Bijou, A Catalina 27 Sailboat

Day 2 of haul out - May 16 2002

Fairing and Prepping the hull and foils for bottom paint

Acid wash for topsides gelcoat

Patching the foot of the keel


Here's our new boat, at the end of our first day of ownership. She's on the hard while I wait for the yard to install new seacocks.

I would have preferred to be sailing, but there was work to be done... I faired the bottom for 4 grueling hours today, to prep for new bottom paint.

Today I faired the hull with "grill bricks", a soft abrasive sponge used for cleaning barbeque grills.

I spent extra time fairing the from bow to about even with the mast, because that's about as far as I can expect water to flow smoothly. Maybe if it's smooth there, the water flow won't delaminate from the hull quite as quickly....

I also spent extra time smoothing the fin keel and rudder. Foils are what give you lift to windward, so they're worth an extra few minutes to get them pretty smooth.

The hull isn't perfectly smooth now, and it's definitely not a racing bottom, but it's a lot smoother than before. It's ready to accept two more coats of bottom paint all over, and three coats on the leading edges and at the water line.

Today I also used an acid wash on the topsides (the area between the water line and the bottom paint), to whiten her up before buffing and waxing her tomorrow. The gelcoat is in remarkably good conditon for a 25 year old boat, and should shine up beautifully. The previous owner(s) must have waxed it regularly, and it's apparent she's been well cared for all these years. She's going to look quite nice when I've finished.


Here's a close up of what the remaining paint looked like after I washed the topsides with acid and rinsed. The acid wash bled down onto the bottom paint, streaking it. The yard manager assured me that it was okay and wouldn't harm the new bottom paint I'll be applying tomorrow.











While fairing the hull, I discovered a loose edge of some fiberglass at the aft bottom edge of the keel, right right along the rounded bottom of the keel. When we hauled the boat, it didn't show, because of all the bottom paint slathered around there and the wetness.

At some time in the past, somebody wrapped the keel in fiberglass. Unfortunately, they left blue bottom paint on the keel... they neglected to get down to bare metal on the bottom edge of the keel. The fiberglass didn't bond properly to the keel over bottom paint - that's no surprise, since bottom paint is a poor intermediate bonding material.

The glass probably got damaged the first or second time the prior owner ran aground -- after all, only bottom paint was keeping it stuck to the keel. There's no evidence of a "hard" grounding, so there's I suspect that the person who did the work was in too much of rush to do it properly or didn't know any better. I'd guess it broke loose the first time the owner sailing her to a soft grounding

Fixing this it's not a big deal; it's not structural. But it will decrease the effieicency of the keel. But, on the bright side, it should be easily repaired to last a long time -- I hope! I'll know ut for sure tomorrow, when I start grinding away at the loose fiberglass.

Tommorow, I'll grind the loose glass off glass until all the loosened glass has been removed. Then I'll prime the area with epoxy resin. Then I'll fair the area with epoxy thickened with a high density filler that's tough and highly adhesive (probably fumed silica, since it's really tough and very adhesive, and can take the abuse of grounding). High density filler will be hard to sand, but it's worth the extra effort to make it "tough", considering how frequently I seem to run agound!

I also found two or three small spots (less than 1" diameter) where the bottom paint was loose and came off the hull. Tomorrow, I'll de-wax the area and then sand the centers and edges of the chips, and fair the low spot with low density filler before repainting. Hopefully, the new paint won't chip off on those same spots again.

Also tomorrow, the yard will be installing brass seacocks to replace the thru hull under the galley and the port settee.

And oh yeah -- my hubby Dave will show up at the yard tomorrow for a few hours to help me buff the boat for a few hours! Boy, that'll be a first! I love the way he's taking an active role in refitting this boat, unlike the previous ones.

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