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killerbe20

First In's Bottom Job

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The First In's complete bottom job has begun. Starting with sanding the bottom then going to put on a barrier coat and finish up with a few coats of VC-17 bottom paint. This is quite a big project, especially for those who may not be as familiar with or comfortable with boat maintenance. I am planning on documenting the entire process from start to finish.

After researching the cost of having the bottom paint soda blasted off, I chose to just sand it myself. Honestly, I only work every third day, i have all the time in the world. How much time could it actually take anyways? Well about five minutes into the job I was trying to think of any way I could get out of doing it myself! Time to suck it up, all part of the joys of being a boat owner.

The pictures show the progress of about 3 hours of sanding. Quite the messy and labor intensive job. I can understand why those who can, pay someone else to do this kind of work. The First In has, from what I can tell, three lays of paint and it is pretty rough. All the years in Floridian waters definitely have taken a toll on her.

I am starting with 40 grit sand paper and an angle grinder. Takes awhile to get through the top layers, but once you are close to the gel coat be careful! The 40 grit paper will eat the gel coat before you even know whats happening. I started taking the paint all the way off with the 40 grit but from here on out I plan on just getting close then switching to a finer grit paper. I also plan on switching to a lower RPM orbital sander and even hand sanding all the edges and valleys.

Don't forget about safety either. I used a half face respirator and safety glasses along with work gloves. This was alright but with no seal around the glasses, lots of dust and particles still made it around my eyes. Not cool. They are still irritated today. I have ordered a full face respirator to finish the job.

Other jobs are taking priority tomorrow but going to continue sanding on Thursday. Alaina and I are taking a trip to Nashville over the weekend for our one year anniversary, but I'm planning on finishing the job next week. Progress updates will continue!

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Alot of work.....but in the end, you will know the job is done right!

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Good luck with that Josh, Keep an eye on your jack stands, all the vibration may loosen them up. What kind of sander are you using for the task?When we used to to large jobs like that we would use a 9" sander. Cuts down on the time .Also builds up you chest muscles.

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Day two of the bottom job was much better then day one. I managed to accomplish just as much as day one in less time. I would have kept working through the rain if it wasn't for being shocked by the angle grinder! It must have gotten wet at some point and turned against me.

I realized today that I can get more out of each piece of sand paper then I thought. I was feeling much better today and with extra energy and putting more "stank" into it, the paper was going much farther. Maybe it was the three 24 oz. Rock Star energy drinks I had!

I purchased a cotton spray hood to go over my head before starting today, highly recommended. Clean up was much easier today and I didn't have to use thirty Q-tips to clean out my ears. I was surprised when I got home to see may full face respirator had arrived in the mail already. From here on out, this job should be much more pleasant and healthier.

Leaving tomorrow for Nashville, home of country music! Be back Monday night and hoping to put in a full days worth of work on Tuesday.

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Edited by killerbe20
bad spelling

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Finally done for the most part with the sanding project. Took longer then expected but there was a trip to Nashville, all my normal 24 hour shifts at the fire station, plus a 48 hour shift and trying to spend sometime with my wife mixed in.

After all was said and done, I will never do this again. Most jobs, big or small, dirty or not, pleasant or not so pleasant, I enjoy doing on a boat. This one not so much. It is dirty and tough. My biggest obstacle through the whole process had to be my physical limitations. I was not able to work longer than 4-5 hours in a day and still be productive.

I still have some detail work to do but that will be a piece of cake compared to what I've been through already. Some sanding around the edges and cleaning of the running and steering gear is next. Then I have to fill in some small nicks and gouges around the hull that have accumulated through the last ten years. After that is many layers of barrier coat followed by some VC-17 bottom paint.

Monday the boat should be moved into a warm cozy building where the rest of the project can continue!

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Its been awhile since i have updated this project. There really has not been much to report until now. Lots of work, but not much to report. I have been working on removing the paint from all the detail areas that the sander could not reach. Most of this was removed with Interlux Interstrip and the rest was hand sanded. All the boo boos in the hull have been cleaned up, patched and feathered out smooth. Now just prep work and going to start the barrier coat on Monday and hopefully have the VC-17 on on tuesday.

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Looks good Josh. Time to be wrap this up and get it in the water.

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Looks good Josh. I can feel your pain as I am working on polishing my entire boat with rubbing compound before I wax it good. I don't have bottom paint cause it has been trailered its entire life. Keep up the good work.

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Started the fun part yesterday. After a quick acetone wipe down and masking off the water line, running gear and thru hull fittings the first coat of barrier coat finally made it to the boat. This stuff can be tricky. There is a 20 minute induction time when you mix it up and if you do not wait, the mixture will be too thin and not cover properly. On the flip side, it only has a three hour pot life and after about two hours it gets very thick and tacky making it difficult to spread. The first coat is a little tough to apply but after that it gets easier. Even though you will probably end up throwing your supplies away when after each coat, do not skimp on quality. Barrier coat will destroy cheap roller covers and brushes. Cheap foam roller covers fall apart and cheap nap covers shed hair on the surface of the hull.

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Nice Josh! How much of a pain is it to move all the jack stands and blocks to get those spots? Did you move them one by one as you went?

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I am moving the stands one at a time as I go. The blocks have not moved at all. I will throw some paint on those little spots before she goes in. I have a two ton jack here that would probably work to move the blocks but I'm not that brave.

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Finally painted!

tented the whole boat from the rub rail down. Used 6 mil plastic so it was a little more difficult to hang, but we got it. It was a 100x20 roll so i was able to use the same plastic to cover the floor. A good friend of mine with more experience spraying VC-17 came by to do that "fun" job. The paint dries so fast it was really a non stop project. Took a few small breaks for fresh air and beer. The paint has to be cut with acetone or thinner which makes for quite the poor air quality inside the tent. I can not believe he made it out alive! This paint dries and is water ready in about 5-10 minutes so if i ever do it again, it will be outside right before splash time.

Trim tabs came today, props are on the way and i already have all the preventative maintenance motor parts. Hopefully over the weekend all that work will be completed and the hull will be buffed and waxed. I'm at the firehouse today and if I did not have a presentation to finish up for my last day of school tomorrow night, I might have made my April 1st deadline. A little disappointed but when i look back at how far its come, i'm OK with being a couple days late.

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Nice job Josh, that thing should fly through the water now. How long will that last till you have to do it again?

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