20-5 Rule Makes Short Work of Spring Boat Prep

P1140783_50pI ascribe to the “20-5 Rule” of boat cosmetics: if it looks good from 20 feet with the boat moving at 5 knots, it’s good enough for me! Others may be more persnickety. Not me.

I’ve sweated out the laborious chore of five coats of varnish twice a year on a 43-foot sailboat with more teak on it than the presidential yacht, Manitou. I’ve also paid a tidy five-figure sum to do the same chore. And I’ve hired Guatemalans for $1.50 day to sand, seal and varnish under rain forest conditions on the Rio Dulce. But all that’s in the past now that I have downsized my fleet and have other, more pressing commitments (like playing with grandchildren) rather than painstakingly sprucing up the bright work and chipped and faded enamel of my 40-year-old 20-foot catboat, Mystic Wind.

And today, I’m happy to report that I have set a new record for springtime touch up.
Four hours from start to finish. Pretty cool.... four P1140766_50phours was all the time I could allocate before a weather window began to close on my prep work with a splash date for my craft looming in the not too distant future.

Here is the step-by-step of my efforts today.

  1. P1140771_50p9:45 am. Arrive and chew the fat with boatyard friends
  2. 10:00 am. Remove Shrink wrap. Almost too good of a job. Mildew here and there on the hull because of no circulation.
  3. 10:30 am. Lightly sand teak cap rail, coaming and hull.
  4. 11: am. Clean scum off bottom.
  5. 11:15 am. Clean mildew and grunge off hull using Blech White Tire Cleaner (a miracle product for removing most anything…including some paint if you’re not careful.)
  6. 12:00 pm. Tape around teak and between bottom paint and hull.
  7. 12:15 pm. Alternate applying Cetol to cap rail and Cetol Gloss to other surfaces. Three coats applied. Nice sun and wind for drying!
  8. 12;45 pm. Touch up bottom paint above the waterline where scum has discolored. Inspect rest of bottom and touch up here and there.
  9. 1:15 pm. Apply one coat of Interlux Brightside gloss enamel to hull with roller.
  10. 2 pm. Stand back and admire my four hours of labor.
  11. 4:45 pm. Back home after playing with the Time for a Goslings Black Label!

P1140768_50pI probably will go back out tomorrow and apply another coat to all surfaces. But for the present, Mystic Wind passes the 20-5 Test with flying colors...

~Craig Ligibel