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New Owner, restoration questions


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Hi All,

Just bought one this morning! My first cat.

It is a plywood/west epoxy built set of hulls, but it has a hobie 14 rig on it.

I need to sand the hulls down and re-apply some sort of finish to them. The guy I bought it from said to just try house paint but I think I would like to do a nice sand and fairing job on it. I plan to do the following:

1. Sand hulls down

2. Fill in any voids or gaps

3. Sand again

4. Prime hulls(what primer do I use)

5. Paint (what do I use?)

6. Clear coat(What do I use)

Can anyone give me some tips or point me to a site that might give direction at a newbie level? I have a west marine in town so I should be able to get product.

I would like to get it sail worthy by july or so.



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Hi Andrew

I just wrote a fairly big post, then lost it through our ever reliable broadband connection - not. So I'll break it down a bit and try again.

If your taking the hulls back to bare timber, apply a couple of coats of epidure or wattyl timber preserver, they are very thin epoxy based products that will soak right in the first layer of the ply. It won't soak right in the whole ply, because of the glue used on the veneers. Thin the first coat to almost water, 50%product and 50%thinners.

Undercoat I used was Luxepoxy 4 White Primer which is a Dulux product and Top Coats are Luxathane also Dulux, if you have a Dulux Trade Centre nearby go there, prices are fantastic, compared to just a paint shop.

All of the above are two part paints or products, fumes are strong and not very healthly, use the right mask for the job!

The Dulux paints should be sprayed on, if you know what yous doing, good, if not, find a mate that does. But the secret is the first coat should be a mist coat, you'll hardly even see it, let that dry for 10 - 15 minutes and a good even coat or coats after that, letting it dry in between, resist temptation of just putting a little bit more around 'that' area, it will run very easily.

Wet n Dry sand the hulls after the primers on, colour in the hulls with grey lead pencil, basically lightly scribble all over the hulls, like you've donated it to the kinder for the day, then wet sand until all the pencil lines are gone, then move on, no loitering. Anything that shows up to be filled like pin hole or scratched etc.. should be filled now. Any major filling should be done after you've stripped the hulls back.

Wet sandpaper using 280grit, then colour in again and use 400grit, if happy your ready for top coats, if not apply another coat of primer and repeat the wet sanding (its worth it all at the end.

Apply 2-3 coats of top coat wet on wet, meaning let one coat flash off a little and coat again, but make sure your first coat is a mist, otherwise you'll cry.

Have Fun, Good Luck.


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I am in Canada so I do not have access to that shop :-( I was told to sand the hulls down and fill any low spots than apply primer and oil based house paint. The plywood is epoxy coated inside and out so I will not be be going to bare plywood, but just to fix the surface paint cracks/splits.

The splits are in the paint only and the wood underneath is still encased in the clear epoxy coat.

I am planning to sand the hulls down starting with 100 grit paper on a palm sander. Once I get a nice surface, I need to decide on primer and paint.


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I'd thoroughly recommend JOTUN paints if you can access them. We have been using them for years and had 25-30% better lifespan in terms of both colour retention & gloss.

Matt's advice is good. Definitely use a good mask with a charcoal filter, most 2 pack paints contain Iso-cyanate which is really nasty stuff... Use Jotun 2 pack high build then their top coats. Roll on the 1st high build really thick. Once this has gone off you can wipe over a bit of black, blue, red (or whatever takes your fancy) paint heavily diluted in white spirit (it should have the consistency of kids water colour paint as you are only trying to "stain" the surface) this will be your guide coat for the sanding process.

Try to use a sanding board (like they use for "drywall" i think you guys call it) or a long board about 24" long (rather than the palm sander). You can make a long board from some scrap ply and a couple of blocks. Use a figure 8 type motion when sanding. Once she is nice and fair then Spray on the second coat. This should fill all the pin holes etc. Use a guide coat again and carefully sand with your random orbital & 400 grit paper.

The 3rd top-coat can be half colour/half clear then finish with a U.V. stabilised clear. Great protection and a finish you can shave in.

Good Luck,


Leroy wink.gif

[This message has been edited by Leapin Leroy (edited 14 May 2007).]

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I will be going tonight to pickup the sandpaper to sand down the hull. I will not be taking it down to the bare wood as I think that is too big a job for me and I do not want to get into the chemicals required to strip the paint off the epoxy coated wood.

I figure if I can get the hull down to a reasonable level of smoothness, I can prime it then paint on the over coat.

I will be stopping off at west marine to pickup supplies tonight after work.


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here is another progress shot of my tiger

note the jotun epoxy filler (note : I am now way involved in the promotion of paint manufacturer's products, I just happened upon this product as it was recommended to me and the other brands only sold their comparable products in 4 kg+ kits)

just past the initial highbuild stage, now is reality check time as any delusions that the HB will fill any void or depression regardless of size or depth are now hereby shattered. I sanded very carefully with a random orbital sander (the more expensive rotary type with the velcro type pads) note : make sure the pad is in contact with the job before turning the sander on, switch off and do this every time you have to remove the sander from the job this avoids 'dives' dont even attempt to do the chines or keel .. you'll have to do these by hand. the epoxy filler will get screeded on in the areas where it is necessary. eg. where chines have been reglassed and previous indiscretions with a cheap pad sander and way-too-coarse sandpaper.

filler will be rubbed back , the longboarded , primed again , black guidecoated, wet sanded and then painted.

here is a pic of the current stage of the boat, filler goes on tonight.


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This is beginning to look alot more complicated than I thought.

I figured It would take me a 3 8 hour days to prep the hull for painting. But now I see all the work involved, it is going to take ages :-(

What have I got myself into.

I am picking up the hulls tonight. The cat currently has hobie 14 mast and rudders/tiller. The dagger boards are waaayyyyy too short it seems to me. There is no traveler nor are there hiking straps The front cross bar is still in place.

I will not be racing this boat at all as I have no local fleet that I know of. That and the fact that this is the second cat that I have sailed on other than the hobie wave in Punta Cana whilst on vacation.

I had planned to put a hooter on it along with a trapeze. I figured that the hooter with a new sq topped main and a trap would make this thing into a little rocket.

With the hard chines, does the boat plane when flying a hull ?


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