The Ever-Settling Waterline (Page 4)
This page was last updated on 11 October 2002.

Committing to the new Line, Prepping and Repainting

Eventually, I had to commit to my new line as marked by the tape on the hull.  I hemmed and hawed, eyed it from every possible angle about a half dozen times, asked a friend's advice, and generally procrastinated starting on the next step for as long as possible.  Getting going on the next step was hard because the next step was destructive:  sanding off the Awlgrip beneath my tape line to prepare for raising the antifouling paint to the new level.  Obviously, if my line was incorrect, I would be in trouble once I sanded off my existing boottop.

The Awlgrip needs to be removed in this area because much of it will be submerged all or part of the time, and even with several coats of antifouling bottom paint over the Awlgrip, it would likely continue to bubble and blister, and would likely eventually fail completely, taking the bottom paint with it in unsightly sheets.

After a final visual check of the new taped line, I dove in head first and got to work again.  With my trusty Porter cable 5" DA and 80 grit discs, I sanded the Awlgrip off beneath the tape line, and feathered the edge onto the existing bottom paint a bit.  I sanded close to the tape, but had to leave a small amount of the old paint underneath; this is insignificant because this top 1/8" will be above the water, so it shouldn't be a problem.  Later, I roughed up the last little bit by hand to ensure that the bottom paint would stick well.  

The several coats of Awlgrip and Awlquik primer sanded off easily with the 80 grit, and completing the job took just over an hour.  The sanding disc had nicked the tape in several places, unavoidably, so I patched in the damaged sections with new tape.  Once I wiped down the dust with some solvent and a rag, this job, which I had been dreading, was complete--and a total anticlimax.  With the old boottop sanded off, I could get a better idea as to the accuracy of my taped line, and was happy to see that it looked good.

bootsandportbow.JPG (197129 bytes)     bootsandstern.JPG (169490 bytes)     bootsandstb.JPG (157817 bytes)     bootsandbow.JPG (181826 bytes)

To help me with the next steps of the waterline project, I painted the new area beneath my tape line with some bottom paint, just to cover the white beneath and to give me a crisp, accurate line at the top from which to base my visualizations of the new boottop.  With a small roller and some of my Micron CSC, I zipped around the hull in a pair of seconds.  I applied only one coat for now so that the thickness of the paint at the top wouldn't bee too much when I tape over it later and strive for a very clean, crisp line when I paint the boottop with Awlgrip.  In the spring, before launching, I'll roll a couple extra coats on the waterline to make up for the paucity of paint here.

repaintport.JPG (179375 bytes)     repaintstern.JPG (174270 bytes)     repaintstb.JPG (189468 bytes)     repaintbow.JPG (156798 bytes)

I gave the paint a little time to dry, then set up my level lines 2" above the new waterline.  This will give me a 2" bootstripe, which is about the same as the old and looks best given the ever-shrinking amount of topsides visible on my Triton.  Following the same laborious procedure, I used small bits of tape to mark a new level line 2" above my newly painted waterline.  However, now these marks are simply a guideline, rather than the absolute.  This is because the boottop will incorporate a slight sheer, particularly in the forwardmost sections, for appearance purposes.  Using the little tape marks I made as a guide, I stretched new masking tape out to mark the new line, but faired it by eye and raised it up in the forward sections to give the line a slight curve.  I fine tuned the line on each side till I was happy with them and sure that they matched from side to side,  from ahead and behind.

boottapeport1.JPG (198635 bytes)     boottapestern1.JPG (180600 bytes)     boottapestb1.JPG (180173 bytes)     boottapebow2.JPG (167653 bytes)

Next:  Sanding and painting the new boottop with Awlgrip Snow White.  I can't wait, because the boat looks so boring without the white boottop.

Please click here to continue.


Glissando, Pearson  Triton #381

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