Sunday, July 8, 2007

Pausing to build wingnet rails

I did not make much progress this weekend, and the progress I did make (sanding floats to 320 grit) appears to have been wasted effort. As mentioned before, the new plan book details how to construct the wingnet rail. The rail is two formed pieces of fiberglass, that attach together and to the deck to form a raised rail (about 5" higher than the deck); a metal extrusion rail will then be attached to the glass rail to form the outboard net attachment. Obviously in order to attach the rail to the deck, the deck will need to be ground back down to fiberglass itself. So there's no point in continuing with any fairing, primer, or paint until the wingnet rail is constructed. I got started today on making the forms for the rail pieces and will update how that went in a future post.

The Multihull Nets web site has lots of good pictures and explanations of the various net attaching mechanisms. This was helpful in getting me oriented as to how these things work. Ian does allow for another net attachment option, which is to stretch a cable between the beams and lash the net to that - but the net will not be supported and hence will droop. I decided not to go that route -- I'm a big guy and want the nets to be nice and sturdy.

Heeding advice from several folks (Tor, the Alexseal rep, and Tim in Maine) I've decided not take any chances with my sand-thru spots. The Alexseal rep said it would be okay as long as all spots were "quarter-sized or smaller", and I have many that are bigger than that. Once the wingnets are built and attached, I'll be scuffing, re-primering (with my HVLP gun!), and re-sanding both floats all over again. This time around, I think I am going to spray one coat of gray primer, followed by two coats of white - that way when I'm sanding, I'll have a guide to tell me when I'm going too far.

I was amazed with the Alexseal paint that I sprayed on my access hatch cutout. Even with a crappy sanding job, that paint is shiny as heck! And it feels really hard and tough too. This is making me very excited to see the final paint job... I think I'll sand the other access hatch down to 320-400, spray it, and take it into work as a conversation piece (I already have some raw foam and a piece of vacuum-bagged laminate in the office to help show co-workers what I'm working on - if they show interest :).

Edit: I just had to mention something that happened to me today. This morning I went down to Fisheries Supply (again) in Seattle to buy (yet again) more supplies. (The employees there are starting to recognize me and remember my name - this is bad, very bad.) I ended up asking Karen back in the sailboat area if she would send my order downstairs for me (F.S. has many items in a non-public warehouse below the main store. You tell someone what you want, and they bring it up for you in about 5-15 minutes, usually. Unfortunately, all of the Alexseal products are downstairs.) While waiting for my items, I chatted a bit with her and noticed on her business card that she is the "Sailboat Specialist". Long story short, it turns out I was talking with the first American woman to do a solo circumnavigation. Pretty cool! Yeah - I'd say she's qualified to be the Sailboat Specialist, for sure. :)

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