Latest News: Forums Technical Advice on complete repaint for new woodie owner..(!)

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    I acquired W522 a year or so ago and it’s past time that I made a start on getting her seaworthy again so that I can get to sail her! It’s all a bit of a steep curve though (and I’ll come to the sailing later!), so I’m going to appreciate all (?) the advice I can get. Obviously I want to do a good job, but I’m slightly nervous of going too far and getting bogged down. She’d been stored in the dry by her previous owner for 3 or 4 years perhaps, had a winter out under a tarp, and then has been in the dry for the last year, including being ‘garaged’ since last October.. so she’s dry as a bone now.. will that create problems in itself? She seems basically sound; a rubbing strip coming adrift, and a loose fitting or two are the only things I’ve noticed so far. The varnish is almost coming off the decks by itself, but the first thing I’m wondering is, is it thought to be ok to use paint / varnish stripper or is that risky? I’m planning to use Coach-Kote, a clear enamel by Wilsons paints in Exmouth, for the bright work.. any comments? And then possibly their (highly regarded) enamel paint for the hull, when I eventually get underneath.
    Oh, and the launching trolley fell to bits when she came off it at her last move, and so I’m going to have to get a new, improved one fabricated.. just looking into suitable keel rollers, side supports, etc. I need to look around at other designs and examples..


    .. And thanks in advance to any of you who come forward with that needed advice.. it will be good to feel amongst friends!


    Hi Roy

    I’m on a steep curve myself with a woodie, though in my case the pressure is too keep the boat in its current very good condition. You’ll find there is lots of help on hand here!

    I put up a general query a while back about advice on care of wooden boats – its well worth looking at the help people gave on that one.

    I’ve been cleaning up most parts of the cockpit today and experimenting with sanding and heat-gunning.
    Heat-gunning is great. Don’t use a blow-torch – too fierce. The electric ones are great, heat adjustable. Varnish comes off very nicely indeed with minimum fumes and nice clean wood underneath. Then you can sand to get a good base to apply your new surface too.
    I’ve stripped A LOT OF WOOD, but always in old houses until now. I long ago gave up on paintstrippers, they are horribly toxic and make it really easy to mess up the wood. Just bad bad bad!
    So I’d say get a heat-gun and a really good mask to protect your brain and lungs from the fumes.

    I’ll be watching this thread to see what folk say about paints – it seems a bit of a minefield of apparently vague terminology (“two pot”, “enamel” etc) with no clear answers even at the chandlers!

    In the end it all boils down to a sound clean wood surface and a waterproof coating …



    Thanks Boris.. I’m going to explore some of the leads in that link you posted. And I’m going to go with your advice on avoiding strippers in favour of a heat gun.
    What about the whole epoxy thing though, is that the way to go to seal and strengthen an old woodie, particularly in vulnerable places? If so, where are the likely / most important places to use it..?

    Bob Harland

    Be very careful with a heat gun if you are going to varnish – it is very easy to scorch the timber.

    Dave Barker

    Also be very careful if you do decide to use either “two-pot” (which is in fact a special form of polyurethane, which you have to mix in careful proportions from two separate containers) or epoxy (which you also mix, then apply to the bare wood, leave to harden, sand level, perhaps repeat, and finally finish with paint or varnish).

    The 2-part polyurethane gives off some nasty fumes which can sensitise the lining of your lungs, leading to severe asthma and occasionally death.

    Epoxy also gives off toxic fumes when hardening, whilst the sanding dust can irritate skin, eyes, lungs etc. Some people are allergic to the separate components of epoxy, more often the hardener I think.

    Both products are very useful in the care and maintenance of wooden boat parts, but need to be treated with respect.

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