Dodgy Dramas

Its been a busy week at Dodgy Dodgers for both Chris and I … okay maybe just I… ;p

Chris going into battle!

Chris ready for battle… contact!!!

Anyway, its beginning to take shape at last.

The filling and fairing work post fibreglass is an important, though repetitive and somewhat tedious process. For the last week this has been my fate. With the high cost of skilled labour a given, I have committed to doing as much of the boring, repetitive work as I can stand.

Sanding detail

Sanding detail

That threshold unfortunately was reached last Tuesday. This day I was filling the inside of the dodger and the fiddly tedious process was doing my head in. Just then Chris rode up in his grey charger… so I flicked it off to him. That afternoon we blazed away, Chris spreading the mixes I made over the bumps and hollows of the fibreglass on the inside of the new dodger. Finally by days’ end, we had it done.

He gets to use the machine!

He gets to use the machine!

Wednesday after some last minute prep work, our painter Cam applied the first of the high build primer coats to the space shuttle. I think it looks more like a the cockpit of a stealth aircraft. Just hope it looks good on Freespirit!

Sheeba helps Gav mix the paint

Sheeba helps Cam mix the paint

The painting process turned our current labours into a smooth, sleek and unified shape. It was marvelous to behold.
My new ‘stealth’ dodger is completely free of screws or nails being entirely held together with resin glue. After the construction was finished and prior to coating with fibreglass, the whole thing was soaked in wood preserver… an entirely nasty combination of liquid hydrocarbons and god knows what else. Good though, as it turns ordinary plywood into a solid lump by seeping into every crevice and open grain.
Then, sealed with a good thick coating of fibreglass it becomes a freestanding thing of beauty. Further, filled with a fine epoxy mix and faired down to a smooth shape and surface, it finally gets a coat of paint.

Applying base coat

Applying base coat

High build undercoat sprays thick and flat, coating the piece with a further fine filler that can be sanded down to a smooth surface later, (great, more bloody sanding :(. The undercoat was sprayed today and was brilliant. Finally, our hard work is starting to look the part.

With that stage completed its then up to me to prepare Freespirit to accept the finished dodger. My intent was always to weld the two together with fibreglass in a bond that should make the boat and dodger one solid unit. Its a pretty final and committed thing to do as once its on there, its on there for all time.

What it is beginning to look like, with the help of Photoshop!

What it is beginning to look like, with the help of Photoshop!

A clean up will follow on from the primer when that is dry, then, with the dodger back on Freespirit, it will get two top coats to both the unit and the surrounding decking. This will be accompanied no doubt by the sound of champagne corks popping and much sighing of relief from yours truly.  Unfortunately there is still a ways to go yet before the bubbly starts flowing.

Caio friends

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12 Responses to Dodgy Dramas

  1. Dhira Ulrike Katrin King says:

    looking great !!!

  2. Dhira Ulrike Katrin King says:

    PS love your style of writing ,
    too

  3. Rick says:

    Looking good Cap’n Col. Will the finished product have the tinted perspex, or is that fanciful photoshopping?

    • freespirit52 says:

      Both. The tinted perspex is bought and ready to be cut. Not sure about the degree of tint yet as its still got its protective paper intact. Its the darkest they had so am crossing fingers on that one. I’m sure it will still look nice, even if its not a perfect match.
      Couldn’t help myself playing in Photoshop to see the finished look… it will, or should be close to it.

  4. Greg says:

    I do hope it has the tinted perspex, It will match your side windows perfectly. Thanks for the update, it’s great to read about your progress. I have an electric sander if you want to borrow it?

  5. Vic says:

    Nice!!!!!! Its always about,Prep work,prep work,prep work,prep work & then more prep work. LOL. Tthat’s what makes it beautiful like your Dodger. No doubt this will be a very necessary and useful addition to the Freesperit. Before you know it winter will be over and you can go back to sailing into new adventures. I’m sure this project is a great feeling of accomplishment for everybody that has worked on it. Looks like you’ve got the right craftsman on your team.
    My old Chevy just hit a bump in the road, noticed a lot of play on the driver’s side rear axle, my friend Joe Eagles and I are going to pull it apart today and solve this issue. Other than that she got new wide whitewall tires (that rubbed on the inside) had to install wheel spacers for tire clearance, that’s when we noticed the play in the axle. Its all fixable and no doubt like yourself will be learning new things. Other than that things are good here, grass is green trees are all leafed out, peepers are getting lowder in the evenings, buds and growth on everything.

    Take care my friend and keep on keeping on.

    Vic

    • freespirit52 says:

      Thanks for your comments Vic. I can see a connection between your project and mine. I just hope I can be proud of mine as you are of yours… and with good reason. Last time I saw the Chevy it just had Grey Primer on it and you were fitting the engine management system. You’ve come a long way mate! Send me an updated pic via personal email, thanks.

  6. Greg says:

    Ummm….. You’ve gone awfully quiet again. I was hoping that you might have an update for us by now?

    • freespirit52 says:

      Still here mate, winter is closing in now… days heavy with moisture and not much good for painting. Will update when the painting is in progress. Plan to put the whole thing up in its own section on this site with extra photo’s and text when its finally finished.
      Cheers!

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