The Naiad Voyages

Mark Austen

2016.08.07 - Paint - Part I

I initially shut the workshop doors yesterday evening around 6pm but I found that I couldn't sit still and so I started work on the wooden frame for the solar panel. This morning I trimmed the excess epoxy off the frame, put it aside and started the painting. The bilge and locker paint is a very thick paint, you can scoop a glob of it up with a paint brush and it doesn't fall off. I used a 4" foam roller to do most of the flat surfaces and the brush to do all the corners and the bits that even the small roller couldn't reach. A litre of the paint is supposed to cover 11 square metres which is the measured area of the outside of Naiad's hull and I had just a few scrapings of paint left in the tin when I'd finished so I must have the paint thickness about right. I found it surprising that the black areas of the hull covered really well and the black did not bleed through but the white areas did not cover so well. Not really a problem as I'll be putting on at least another coat. I bought 3 litres of the paint so I could put a third coat on as well but I'll only do this if there are still areas of the hull that need it.

From now on, however, I'll be using some old carpet in the hull to stop my nice new paint from getting scratched or dirty.

Surprisingly, my ankles did not complain about the bending and flexing while I was painting. I was inside the boat and had to sit or crouch to get the job done and the ankles were fine. My back did twinge a little after a while but that was more because of not supporting myself correctly than anything else. There comes a point in the painting process where you can't put the tray of paint down as there's nowhere unpainted left except the bit you're standing on! So one hand for the roller or brush, one hand for the paint tray and reach out to complete the painting and that's when the back decides that this is probably not such a good idea.

I could probably put the second coat on this evening but prudence suggests that I should wait until tomorrow evening. I'll carry on with the solar panel frame after lunch.

The solar panel frame clamped carefully whilst the epoxy cures. In retrospect I probably should have cut the recess for the panel first but the thing is cured now so I'll use a router followed by a sharp chisel to get the recess I require.

You can't easily see it from the photo but the left hand side of the frame is up against two metal stops that fit into holes in my workbench and the right hand site has several pieces of wood filling the distance to two more stops that are in the vice on the end of the bench. The vice was closed a little to put pressure on the frame and the two clamps you can see stopped the longer edge of the frame from moving out. Not a lot of pressure, just enough to keep the frame firm while the epoxy cured. I used a set square to make sure that the corners were right angular before tightening up the vice.


The first coat of paint. Looks quite good but from this angle you cannot see the odd place here and there where I missed a bit. I was able to deal with one or two but there are a few more that I can't reach from outside the boat and they will just have to wait until later.


The paint job from a different angle.


The frame for the solar panel has now been constructed but not finished. The reason for that lies in the position of the solar panel on the boat. It will be mounted somewhere on the coachroof, that's the cabin roof, and since the coachroof will be curved then the underside of the frame will also have to be curved. But I don't know where on the coachroof it will be placed and so I don't know the required curvature either. So I cannot finish the job just yet.

So why not just mount the solar panel directly on the coachroof? There are two reasons for this. The minor reason is that although the panel is flexible, it's not that flexible. With a frame the panel can be flat. The major reason is that the plastic connection box for the wiring is on the bottom of the panel. You can see that in the photos to the right. The only way to mount this directly on the coachroof would be to cut a hole in the roof first in which the connection box would go.

No thanks!

The frame is a good way to count this particular panel. I can also coil up any spare wire once it is connected to the battery charger and put the coil under the panel out of the way.