No. 95 - December 1991



When we bought her, "Arcturus" had both boom roller reefing and jiffy reefing installed. The jiffy fittings are all contained on the swivelling part of the boom so we can use both. We normally sail with our number one genny. As it pipes up, we first jiffy reef the main, next change to the working jib and finally, as it really howls, we roll up more of the main over the jiffy reef. We have, on occasion, boiled along at hull speed plus, under working jib with the main rolled down over the sail numbers and a comfortable angle of heel, to boot. Much over 40 knots, we head for cover.


I have a tiller extension made from 5/8" OD aluminum tube with a comfortable ball on one end and a universal swivel joint on the other. I attach it to the tiller with a Fastpin for easy removal and stowage. I also have atop the tiller a metal "U" of 1/32" stainless in which the end of the extension is easily and securely held when not in use to keep it from flogging around in the cockpit.


The new rudder is absolutely the nuts! As far as I am concerned, it eliminates the ONLY fault the Tanzer 22 ever had. I didn't have the problem some owners reported with its buoyancy; with the tiller installed it is as near neutral as can be achieved. Incidentally, this year in a bad blow, the rudder pintles sheared during the night at the mooring. Fortunately the new rudder floats, so I was able to recover it and have new pintle stock welded into the straps.


It has been 52 years since first I was infected with the incurable disease called "sailing" at the age of 11. I am lucky indeed to have married a gal who enjoys it as much as I do and is every bit as good a sailor. The last 36 years we have sailed the length and breadth of Lake Champlain, for many years in our 60 year old Cape Cod Knockabout, since 1982 in Arcturus. Lake Champlain is a cruising ground par excellence. On either side the Adirondacks and the Green Mountains rise to 4,000 feet, providing a panorama only equaled by the Pacific Northwest.




Encouraged by my neighbor at the Baie d'Urfe Yacht Club and Glen Campbell's account in Newsletter #87, I decided to give Red Baron a new coat for her 15th birthday. A new coat of paint, that is.


As many of you know, Red Baron has a red hull. And after 15 hard years, the red had turned a mottled shade of pink. Gelcoat manufacturers have never mastered the art of preventing fading colors and with the sailboat industry in its present state, I doubt the money necessary for research will ever be found to correct this problem.


Not only do I live in Baie d'Urfe, but the Canadian head office and factory of International Paint is here too. Less than a mile as the crow flies. My first step was to phone a chap I knew at Internat­ional for his advice. He put together a package for me, containing a video of how to paint a boat, plus various pamphlets, color samples and so on. Along with his promise of help and advice, should the video leave something out or raise further questions in my mind. And with the further promise from my Yacht Club neighbor of help (he painted his boat last year), I took the plunge. A new red Tanzer 22 would soon grace slip 17.


The first step was to get the boat home from our yacht Club fortunately not too far away. A Honda Accord is not the idea tow vehicle! My original plan was to prepare and paint the boat at the Club, soon discarded as not being practical. Too many interruptions. Plus, at home I have not only access to electricity, but whatever tools I might conceivably need and a wife that, in an emergency, could be called upon to assist.


A second phone call to International for further advice ended with ordering all the necessary fillers, primers, thinners and paint that would be needed.


My first step was to wash the hull with water and a sponge. To remove the winter's grime. Then a wash down with #202 Solvent Wash (also does a great job on the rubrail) that was supplied by Inter­national. This is to remove any wax or grease that might be still on the hull. The secret here, is to have plenty of rags. After every square foot or two, a fresh rag or an unused portion of the same rag is needed. The idea is to remove the wax, not spread it around!


Next, I wet sanded those areas where there were slight scratches. Some kind kid last year scratched his initials and a few four letter words on the hull. I used #200 wet or dry sandpaper on a sanding block. This got rid of most of the finer scratches and the next stage should fix the deeper scratches and gouges. International makes an epoxy faring compound, #417A & #418B that is to be mixed in equal quantities and applied with an ordinary plastic squeegee. Although it is shown on the video, it was not mentioned, so I will mention it here. Use two different spoons or paint sticks to spoon out the 417 and 418. That is, don't get any 417 in the 418 can or vice versa. This applies to all epoxies, as most of you know. When it comes to applying one must be careful not to try to smooth this compound out too much - because you will probably "pull" some of the compound out of the gouge, necessitating a second application. A little care here will save work later. This product needs to be cured overnight. But not too much longer. It will continue to harden for several days. If one waits too long to sand, the job will be twice as difficult.


I had to wait a second day, the day after I "puttied" all the dents and gouges it rained and the temperature dropped to less than 10 degrees (Celsius). The video suggests sanding this faring compound with a power sander. I have always preferred sanding with wet or dry (in this case, wet) sandpaper by hand. I started with #100 and finished with #200 using a sanding block. Here is a tip. Instead of wet sanding using a bucket of water,use a garden sprayer. The kind used for spraying weed killer. With sprayer in one hand and sandpaper in the other, one can sand the hull without water dripping down ones arm or bending down constantly to wet the sandpaper. Works a treat!


Then I washed the hull once more with water and when it had dried, a further wash with the #202 Solvent wash in case there was still a bit of wax hanging around. It had been drilled into me that every minute spent in preparation would save hours when it came to painting, that I felt an extra Solvent Wash couldn't possibly hurt.


With the help of a crew member, we applied the primer the next day. A two part product - #404 Epoxy Barrier-Kote and #414 Epoxy Reactor. Applied with a roller. A clever idea, shown on the video, line the roller pan with aluminum foil. Never have to clean the pan, just trash the used aluminum when the painting is finished. How come I never thought of that?


I used a different kind of masking tape this time, KleenEdge. With conventional masking tape, there is a possibility the pain will bleed slightly under the tape. KleenEdge puts a stop to this non-sense.


Glen Campbell had trouble using a roller so I was somewhat apprehensive. Glen found that the solvent used with epoxy was also a good solvent for paint rollers. I was able to buy foam rollers and these worked very well.


Now the real work began. Sanding the Barrier-Kote. This time I used an orbital sander with 120 grit sandpaper. Boy, is that stuff hard! On looking back, I think we should have thinned the primer a little more. Although the rollers worked fine, we didn't get as smooth a coat as perhaps we should. A thinner paint and I think we could have applied a more even coat. Which would have meant less sanding. Once again I had the help of one of my other crew members for part of the sanding operation. Which does make the job a little easier. But if I have one word of advice to those of you contemplat­ing painting your boat, try to make the barrier coat or primer as smooth as possible during application. Or else you will end up, like I did, having to sand and sand and sand.


A young friend that has a paint shop in Virgin Gorda suggested I go over the hull and fill any tiny scratches or pin holes still left with Glazing Putty. I bought a tube at Canadian Tire and found quite a few spots that needed touching up. This Glazing Putty air dries in a couple of hours and is much easier to sand than the epoxy barrier coat. He also offered to inspect the hull when I had finished to see if my prep was all right. He found a couple of little spots where more Glazing Putty was needed, but other than that, pronounced the job perfect.


The old Tanzer factory is now the home of Ampro and for a fee, they will rent out space should anyone wish to build, fix or paint a boat. Their minimum is $65.00 for seven days, which sounds like a lot, but believe me it was well worth the money. I had decided to spray paint the boat - to attempt this outside would have required a perfect day, no wind, no dust, no bugs and direct sunlight. Plus low humidity. One could wait all summer for such a day.


This time it was not enough to just mask the waterline and sheer stripe. That is OK when using a roller. But spray paint everywhere. I used a roll of 12" kraft I happened to have around to more or less cover the below water area as well as the deck.  A pink deck was not wanted!


My original plan was to spray paint the boat myself. But after all the work I had put into the preparation, I decided to get pro­fessional help. Fortunately, Tony, who did all the spray gelcoat painting for Tanzer was available and for a modest fee, he agreed to spray my boat.


A last minute wipe-down with a tack rag and Red Baron was ready for her new coat.


The difference is outstanding. Once more she looks as good as when new. Better, in fact. One lesson learned, next time I will omit the Barrier-Kote step. Where it was necessary to sand down to the original red, if you look real close, in bright sunlight, the finish is just a tad darker. After a summer's exposure to the sun, the dark areas seem to have faded and the hull is now a uniform red. But all things considered, I am not so sure I would like to up boat painting as a hobby. Too much work! Once is enough!




There is no question, as John Charters points out in the October issue that lifelines can be a pain when attempting to tack in light air. The clew likes to hang up on the lifelines and usually a crew member must go forward to walk the sail around.


Here on Okanagan Lake we get more light air sailing than most so something had to be done. Not wanting to lose the safety and security of the lines by their removal, we settled on a compromise.


Here is what we did. The two forward stanchions were removed and stowed. Two very short replacement stanchions were made from scrap tubing obtained from a local boat works. Easy to do with a drill and hacksaw. Lifeline length did not have to be altered. We also used white plastic water piping on the lifelines and shroud turnbuckles to improve comfort and discourage hang-ups. Inexpensive but effective.


The new configuration has proven very satisfactory for two reasons. (1), the problem with the clew hanging up has been 90% eliminated and (2), when working on the foredeck in heavy air, we stay on our knees. From that position, if one looses balance or starts to slide, there is still a sturdy lifeline to catch and to hand on to.