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