Thursday, June 4, 2015

Bottom Job: The Threshold of Hell

Ever wonder what the threshold of Hell looks like? After the last four days of sanding, sweating and swearing while sanding the boat bottom down to the gelcoat, I feel like I can now enlighten you. We were told over and over that redoing the bottom paint on a boat is the worst boat job there is. Then we thought, "Nah, it can't be that bad. We've done plenty of hard work before, this will be a pain, but we can do it". Our eyes have been opened my friends.

We started out taping the new waterline and decided to put up some more painter's tape up to give the duct tape something to stick to other than the hull...that residue is a real PITA to get off, but you know we can't say no to duct tape. Then we had to get the tarp around the boat in some slightly gusty breezes and, naturally, Ron was in a full-blown cursing tantrum in about 3 seconds flat. Joy.

Smiling from exhaustion
I have to disclose that we were working in temps from 65 to 75 (outside the tarp) and we were already miserable. I cannot fathom the level of misery for those doing this same project in hotter climates, hats off to you!
Inch by inch...

My general mood during the project
After 27 hours of fighting tarps in the wind, being wedged in awkward and uncomfortable positions, dragging a shop vac and sander around the boat, sweating nonstop and looking like a deranged Smurf over four days we FINALLY FINISHED!!!
Done done done!!!
Some things we've learned:

  • Don't use cheap duct tape
  • Change the sanding pad often
  • Wear earplugs! Ouch
  • You might get sore enough that even deep breathing can be painful, but it gets the end
  • After a day or two you get into a rythm
  • You will curse you're decision (the entire time) to do it yourself and vow to budget to pay for it next time
  • Suck it up and do it, just once
Now, we wait for a weather window to start painting, and painting I can handle!


  1. This is cracking me up. I think we are "helping" the boat yard do ours in the next few weeks. I imagine it will go easier than yours - at least I can hope so with other people doing a lot of the work.
    You are looking a bit zombie-like in the "general mood" photo. Might be a fun look for Halloween.
    What kind of paint are you guys going with? We are still deciding...

    1. I think "helping" someone else do it would be a perfect way to get it done!

      We're going with Petit's Trinidad SR paint. That's what Matt and Jessica used on Serendipity and they were quite happy with it. But it aint cheap! ;)

  2. You should have seen me the day I threw our tarps in the garbage, meaning that the sanding was finally 100% finish. I think I may have done a happy dance around the trash bin. :)