours ago, Admiral Hornblower said:

Solarez Fly Tie Thick Hard Formula

Is that Solarez?

YES, ONE OF, THEY MAKE ALL KINDS, I USE THE BLUE TUBE, VERY STRONG.

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Wash it. Buy a few cans of Krylon or similar and squirt the thing. 

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painting is not a crime when its that beat up. 

i would do the deck repairs with white marine-tex. easy to use, strong, color matches laser decks well.

do the hull repairs with the same stuff. then sand it all as smooth as you can.

paint with a one part polyurethane, choose a color that will cover the original color easily. red over red for example.

use a widely sold brand like Brightsides so you can easily match in the future if needed.

use the roll and tip method - many videos on how to do that. do it all carefully and you will be suprised at how good it can look. total cost about 150 for all materials. 

 

 

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13 hours ago, fastyacht said:

Bondo rven has a marine versoin now. 3m boight them

There is 3m Premium Filler for a couple hundred bucks a gallon.

The task is to make a beat up old Laser look a little more pretty.

walmart sells Bondo for about $20 a gallon  

At Home Depot Bondo is usually a couple bucks cheaper than at Walmart. 
 

another $20 will purchase enough shaky can spray paint. 
 

I coujd spec out a bill of materials and a process to spend $2000 Putting a pretty finish on the old boat.

that would be asinine 

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No need for $200 vinylestet.

I suggested rjick epoxyvfirst because I know hecprobably had itvaround from the other work  very little needed

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If you go rattle-can, look for "Appliance Epoxy." Limited colors but it's the toughest finish I have found yet in spray cans. I used the white-white for things like rudders & daggerboards for our junior sailing program. Looks like new for longer than any other cheap finish I've tried

FB- Doug

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2 hours ago, fastyacht said:

No need for $200 vinylestet.

I suggested rjick epoxyvfirst because I know hecprobably had itvaround from the other work  very little needed

Pardon me, but what language do you write in?:huh: Are you a follower of Snaggy?

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5 hours ago, Gouvernail said:

There is 3m Premium Filler for a couple hundred bucks a gallon.

The task is to make a beat up old Laser look a little more pretty.

walmart sells Bondo for about $20 a gallon  

At Home Depot Bondo is usually a couple bucks cheaper than at Walmart. 
 

another $20 will purchase enough shaky can spray paint. 
 

I coujd spec out a bill of materials and a process to spend $2000 Putting a pretty finish on the old boat.

that would be asinine 

I don't need a gallon of Bondo! 

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1 hour ago, Admiral Hornblower said:

Pardon me, but what language do you write in?:huh: Are you a follower of Snaggy?

Fa4 fingwr lsnguagr

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20201030_163824.thumb.jpg.373b59e10027c2f70573ed34ac91612a.jpg20201030_163841.thumb.jpg.bb66ec1cc551cf1ef353b904d1530c33.jpg

I made a start today on the sanding, and I feel the job is totally hopeless. The scratches seem to be to deep. So I reread Gov's article. Basically, he fills all the scratches with matching gelcoat and then sands.

But the problem I running into with this, is, how am I going to find matching gelcoat? Are there any color charts for Lasers that would tell what this color is?

 

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JUST ROLL THE PAINT ON, NICE AND THICK

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Hmmm... you want to keep the color.

Will you feel the same way a week after Halloween?

Anyway, those don't look too bad. Fingernail polish?

What grit are you currently sanding with? And please tell me you're using a batten (longboard)?

FB- Doug

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30 minutes ago, Steam Flyer said:

Hmmm... you want to keep the color.

Will you feel the same way a week after Halloween?

Anyway, those don't look too bad. Fingernail polish?

What grit are you currently sanding with? And please tell me you're using a batten (longboard)?

FB- Doug

currently I am sanding with 120 grit.

I am using a random orbital sander with these https://www.amazon.com/Density-Interface-Sponge-Cushion-Backing/dp/B07YY14D16/ref=asc_df_B07YY14D16/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=416671577205&hv

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12 minutes ago, Admiral Hornblower said:

120 grit should get down thru those pretty quickly.

FB- Doug

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3 minutes ago, Steam Flyer said:

120 grit should get down thru those pretty quickly.

FB- Doug

I'll give it another go tomorrow.

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11 minutes ago, Admiral Hornblower said:

I'll give it another go tomorrow.

Remember you have to take it down evenly, you want to end up with a fair hull not a waffle iron.

FB- Doug

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Update! After much deliberation I decided that I would paint the laser.

First I sanded the scratches out as best as I could with 120 grit and in some areas even 40 grit ( don't cringe) I still had to fill numberless scratches with Bondo though.

Then I sanded the entire boat again finer grit, then I cleaned it, and finally, got rid of any dust. I then applied a coat of Primer https://www.amazon.com/Rust-Oleum-207014-Marine-Fiberglass-Primer  the next day I sanded it, first with 220 then 400. Today, I applied the first coat of topcoat https://www.amazon.com/Rust-Oleum-Available-207005-Topside-Battleship/  (with thinner) using the roll'n tip method. I plan to apply at least 2 more coats.

20201104_155549.thumb.jpg.a39212ccea2a19587452dcceb6bd39f8.jpg20201105_153222.thumb.jpg.350a9a526e018f06121b7a64d51d6b09.jpg20201105_153252.thumb.jpg.35084adfce62b980d485e3109c5a12d9.jpg

there is obviously a bit of orange peel, I was planning on knocking it out with sanding...correct?

when rolling and tipping properly is it expected to have orange peel?

thanks, Adm.H

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32 minutes ago, Admiral Hornblower said:

......  there is obviously a bit of orange peel, I was planning on knocking it out with sanding...correct?

when rolling and tipping properly is it expected to have orange peel?

thanks, Adm.H

No, the goal is to have it lay down beautifully flat. It might be too much thinner or poorly shaken/mixed combined with the thinner. One thing to remember, it's impossible to have your paint too well stirred (although it is a problem if you get bubbles entrained in it). It could also be dust or oil on the surface. Hard to say

As you roll, it should have a little bit of bumpiness/orange peel that spreads and flattens smooth in a minute or less (more and the paint starts to get a dry skin before flattening). Experiment a little to see if you need more or less thinner. Be methodical!

For a first try, your paint job looks beautiful so far.

FB- Doug

[edit to add] you longboarded it with the 220 and 400 grit, right? It will break your heart to longboard your new paint and see the highs and lows..........

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Applied the second coat today with a lot more thinner, about 3% it turned out much better than the first coat, but it definitely could have used more thinner, I'll try 4-5% for the next coat.

I'm quite pleased though, since this is my first go at painting a boat!

I suppose Gov is pissed off that I didn't take his advice...<_<

20201106_131603.thumb.jpg.c23195a461338cc9bd46a8c413fa1bda.jpg

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