Arwen's meanderings

Hi everyone and welcome to my new blog. My name is Steve and i am the lucky owner of a John Welsford designed 'navigator' named Arwen. I built her over three years with the help of my father, father-in-law and two children. She was launched in August 2007 at Queen Anne's battery marina in the barbican area of Plymouth. This blog is a record of our voyages together around SW England.
Arwen has a YouTube channel of her own. Search "plymouthwelshboy".

Saturday, 10 September 2016

Making Arwen pretty and respectable again.....

At the end of a sailing season, which this year has finished somewhat prematurely due to an elbow fracture last week, my thoughts turn to maintenance and repositioning of things based on the experiences of this passing sailing season.

How I paint the dings, sand and revarnished woodwork etc outside during the winter months exercises some thought. I am wondering if I need to find the corner of a yard somewhere under cover and strip out everything in Arwen and then fill dents, sand and then repaint her so she is ready for spring?
I perhaps need to investigate local boat building yards and see what space they have and how much they would charge.

Alternatively, I wait for spring. Over a weekend, with her on the trailer on the road outside, I could sand the interior varnish woodwork and get that done and then on another warm weekend, do the interior cockpit paintwork and re-coat that.

Would I need to sand back to wood? Or sand back lightly to give new purchase to new topcoats? I really have no idea so if anyone knows about these things, advice as always, would be most welcome.


Stuart said...

I take the view that stripping back to bare wood is time consuming and messy, so if I can avoid it, I will! Purists will demand stripping EVERYTHING. However, if there are bits of varnish/paintwork that look as though they've flaked away from the wood, then you really have to get down to the wood. Ususally damp will have got into the wood around the dodgy area, so this must be bone dry before starting the paintwork. You can help it along with a hair drier! A sound base coat is a must, so appropriate primer for paintwork and a diluted varnish (see what the tin recommends) for brightwork is a starter. A fine sanding between coats provides a key for subsequent coats and removes midges and dust particles. Keep a brush totally dedicated to varnish! It will all take time, so the sooner you start, the better (don't wait until Spring!)and don't rush any stage. If in doubt, have a practice on some scrap wood.
I await the flood of alternative approaches!

steve said...

That's really helpful Stuart. Much appreciate time you gave to reply. Thanks 😊