We Have Laminate!!!

We got very lucky this week. The laminate that we thought would arrive Friday actually came on Monday and, because of this, we were able to get a lot done. We also got some good news from our marina this week. They will be opening tomorrow so that they can start putting boats in the water but can’t open to the public yet. We are hoping that things will be close to normal by the time we arrive on June 15th.

Donald wanted to do a bit of exterior work this week and, since the weather was so nice, he took on the job of cutting the new caps for the transom. The original wood (which we think was teak) was in pretty bad shape. They also accessed some storage from the top of the transom and so the cap was actually broken up into smaller pieces which were the flip up lids. Donald put them back together in place to make sure we still had all the pieces of this puzzle.

We wanted to simplify things and have a more consistent and cleaner look on the top of the transom. We also really didn’t feel we needed the little bit of storage that this area would give us. We have a plan for something in the back corner of the cockpit that we will be making in the fall.

Here Donald is sanding one of the new Ipe pieces.

This wood is extremely dense and is incredibly resistant to water. Another name for this species of wood is Brazilian hardwood. It is considered an exotic wood but is sustainable and eco-friendly. It is also resistant to mould and rot. We fit the new pieces and will be installing them this week.

… and since we tend to be impatient we put some special UV conditioner on it to see how deep and rich the colour will look when it is finished.

This will look great against the new black bimini.

We took a few minutes to clean up a spot on the transom to see how it will turn out. This spot is where the Ipe cap will end so it will be exposed.

One of the previous owners decided to do some painting on the non-slip surface and I wasn’t able to clean it out. There is some repair work to do here too.

I knew there would be some areas on the non-slip surface that would need to be repaired so I checked out YouTube and, sure enough, there was a solution to this.

A while back I found a lot of videos from this gentleman that focused only on fiberglass and gel-coat repair. His YouTube channel is called Boatworks Today. One of his videos was about making a mould of a non-skid surface so that any repair can blend in.

I used an access panel from the cockpit to work with. The first thing to do was clean the surface thoroughly with acetone and then tape off an area that will be copied.

In order to stop the gel-coat from sticking to the surface I sprayed on several layers of PVA mould release using a spray gun. It creates a thin film which the gel-coat won’t stick to.

I left this to dry for a couple of hours and the next step was to paint on a thick layer or gel-coat. It needed to be thick so that it would get into the deeper pockets of the surface.

The exposed gel-coat didn’t need to be too perfect because the next step was to add few layers of fiberglass to make this into a panel.

I am learning quite a bit about gel-coat. It only fully cures when oxygen can’t get to it. Left exposed to the air without any additive it will remain slightly tacky. More on that additive in a later post. For this I didn’t use this additive and let this cure overnight.

The next day I put on two layers of fiberglass.

24 hours later I peeled off it off…

…trimmed it up and now I have a negative (or is it a positive?) to work with when I do the repairs on the bow. This part worked out great and it was all thanks to Boatworks Today!!

The one issue that I will be facing is the new gel-coat colour doesn’t match the finish on our boat. We checked this panel against a newly buffed area on the transom and this is slightly darker. If there is anyone out there with a suggestion on what to do I would appreciate any input.

Earlier this week I started to prep the helm for fiberglass by applying a first coat of resin to the plywood.

Only a part of the helm will be finished with gel-coat but I sealed the entire area including the flat area between it and the windshields.

Once this cured I started applying a layer of fiberglass to the helm. This will be sanded smooth to then be finished with gel-coat. The sides won’t be. We are planning on have the sides covered with a fabric.

I cut the pieces of fiberglass that are sticking over the edge off today and did a bit of sanding. I am pretty sure this will work or at least I am hoping it will.

By now, if you have been following along with this blog, you will notice that I usually show what I do first because I like to end up with the cool stuff that Donald does. I’m like the roadie that runs out on stage to stand the microphone up again after the star has dropped it. It has to be done but it isn’t what the fans paid to see.

For example…

I started changing out the thru-hull fittings.

Yes…I know. Very exciting!

I also re-sanded the part of the port and SB side windows that are exposed in order to get rid of the pitting.

I covered these surfaces with Bondo and then sanded them smooth, primed them and repainted. Some of the pitting is still there but it turned out a lot better. I just forgot to take a photo of them.

I did more work on the headliner in the v-berth as well. I added in the LED strip lights that will be the main source of light for the area. This will be covered with a main panel that allows a 1″ reveal around the perimeter. First I had to install an aluminum strip that will help dissipate any heat that the lights give off… which isn’t much.

This is a shot looking straight up at the ceiling.



I then finished off the panel that we fitted to the ceiling.

And then we installed it.

I still have at least a full days work left in the v-berth headliner. The rest of the boat scares me.

A few more items before I get to the good stuff.

In order for the side windows to go in next week I had to start prepping the openings. Luckily it was a beautiful day and it was great to open up the winter cover and work in the sun.

A lot of silicone has been used in the past to seal and reseal the original windows and it made a mess.

I sanded the gel-coat down to a matt finish using 80 grit and then 120 grit. The next step is to sand it with 400… and then 1000 and finally 1500. This will get it to a fairly nice shine but then we buff and polish it. It is amazing how much cleaner it looks just with the rough sanding.

Even with being in the open air and the wind blowing I still wore the mask. This stuff gets everywhere.

The final coat of Durabond was applied to the wall and now it is ready for priming. Once that is done we can cover it with laminate. That unfinished curved wall has been staring us in the face for so long (almost taunting us) and it will be a cause for celebration when it is done. Hoping to get to that this week.

You might notice from this photo something else that has changed. Since the laminate arrived in time Donald was then able to do what he does best. We now have doors on our cabinets!

… and apparently a new library.

The doors and drawer fronts for the galley are going to be a painted white. The finish will have a very durable clear coat with a soft sheen. Donald made up the doors and drawer fronts and put them in place for the photos. He will be working on the drawers over the next few weeks.

Lots more to do and only 42 days before this things is out of here. That translates to about 8 or 9 more boat days. We are still feeling optimistic that we will be ready.

Until next time…

2 Replies to “We Have Laminate!!!”

  1. Hi Craig,
    The photos of us getting frustrated end up on the editing room floor! We definitely do get frustrated but quickly get over it. I guess we keep each other accountable and on task. Thanks again for following along. We are now into the final few weeks and are determined to have this done before it leaves.


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