Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Longest Project Finally FInished

Boot Key Harbor, Marathon, Florida

Is this my longest project?  Perhaps so.   Many years ago, we became unhappy with the nonskid surfaces on our upper decks.   They were worn, and unsightly.   I had the idea of painting them with nonskid paint.  Big mistake.  That failed.  Four subsequent repaintings also failed.  Part of the problem is that a rough nonskid surface can never be properly prepared as a paint base.   Anyhow, we decided to have it done professionally.  Here were the steps to that project.

  1. Sand the nonskid surfaces.  We did that at the dock in New Bern, starting in October 2012.  My son Dave helped out.
  2. Got a quote from Dawson Creek Boat Works to redo the nonskid professionally.  The quote was for $3,500. 
  3. Move the boat to Minnesott beach.  They told me that my sanding was inadequate.
  4. Resand all surfaces down to bare glass.  Turns out that I overdid the sanding.  It cost me another $1,300 to have Dawson Creek fill the areas that I over sanded.
  5. Leave the boat from 4/12 to 9/12 as we did our road trip.  Dawson Creek did the work while we were gone.
  6. Nonskid complete 9/2013. It turned out beautifully.  I'm very pleased.
  7. Now I had to repaint the white smooth deck surfaces.  They too were unsightly, and scratched by my sanding.  Primer coat applied at the dock in New Bern, by mid October 2013.  That took me about 10 working days.
  8. The last step was to put a finish coat over the primer.  That took another 10 working days over an elapsed time of about 40 days.  It turned out beautifully.  I'm very pleased.

Close up of the non skid, September 2013
Overview of top decks this morning.  All work complete.

So after 5-6 years, and 5-6 thousand dollars, we finally have beautiful looking top decks.  Whew.  I'm tempted to say that it wasn't worth the trouble and expense, that we should have lived with the original decks with their old gelcoat.  But it's not true.  The result is very nice and in the balance, I'm glad we did it.

In retrospect, I should have turned the whole job over to professionals from the start.   That's a lesson I have not yet learned adequately; when to do it yourself and when to let the expensive professionals handle it.

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