No. 106 - February 1994



My beloved Tanzer 22 "Andrea J", named after my daughter was definitely looking a little shabby. 13 years of exposure to the elements had reduced her topsides to a dull mat. In addition, a fire on a boat moored on the adjacent dock had turned the gelcoat on the port side to a sick looking brown. The hull was fine, but her topsides certainly need some work. I therefore decided to give her a complete cosmetic rebuild.


Stripping her down and having a new Awlgrip or Imron paint job was not financially something that I wanted to consider. Ideally,I wanted a paint system that I could apply myself.


Awlgrip and similar urethanes are technically what is known as "aliphatic urethanes". These are two component products having out­standing resistance to abrasion and ultra violet light. However, they are difficult to apply, typically being applied by spray. They re­quire the skills of an expert spray painter and the prospect of three quarters of the club fleet being covered with overspray, to be removed at my expense, was not appealing.


Another group of urethane products are what are known as urethane alkyds. That is they are alkyd paints, similar to enamels, that are modified with an iso-cyanate resin producing the characteristic urethane chemical linkage. This produces a resin having superior flow, hardness and UV resistance than the typical enamel, but retains the "user friendliness" and brush-ability of an alkyd. The resulting finish is not in the same league as a two component urethane, but cer­tainly is superior to ordinary enamel.


The product that I decided to use was International Paint's "Brightside" polyurethane. The problem was, how was I going to match the color? I purchased a gallon of white and decanted one quart to use for "bringing back" the color just in case I overtinted. Three quarts should be more than enough to do the complete topside.


Although the original Tanzer brochure indicated that the color was white, the fact is that it was really an off-white and I was going to have to manually tint the white urethane to match the original color.


I decided that I needed three tinting colors, lemon yellow, yellow oxide and a neutral brown. I secured these colorants and then proceeded to add them drop at a time until I had a match that I felt was close. Paints darken as they cure, therefore I brushed out a sample of my tinted paint on to a sealed piece of bristleboard. After the paint had cured overnight, I took the sample to the boat and checked it against the color of the hull and decided which colors I needed to mix next to get the color closer to the original. After about 15 adjustments, I had a color match with which I was happy.


Prior to painting I removed as many fittings as was practical and masked those that remained in place. I then scrubbed the deck down with a solution of trisodium phosphate (TSP) followed by a thorough rinse with clean water. I then wiped down all surfaces with a succession of rags soaked with ketone solvent to remove any trace of mold release agent that might still be present. The actual paint application was done with a small three inch foam roller and while the paint was still wet, I tipped it off with a high quality brush. This technique produced a finish almost completely free of brush marks. I replaced all the fittings and stepped back to admire. She looks like a new boat!




Our Tanzer 22 is now in its tenth season, is still the apple of my eye, moored in Skaneateles Lake (Central New York), 100 feet offshore of our summer camp. It races less now, but I still enjoy trying to improve on it. That's difficult.


Last winter, a record tough one here, her mast was supported, fore and aft, four or five feet off the deck, as a ridge for the canvas cover. Lifeline stanchions were left erect and 2" X 1/4" wood battens doubled, from the local lumber yard were arched from the deck on one side, over the mast, to the deck on the other side, lashed securely with bailing twine (this is farm country) where ever possible. It looked like a Conastota (30 miles East of here) wagon but with a keel instead of wheels. I recommend the method. There was room to work on the deck under cover. Stanchions didn't have to be removed or heavily padded. (I have tried both.) And it was kind on my nine winter's cover.



From a recent "Tanzer Talk" I adopted the idea of a hole in the top of my gas tank cover (newer model Tanzer 22s), for access to the gas line squeeze bulb and for checking fuel remaining. Only, after cutting a four inch diameter hole, I finished the edge and left it open. Works great!


There has always been some wetness under my V berth cushions. So this year I drilled a hole, downward, at the aft outboard corners, both sides. That, and the better weather, have sure helped. I'd worried about that plywood bulkhead to which the main chainplates are attached. Our shop has replaced several rotted ones on J/24s.


All our Tanzer 22s are moored out here, with a line to the bow eye and another to the deck cleat via the stemhead chock. But they always and frequently, wrap themselves around the chain beneath the buoy - never clear themselves and start chafing. After trying many remedies, none good enough, I've got it! When the boat is moored, I remove the buoy by releasing its stainless steel Wichard caribiner snap and stow it in our dinghy for the next outing.


Finally, for additional night sailing safety, against speeding crazies, I installed a 360 degree white light on the mast cap, after a most trying chore of poking through years of bird nests inside the mast.




Those with wheel steering never have this problem - how to keep the rudder from flopping about when at anchor - they just tighten the wheel lock. Not quite so ease with a tiller. There are various tiller locks on the market, most use rope fastened to each coaming then run through some sort of locking mechanism fastened to the tiller. And they work fine. Then there is a "bungee" thing called a Tiller-Joc. And it also works, except it does tend to wear off the varnish.


After using an Autohelm for years, it wasn't until one day last summer that a simple solution struck me. A piece of scrap 2 X 2 pine, a hole in one end and a stainless screw in the other to be used when the Autohelm was stowed below. The two pictures show how it is used.






Len Stairs has Tanzer 22 #319, the centerboard model. A recent letter tells how he replaced his worn one.


With the centerboard in the "up" position he sawed off the pin, on each side with a 14 inch fine toothed hacksaw blade made for a power hacksaw machine. This was the easy part! Took about an hour.


The pin would not drive out and had to be drilled from each side with a cobalt drill. He used two 1/2 inch drills. This took the better part of two days. After most of the pin had been drilled out, the inner ends could finally be driven out. His new centerboard was cut out by machine from 3/4 inch plate, using the old board for a pattern.


The stainless steel pin had minimal wear and could have been used if it hadn't been destroyed in removing.


There was about 2 1/2 inches of wear in the centerboard slot and this slot in the centerboard was encrusted with thick rust to about an inch and a quarter. This seemed rather a lot, but perhaps because the boat is kept in salt water, there may have some electrolysis.