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Time for winter maintenance

Posted by steveoh 
Time for winter maintenance
December 19, 2011 12:07AM
Well, the winter here in the wasatch is pretty grim and my boat needs some love. Unfortunately it didn't come with an owners manual so I'm going to reach out to you guys again for some advice.


The boat, I think, has a varnish on it. It also has UHMV plastic on the bottom and chines that is starting to become brittle.


I would like to flip the boat over, remove the uhmv plastic, glass the bottom, oil the inside, and move the plug holes.

So how do I flip over my boat? It's in a garage that has rafters and stuff so I could possibly rig some pullies etc. cyoa1 I saw your jig, which was pretty cool, what was your technique for getting it up there? Also, it was nice seeing you on the green, do you live near slc? Could you be bribed with hookers and blow to help me?

How hard will it be for me to glass the bottom and possibly the sides. Where can I learn this technique and a material list? If it's too difficult maybe I'll just re-plastic the bottom again?

What product/tools should I use to get the varnish off of the boat now?

Sandy, I noticed you said to use the search function to figure out what sort of oil to use for the interior, but I couldn't find it. Maybe you could link to it?

All information is appreciated - I just need to figure out all the pieces and then start getting my hands dirty again. Hopefully I'll be done before it's time to start floating again.
Re: Time for winter maintenance
December 20, 2011 01:12PM
I have a similar question regarding finish. I'm just finishing up my Cherry rope seats and not sure how I should finish them. Should I Epoxy and then spar varnish or do I just use oil for this? If oil what is recommended? I'd appreciate any help with this. Thanks
Re: Time for winter maintenance
December 21, 2011 05:50AM
All of the approaches you suggest are used by finishers. Many will provide their opinion of why they elect the method they prefer. In the end you will need to decide on your method of choice.

There is a handy little book titled: The brightwork companion - tried and true methods and strongly held opinions (on the art of bright finished wood) by Rebecca J. Wittman. She is devote fan of varnish over oil, so beware.

Basically there is oil or varnish. For varnish you can use a seal coat of oil, dilute varnish, or epoxy as the first coat. So, the options you identify are varnish with epoxy sealer or oil. Either will work. The oil will require much more maintenance than the epoxy varnish.

For bright finish I use Interlux schooner varnish....applied as a wiping varnish.....I dilute the varnish in mineral spirits at least 1:1, then apply with a soaked rag. Just enough to lightly coat. For me this keeps drips, runs, and sags to a minimum. I reapply every couple hours - as soon as the coat is dry to the touch. Apply three coats in a day, let it set overnight, lightly sand, repeat. This builds a nice varnish coat in about three days.

I cannot seems to brush varnish and get a quality finish....and when applying full strength or diluted 10 - 15% sanding is needed between each coat.

The gunnels and interior brightwork on my db are epoxy sealed and then varnish. The gunnels on my canoe are varnish. The interior of my db is paint with brightwork trim. Wood is nice, but a pain to maintain (a strongly held opinion)

I have recently experimented with system 3 waterborn linear polyurathane and am interested in pursuing it as the paint when I need to replace the Interlux Toplac and Brightsides I used in the original paint job. No solvents, hard, nice finish. I want to try system 3 and general finishes waterborn clear finishes as well. No solvents, and they dry quickly so a finish job should be completed in fewer days. Many will cringe at the idea of using a recent generation waterborne finish on a boat, but I think the advantages are worth exploring.
Re: Time for winter maintenance
December 21, 2011 07:43AM
Thank you for the response. So how long should the epoxy with Interlux Schooner Varnish last on a drift boat before it needs to be redone?
Re: Time for winter maintenance
December 21, 2011 10:57PM
My boats are outside all the time. With ash gunwales I gave up on epoxy with varnish. It just didn't last. I doubt it went 2 season. The scraping and re coat was too much work. I now use oil. A fast coat once a month is now all I do. Each coat only takes 5 minutes.
Re: Time for winter maintenance
December 22, 2011 02:42AM
What type of oil are you using? Thanks
Re: Time for winter maintenance
December 22, 2011 02:58AM
My boat has a cover, but sits outside and is used about 20 days a year. The varnish lasts 2 years. Light sanding with follow-up of wipe-on technique takes a couple days (3 coats per day about an hour apart, cure overnight, light sanding, 3 more coats and hour apart, repeat if you want more depth).

Larry oils once a month. I never oiled that often with my canoe and the gunnels decayed - I knew I was suppose to, but was too busy. So I had to replace the gunnels. If you oil every month you would be fine. If you only oil once a year you will have problems. On my db I oiled initially (not often enough) and had significant mildew. So I cleaned with bleach, sanded, epoxyed, and varnished.

If you oil you can make your own (see past threads on the formula) or purchase Daley's (sic?) .... check out Jamestown Distributors for various alternatives. Be careful with rag disposal with oil, it can spontaneously combust.

As I indicated in my earlier post, there is more than one way to address the challenges, and we each get to choose what fits our own circumstances. The method one person selects may not be the best for someone else.

Either oil or varnish is best applied at temperatures above 60 F (perhaps 70). Varnish doesn't perform well in the sun or heat. I tend to think of brightwork maintenance as a spring, not winter task.
Re: Time for winter maintenance
December 22, 2011 04:09AM
do you mind making your own thread instead of hijacking mine?
Re: Time for winter maintenance
December 22, 2011 05:36PM
Easy there big feller...

Jeremy Christensen
Re: Time for winter maintenance
December 22, 2011 08:32PM
just sayin :)
Re: Time for winter maintenance
December 23, 2011 07:24PM
You just can't expect too much from the self-centered degenerates that post on this board :-) (myself included)

Jeremy Christensen
Re: Time for winter maintenance
December 26, 2011 10:39PM
ctowles Wrote:
> to get the varnish off, try a stripper first,
> there are alot of water based products that will
> likely work well. a scraper and heat gun should
> take care of anything left.
> hope that helps
> chris

any reason on a water based stripper over oil based ones?
Re: Time for winter maintenance
December 27, 2011 05:35AM
Ok, I purchased a water based one. I just wanted to know if there were any reasons that would damage the boat.
Re: Time for winter maintenance
December 31, 2011 10:51PM
looks like i need to round up some friends to help with the scraping. It's a slooooooow process.

Scrape one panel, sharpen scraper, repeat.
Re: Time for winter maintenance
January 01, 2012 02:13AM
Reminds me of the joke about the computer programmer they found dead in the bathtub.
He was buried underneath a mountain of soap bubbles. They pried his rigor mortise fingers off a shampoo bottle whose label read lather. rinse. repeat.

...I dunno. Maybe you'd have to be a programmer. Computers do what they're told. If you don't tell them exactly when to stop they never do.
Re: Time for winter maintenance
January 01, 2012 02:21AM
i am a programmer.
Re: Time for winter maintenance
January 03, 2012 04:43AM

this scraping and sanding is a pain in the back! And I've only done part of the inside. I'm going to need to replace the (what do you call them) wood chines that go across the floor. Any idea what sort of wood that is?
Re: Time for winter maintenance
January 03, 2012 04:01PM
About that sanding. When ever possible fill instead of sand.

If you don't have one get a scraper with a carbide blade. If there is a harbor freight near you they have cheap ones which do a good job. They cut things down fast and shavings are a lot better then sanding dust.

Are the frames in your boat rotted?
Re: Time for winter maintenance
January 03, 2012 07:00PM
Port Orford Cedar or Alaskan Yellow Cedar are often used for frame materials. Rot resistant and they normally have a pretty long life.

What does a shaving of the wood without finish smell like?

Rick Newman
Re: Time for winter maintenance
January 04, 2012 12:06AM
they aren't rotten, but the screws that held the false floor on didn't come out so nicely on some and a few boards split.
Re: Time for winter maintenance
January 04, 2012 12:08AM
the frames are not rotted. I am using a husky 2.5 inch carbide blade scraper. I scraped as much as I could then just went back with 60 grit to smooth things out a bit. I plan to teak oil the inside and maybe put rhino liner in the bottom.
Re: Time for winter maintenance
January 24, 2012 11:03PM
well I have the inside of the boat scraped so now it is time to flip the boat over. I built some stands to hold the boat which has worked out great.

I removed all the UHMV plastic from the bottom and I'm wondering what I should use to fill the 1 million screw holes before it gets glassed?

I've been removing the varnish from the sides and the bottom but I've run into a predicament with these bumper plates.

These plates are screwed in and I also believe they are attached with glued since I removed some screws and it wouldn't budge. I can't remove the varnish from the small strip between the chine and the plate since the scraper doesn't fit. Glassing over the plate would probably produce air bubbles etc and not be a great idea right? Should I just sand the square edge down so it is smooth and glass over it?

I still need to figure out the type of wood the frame cross members are. I haven't smelled the wood yet so that's my fault. I'll try to get to that soon so I can start unscrewing them from the bottom and replacing them.

Re: Time for winter maintenance
January 25, 2012 12:01AM
Can you give us a picture of the "bumper plates"? I have a couple thoughts but really need to make sure what they are.
Re: Time for winter maintenance
January 25, 2012 03:29AM
look at the second image.
Re: Time for winter maintenance
January 25, 2012 03:52AM
Sorry I guess it's just me but all I see in the second picture is the bottom and side of the boat with uhmw on it. Sorry if I was unclear but a detail shot would be nice if you're going to ask for help with it. Again sorry if I'm missing something there....
Re: Time for winter maintenance
January 25, 2012 04:22AM
After a second look and think.... I thought you were asking about a fastener, my bad..... First I'll just say UHMW is about the impervious stuff around and nothing, I mean nothing sticks to it. That said, if you have all the mechanical fasteners removed you should be able to just pull it off maybe a little start from chisel. Glue will not stick to it.
Re: Time for winter maintenance
January 25, 2012 04:41AM
its made out of wood.

Re: Time for winter maintenance
January 25, 2012 05:17AM
The wood strip along the side of the boat, just above the chine is called the rub rail. Back in the old days boat trailers did not have bunks and the tires were not covered with fenders. These rub rails kept the boats from being worn by the tires.

I've no solution for removing the varnish between the rub rail and the chine, except using a narrower scraper.

Fill the screw holes in the plywood with epoxy thickened with silica and woodflour. See west systems, system 3, or raka websites for epoxy manuals that describe thickening resin for use in filling holes, making fillets, etc.

Looks like you are making progress.
Re: Time for winter maintenance
February 02, 2012 05:33AM
where should I pick up the fiber glass in salt lake? any recommendations on mat/pad sizes and what to mix in or just talk to them at the shop? I thought it would be a good idea to mix in some graphite or something to make it a little more slick/strong?
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