-Week 18 Write Up - Painting the hull and flipping it over

This must be one of the most exciting weeks of the project. After weeks of hard work making sure the hull was fair, we were able to cover the splotchiness of the fairing compound with paint. First, Brendan was able to strike the waterline using Alfie's measurements and a laser level. The laser level makes sure a straight line is achieved. It was initially marked with a pen, then taped off. We are using E-paint green for the bottom, mixed with a splash of thinner to make it easier to roll on, and were able to get on two layers. Then the boot stripe was striked, using a combination of Alfie's dimensions and what looked proper to the eye, because as the stripe flows around the stern, it must be wider then at the bow and midships in order to be perceived as the same thickness. As the bottom paint dried, we applied two coats of Awlgrip primer to the topsides, which has a gray color, but will eventually be black, like Alfie's Alerion, Magic. When both the bottom and topsides were dry, we were able to tape on them to paint the white boot stripe.

Just the appearance of our work now seemed more complete then the day before. Instead of seeing multiple shades, tones, and shapes, all you see is one continuous and beautifully precise form. Not only is it easier to get those initial coats of paint on when the hull is upside down, but I presume it is more satisfying when you flip her, to have a beautiful paint job to please your eye.

The flipping process went without incident and was much simpler than I had imagined. Basically, what we did was place two to four foot rolling logs underneath the strong back with seven spaced evenly on each side. The I-beam cross section with chain hoists in the shop easily lifted up one side of the boat to place these logs in. As a test, Brendan, Dave, and I pushed from the stern and she moved freely and easily. We could have pushed her all the way out the shop right then. But when the crane arrived, we set up a towing strap around the molds and connected a rope through a block at the boat running out of the shop to another block attached to the house across the way. The crane lifted the rope which pulled the boat outwards. As the bow moved out, a floor jack with wheels was hoisted to take on the weight of the boat where there were no rollers. this jack was on top of a long board (see the pictures) which allowed it to slide out as it held up the front. Pretty cool.

About 3/4 of the way out of the shop, the front 2x6 on the strong back gave out and the boat came to a stop. I assume we would have rolled her out a few feet more, but it wasn't necessary, as it worked just fine. We placed the hoisting straps from the crane around the hull at the center of balance, and the crane was able to pick her up and bring her fully outside. Once outside, we were able to remove the strong back and uprights which probably reduced the overall weight by nearly 600 lbs. We then repositioned the straps so that the port side straps were their maximum low, and the starboard straps were as high as they could go. Then, with a simple motion, the crane operator brought the port straps up and the starboard straps down, as the boat's own weight caused her to roll over. It was really that easy. Once right side up, everyone paused for a moment, stepped back and took a moment to appreciate not only the hard work that was put in, but also the beauty of the shape of the hull.

We set her down on jack stands in order to adjust the crane to have more operational space to move her inside the shop. He was able to get her in, although far to the right wall and a little crooked, but after adjusting once more, he simply brought her in the shop by extending his boom all the way in and put her down right where we specified. Once down on jack stands in the shop, we adjusted her fore and aft to be level and removed the molds inside the hull to show off her beautiful woodwork. Just the color radiating from inside the hull is a sight to be seen.

The flip happened on Thursday, and on Friday, we did not hesitate in rushing in and sanding the cedar planks. With a rough sand, we filled in any screw holes with thickened epoxy to set over the weekend.

With the boat right side up, one is able to fully appreciate the shapeliness of her hull. Before, it was hard to understand what she would actually look like in the water, but now that thought is realized. And it is quite a nice thought. The project now has taken on a completely new direction, as we will start some serious carpentry.

I almost forgot to mention that we made the front page of the Cape Cod Times! Please check it out here.

Here is week 18's time lapse clip:

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