[9.14.16] ALUMINUM BOAT UPGRADES
||Paint Prep||Style and Painting||Hardware Upgrades||Conclusion|
|Epoxy time ahoy!|
Pulling all the old paint and scum off was fairly intense, going from 'greenish hints of algae to two-part sealing primer was a time consuming process. Shown here is the first layer of primer being applied. A julian appeared halfway through the process to observe the gloriousness.
|The Craft awaiting a new life
|The return of 8' Jon Boat
Last episode we took the craft out with the experimental 1kw dc thruster. This boat was a heavily used 'craigslist deluxe' craft and a bit sketchy in terms of flotation. The main qualm was while the vessel was structural there were a number of slowly leaking rivets and an odd 'wood screwed into wood' plug for the rear drain port.
|The craft's paint was wearing off and it appears a previous attempt at covering leaky rivets was also showing through. The transom itself was riddled with rusting bolts and starting to become less, er, structural. Time for some summertime upgrades!|
|The craft itself had seen better days, from the initial test, with the 1kw dc thruster, it was a tad leaky, the outboard mount was a mostly rotted plywood sheet and the outside was covered with patches of sad paint and 'biological stuff'.|
|Plywood in a marine environment didn't survive, at all. It peeled off fairly easily. Removing the transom and backplate were incredibly straight forward, the bolts quite literally broke in two when yanked on.|
|A good space to work. The stripping process is messy, the paint that gets removed needs to go somewhere. For this, an unused garage bay did the trick, I purchased 14' square painting sheeting and taped it to the floor to act as a 'goop pickup' scoop. It worked fairly well. The boat itself was raised from the ground and ratchet strapped to a cart. This allowed the stripper application and paint scraping to occur up in the air versus bent over on the ground.|
|The De-painting began with an environmentally friendly Citri-Strip QCG73801T stripper. It's available [link] and purports to be non toxic. I was mostly concerned with the stripper eating through the aluminum on the boat. About two containers of goo were used to begin the stripping process. Paintbrushes were used to spread the goo and form a layer over all of the boat surfaces. The ever excellent Sam helped make this possible, as there's quite a bit of boat to cover with only one set of hands. Note, gloves were mighty useful during the goo spreading. I think we burned through a dozen sets of gloves.|
|With the goo painted on just about every surface the process began. We let the whole boat sit overnight and let the paint stripper do its magic. I was fairly suspicious, as the stripper had no volatile scent or eye-burning sensation when nearby. I put up a sign in case anyone got curious as the pink goo went to work.|
|ONE DAY LATER
To both me and Sam's surprise, the paint started peeling off! The goo had worked. Slowly, using a scraper, sheets of the paint and goo started coming off, piles of disgusting paint were everywhere. We ended up going through a box of gloves
a pass of the scraper the goo peeled off. The difference between the
scraped and unscraped are shown on the top versus the bottom.
There were some curious parts, we did find particular buildup of 'stuff' around the rivets. I was convinced it was, er, 'biologicals' or 'coral' or something, as it turned out, after we arduously removed most of it, it was most likely sealing epoxy... So that happened...
|Wire brushes, brillow pads and grinders, oh my!
With a lot of hard work and scrubbing the aluminum started to appear from under the weathered outsides.
|Tools of the trade
As it turned out, wire brushes attached to angle grinders are fairly ineffective. While they are coarse, they also surprisingly get clogged fairly quickly. The quick solution was 'smush a scotch brite pad into the wire brush and go to town'. The 120vac angle grinder was run through a variac to limit the voltage to a more reasonable ~40 vAC. FRED lent his 18v dewalt-grinder-of-science and lo, there was some excellence. The poor battery would get chewed through in a few minutes.
|Most of the crevices and ribs were cleaned by hand, which, took a while. Finally it was ready for painting prep! Ratchet strapped boat-to-cart worked phenomenally well.|
|From the sponsors:|
|Before painting, the area was prepped with some plastic sheet, staple hammered to the floor. A sawhorse was assembled and the boat was prepped by de-dusting with simple-green and a boatload of towels. A long 'brush on a stick' worked really effectively for reaching across and down the boat.|
|Steel wool was used on the final cleaning of any areas that still had cruft left over from the de-painting process.|
For a primer, we used Amercoat 235 2-part epoxy primer. Holy moleys do you need a respirator to use this stuff. Mix well, really, really well before using. Both myself and Sam garnered these [link] and prepped with rollers and gratuitous amounts of gloves. Note this is proper marine coating goodness, intended for aluminum hulled crafts. This was acquired from C. G Edwards Marine supply over in Boston Ma. Covering the boat twice consumed roughly 1/3 of the epoxy.
|The actual painting process didn't have too many photos, as, well my gloves were covered in paint. Here's the first coat after about a day of drying. Honestly it looked fantastic. The 'its all the same color' and 'its not covered in biological stuff' really stuck out. A second coat was applied about 3 days later to ensure that all the rivets were completely covered. Note that the epoxy primer was intended to seal any rivet related leaks.|
|The back was focused on a bit to ensure the seam between the bottom and sides of the boat had a decent amount of sealant. The back plate itself is rather thin with the transom board removed. Also a hole is present on the back for a drain plug, or something similar. This was previously sealed with two blocks of wood and some rtv sealant.|
(There's other photos in the photo gallery)Concluding Remarks:
- It is incredibly rewarding repairing contraptions and adding a flair of personality. I had a great time working with excellent comrades, who both put up with my antics and paint fumes while this craft was being reborn.
- Paint is weird, remember to mix, then mix some more and when you think its completely mixed, mix some more. Forced air around a freshly painted object will also dramatically increase the speed of it setting. As The Jume says 'fans are great'.
- Vinyl cutters are fantastic, cutting the vias and the lettering really made this project pop.
- This couldnt have happened without Sam's attention to detail, Jume's ability to withstand paint fumes and everyone else's patience with me beginning sentences with AHOY!
|From the sponsors:|
If you have questions or comments, ask below or send over an email.
HTML Comment Box is loading comments...
(be careful, im not responsible for that paint crud stuck under your fingernails )
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Electrical & Electrical Power