Dinghy Minor Refit

Before we began a significant time on the boat (we are currently on day 7 of 10-11 days’ cruising) I needed to do a small, mostly cosmetic refit of our dinghy.

This is a dinghy my boys and I built from plans way back when we lived in western Washington State (Poulsbo, is the name of the town).  I’ve had it about 15 years now, and it’s been refitted once before – a really quick and dirty job to replace some rotten wood sections and a quick coat of paint.  Very poorly done indeed, but brought it up to almost presentable three years ago.  It’s now lived another three years outside, and was in need of some sealing, fiberglassing, and fresh paint.

Here are a few photos of it looking as bad as possible – mid-sanding process:

Looking very poor. All the finish is in mid-sand.

I reenforced the port side of the transom with glass and epoxy, then sanded inside and out.  The sanding/scraping process took a remarkably long time.  I did this for several hours a couple days in a row, and still did a substandard job.

Finally, with the finish as smooth as I had time to make it, I began applying paint.  I used a flat white oil-based paint from ACE Hardware – (this dinghy is too imperfect to benefit from a shiny paint) on the hull and the oars.  I painted the sheer stripe the same green as our yacht’s shear.  The thwarts and rails only got two coats of new varnish, applied on an extremely thinned original foundation.  Here is the result:

New paint, and a couple of primary coats of varnish.

This is a ten-foot paint job.  It looks great from ten feet away.  Any closer and you can see that it needs another coat of paint and more varnish.  But, this effort will keep us looking respectable as we cruise, and protect the dink from further deterioration.

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8 comments
  1. David Patterson said:

    “This is a ten-foot paint job.”

    Hadn’t heard that term before… made me laugh.

    • Yeah, I like that term too. I like the concept too, except I will put another coat or two of paint on it, and many more coats of varnish on the brightwork.

    • Jan Sopoci said:

      Back in my “gear head” days, we used to refer to “marginal” paint jobs on cars as a 30/30 paint job..as in it looks good as the car drives by @ 30 mph and a distance of 30 ft.

      • David Patterson said:

        Funny :)

  2. Jan Sopoci said:

    Do you ever stick a small outboard on it? Looks nice, btw. I really enjoyed your previous post about “simplifying” your sailing/cruising life…a lot of good ideas/observations.

    • Thanks for the comment Jan. No. No outboard. I would have to register it and pay tax if I powered it with anything other than oars or sail. Also, I would have to figure out how to mount and carry an outboard, then how to get it on to the transom. Then I would have to carry gasoline too. Then I would have to lock up the outboard and worry about someone stealing it. Think I’ll just use the oars. So much less complicated, and… it works!

      • Jan Sopoci said:

        Got it….that all makes sense.

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