Well we finally got to the stage where we felt happy to go ahead with epoxy coating the frames. This makes us sound very assiduous, but in reality we got to the point where we couldn’t face picking up sandpaper, planes and levels any more and decided to just go for it rather than whittling away for the next year and getting nothing done.
The first step was to coat all the joints with epoxy and then fillet bond them with a thickened epoxy mix to glue them firmly in place. The epoxying bit was fine – for some reason epoxy had been looming large in my head since the start of the build as something worthy of trepidation. Certainly it doesn’t come without provisos. But in fact, thanks to Wessex Resin’s excellent calculations and their handy generic fast food chain tomato sauce pump action type epoxy dispensing vats, it has proved to be much cleaner and easier to apply than I thought. In fact it’s a lot more pleasant to use than a lot of household and marine coatings and is gratifyingly shiny.
Fillet bonding – basically similar in principle to sealing around a bath or grouting (sort of) – was a bit of a different story, at least for me. Si made it look really easy, I looked at the boat, cheerfully underestimated the number of joints we had to bond and then doom settled as I tried to neatly apply smooth peanut butter into corners with a glorified ice cream stick. After a small tantrum, much coffee and a bit of practice I also got the hang of it, and now I’m a filleting demon. Who knew?!
Once that was done and the epoxy had cured, we set to work cutting off the wedges that had been hitherto holding the framework in place along with the glue and doing a final once over with sandpaper on the frames.
The next few days were spent applying two coats of epoxy to the frames, to ensure that everything was well covered before we started planking.
After a couple of years of doing painty jobs on Planet with a tiny, potentially rainy place to work in, without the prospect of a hot shower at the end of the day and having to cram everything back into a locker when you finished for the day if you wanted somewhere to sleep that night it was bliss to be able to lock up the workshop and leave everything ready to go the following day.
Thanks to Debs stepping in at the last minute to help us get the second coat of epoxy on before we had to go away for a few days, we managed to get everything done and ready to start planking on our return.
And look how dazzlingly shiny our boat is!