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Young Again

2021 January 1

Fresh out of college, a young couple found the boat they didn’t know they were looking for and set about on a major refit

Osmosis  treatment & bottom job

Few projects have taught us patience like a complete bottom job. We were living on the boat while it was on the hard, but the Covid-19 pandemic put the schedule up in the air. 

Avocet’s bottom was covered in blisters and we knew we needed to start from scratch. We spent an entire week bringing the bottom back to bare fiberglass. We circled every blister —more than 200—with a marker and then, using a die grinder, kept working until we ground down to dry fiberglass. After every blister was popped and ground out, we rinsed the area with fresh water daily, then let the bottom dry out while we worked on with other projects.

More than 200 blisters covered the hull, all of which were ground out.
Chris Neely photo

After two months, the bottom laminate went from a very wet 90% moisture,  to a more respectable moisture level in the high teens, allowing us to continue with glassing over each and every blister and fairing them flush with the hull.

On the topsides we used SeaHawk’s Tuff-Stuff barrier paint, applying two coats as a base primer that would help fill pinholes. We applied each coat with a roller as we couldn’t spray in the boatyard. We then sanded the topsides with 120-grit to knock down the orange-peel texture, before applying one coat of Awl-Grip primer as a base for the ultimate finish coat.

The bottom received three coats of the same SeaHawk barrier paint, which we were able to apply quickly, with no need to wait for drying time in between. This creates a chemical bond between each layer of the epoxy-based paint, helping provide better protection against blisters. We used Pettit Paints Trinidad 75 as an antifouling hard coat. 

Chris applies barrier paint to the newly faired hull, one of three coats used on the bottom to help prevent future blisters.
Chris Neely photo


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