Hull Fairing – Surface Pit Abatement

Prior to launch and prior to bottom painting, I had prepped the surface by sanding the two-year-old bottom paint. This revealed a number of chips and imperfections in the surface. They looked like either 1) adhesion failure of the barrier coat (along with any of the few remaining layers of paint on top), or 2) small gel coat blisters. One section near the bow revealed rust-colored fairing compound underneath, so there was some damage repaired prior to my ownership.

I skimmed these imperfections over with thickened epoxy (thickened with fairing compound). After this cured, I sanded smooth. These were not large sections, so no grinding or long-board fairing was needed.  Just sand the small proud areas smooth with a random orbital sander and wipe down in preparation for bottom paint.

Near the bow over an old repair. This may be an area where barnacles adhered. The surface at the repair may have been slightly weaker. When barnacles were scraped off, a small bit of substrate came loose.

Near the bow over an old repair. This looks like an area where barnacles may have adhered. The surface at the repair may have been slightly weaker. When barnacles were scraped off, a small bit of substrate came loose.

This area is part of the stainless steel gudgeon strapping that I replaced about 6 years ago. Every couple of years, the epoxy fairing compound lets go, I have to redo it.

This area is part of the stainless steel gudgeon strapping that I replaced about 6 years ago. Every couple of years, the epoxy fairing compound lets go, and I have to redo it.

I had a pretty significant grounding last season (in the Chesapeake? Amazing!). Absolutely due to navigation error, and required the assistance of TowBoatUS (glad I paid my annual membership for unlimited towing). The grounding took off a little material on the bottom of the keel. And that's all - these Watkins are tough!

I had a pretty significant soft grounding last season (in the Chesapeake? Amazing!). Absolutely due to navigation error, requiring the assistance of TowBoatUS (glad I paid my annual membership for unlimited towing). The grounding took off a little material on the bottom of the keel. And that’s all – these Watkins are tough!

This was an area of gel coat blistering. Very small blisters (.24 to .50 inch).

This was an area of gel coat blistering. Very small blisters (.25 to .50 inch).

When sanded smooth, the surface was perfect. I applied new bottom paint, and we’re ready for another season!  Changed color to red this year, using the previous black color base as a signal coat.

 

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