Our 1956 19′ Chris-Craft Capri is today’s lab rat for a virtual clinic focusing on bottom work. Here is what is involved, or at least our standard materials list and sequence. No, I am not asserting that our way is the only or the best way. What follows below is what currently works for us today. However, preserving wood vessels is an evolving journey along which best practices and best materials evolve continually.
Remember that there was a day when paying 5200 into bottom plank seams was dogma! But flexible marine epoxy products were not even a glimmer on the researcher’s bench then.
- Strip the bottom
- Refasten planks & fill countersinks
- Fill seams – TotalBoat Thixo Flex Flexible Epoxy Adhesive Tool –
- Piston-driven pneumatic or battery-powered caulking gun
- Flexible putty knife o Vice grips for changing mixing tube
- Sand bottom and chines – 60 grit followed by 80 grit paper using either an inline or random orbit sander is fine, since you need not worry about cross-grain scratches beneath paint. If you use the random orbit sander, do take special care to keep it moving constantly, less you create a moonscape that you truly do not want.
- Seal – Apply FOUR full coats on Smith’s Clear Penetrating Epoxy Sealer – CPES. Apply the first two coats immediately one after the other. (Use the inexpensive alternatives on the market at your peril.)
- Prime – Apply FIVE coats of Interlux InterProtect 2000E Barrier Coat Epoxy Primer, or until a film thickness of 10 mils, 2.5 mils/coat, is achieved. Alternate between applying gray and white. Minimum recoating at 60F (15C) is 5 hours. Maximum interval is 6 months.
- Apply bottom paint
- Ablative (Antifouling), if the boat lives in the water all season – Pettit 1933 Copper Bronze Antifouling Bottom Paint
- Hard if the boat is dry sailed – Pettit Old Salem Copper Bronze Hard Racing Enamel
Now, ALL we must hope for is that we are all safely on the other side of the COVID-19 Pandemic in time to have her in the water at least once this season!
PLEASE STAY HOME AND PLEASE STAY SAFE!