Catching Up - Part 1 - Bottom Job

Howdy everyone!  Erick here back from a long hiatus, a bit over a year since I have last updated the blog.  I've gone AWOL a few times before, and I bet this won't be the last.  While documenting and blogging about this project has been put aside, the work continues on Windsong and I am slowly making progress towards getting her splashed and usable. This past year has been a tough one when it comes to boat work.  A whole lot of progress, then even bigger set backs.  I've had to re-do a few big jobs, essentially making things 1 step forward, 2 steps back at times.  I will get into the dirty details about everything I've done, but with so much to report I plan on breaking the updates up into a few different parts starting with the bottom job update.

If you have been following my project, you would know that when I hauled Windsong out of the water in  2010 (holy crap its been 5 years!), the first thing I began to do was work on the hull bottom.  I quickly realized I had a massive blister problem that needed fixing, and I then spent the first few months grinding the entire gelcoat layer off of the bottom, as well as 100 or so hand sized blisters in the first fiberglass layer.  The details of this job are in these old posts:

I can proudly say that 5 years later, the bottom job is nearly complete.  When I last updated this blog a year ago, I was in the process of fairing the bottom with epoxy compound.  That was a laborious and physically demanding job that took a good while to complete.  Getting the hull bottom as smooth as can be involved using my trusty 5" random orbital sander to fair down every inch of bottom.  I am now on my 4th sander throughout this project, and have found one (a Makita) that I like more than the others due to its weight.  Holding the thing above my head for hours on end made me realize that the differences between sanders, while only a few ounces, made a big difference.

I also had the entire boat lifted so that I could access the bottom of the keel for repairs and fairing.  In addition, I was able to finish grinding and fairing the spots that were under the boat stand pads.  The entire bottom is currently finished and faired, with the exception of the very bottom of the keel.  I have a couple of holes drilled in the bottom of the keel to drain any bilge water out, and once those are filled up I can finish the keel bottom.  The hold up there is getting bilge pumps installed, and before that the primary DC electrical system (batteries, charger, etc.)  I can proudly say that all of that is complete, and the bilge pumps are next in line to be installed, I am just figuring out the details of the system now.  I will update all of the electrical work in a separate post.

One the keep is faired, I can finally begin applying layers of epoxy barrier coat to replace the old gelcoat, and *hopefully* avoid future blisters.  Many boat owners who do blister repairs often see them come back, mostly because they never let their hull dry out completely before applying barrier coat.  Well...Windsong's hull is probably drier than it ever was and ever shall be, so hopefully I avoid that issue.


Stand pads spots all finished


Keel bottom is the only spot left to be faired