My Backyard Boats:

The Quark

Putting on a second coat

    29 April 03: It strikes me that I'm almost done with the Quark project. I put on the second top coat of yellow Interlux Brightside paint today and another coat on the trim and the interior. We're planning a launch for the coming weekend.

    The interior coat of equal amounts of linseed oil and turpentine will take a lot longer. The mantra is this: One coat a day for a week, one coat a week for a month, and one coat a month for a year. I first encountered this mixture as a way of rejuvenating wood. A friend gave me a gallon of the stuff that he had left over after attacking some aging paneling for a client. I made a pair of end tables a few years ago and used linseed oil and turpentine instead of polyurethane varnish. It is still good, and the finish is low gloss -- almost no gloss -- and the grain is well defined. No need for any wood stain, which I never use if I am the one who is deciding what the finish should be. Last year, I read a letter in Messing About in Boats from a guy who used the mixture on the interior of a dink that he stored in his leaky barn for the winter while he went off to Florida or somewhere. When he returned, he found the dink full of water but with no lasting harm. He credited the linseed oil and turpentine mixture. Another plus is that the turpentine cleans the surface that it is applied to, so there is no need to worry about dust or sawdust that you might have missed in prepping the surface.

    I attacked the double paddle with the sander today, too, and put on a coating of varnish. By the way, when I say varnish, I mean Pettit high-build spar varnish, which I get from ClarkCraft. The paddle is much stronger because of the fiberglas tape I put on the other day, and I'm satisfied that it is the best paddle I could have made in the 10 hours I spent on it.

    Time spend so far: Add 11 hours of paddle-making and painting yesterday and today, for a total so far of 64 hours.

    Cost so far: Add $10 for Interlux Brightside paint (I used about a half pint that I had on hand; it costs about $22 per quart) for a total so far of $211.12.

Two coats of yellow boat paint later, the Quark project is almost done, except for repeated coats of linseed oil and turpentine on the interior and another few coats of marine varnish on the gunwales and thwarts. And some sort of flotation.

This is the paddle after an application of epoxy overall and fiberglass tape on the blades. I was skeptical about using the blue 3M masking tape to hold the fiberglass tape in place over the edge of the blade end, but it worked fine. Just expensive.

I'm pleased with the finished paddle. I hope it works well in the water.

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