If all good things must come to an end, then it had to happen sooner or later. After 7 years and nearly 400 tips, DIY projects, yarns, and wordy expressions of opinion, we have decided to end our Monday posts and shut down the website. We will still be sharing tips and great information on our facebook page, and pictures of both the practical and eye candy variety on Instagram. So as we and technology move along, please move with us and like and follow us at either or both of those locations. And as always, feel free to swing by and say hi when you share an anchorage with Eurisko. Thanks for all the support. See you out there.
Though our 34 Creekmore, Eurisko, always looks so sharp with her new black bottom paint, we don't wear it nearly as well. Not only is bottom paint tenacious, disgusting, and toxic, but it generally comes in color we boaters don't want splattered all over everything we own. But for those of us in a work yard without a paint can shaker, our options are limited.
We have seen boaters pour their bottom paint into a 5-gallon bucket and then use a paint mixer attached to a drill to mix the solids. The purpose of the larger container is to try to contain the mess. Reality is rarely as clean as the theory, however. While this method does lessen the paint that is sprayed during the mixing process, it does not eliminate it. Enter the next bright idea in bottom paint mixing.
By nature, bottom paint is thick, and our particular brand is not as popular as some, meaning the solids have settled into a thick mass in the bottom of the gallon by the time we purchase it. But since we use more than one gallon of bottom paint on Eurisko's bottom, not only do we have two gallons, but also two lids. This allows us to keep one lid intact for saving some paint for the under the jackstands and where the keel sits on the blocks. The other lid we put to even better use. After removing the lid, we use a large standard screwdriver and a hammer to puncture it approximately in the center. Next, we insert the paint mixer designed to be used with drills. (We carry few bottom-painting tools, but this one we have managed to store onboard for many years. It has proven its worth repeatedly.)
With the stirrer in place, we return the lid to the paint can and secure it well. Next, we attach a good drill to the stirrer. If the only cordless drill available is not a heavy-duty model, it may be best to use a corded drill. Less powerful drills can be destroyed trying to mix particularly solid cans of bottom paint. We start on low speed (Level 1) and begin mixing the paint slowly, beginning near the top and only gradually working our way to the bottom of the can. Move the stirrer around inside the can as the solids break up enough to allow it. Several times during this process we remove the lid and the stirrer and scrape the edges of the bottom of the can with a stir stick. The shape of the stirrer does not allow it to reach into these corners, so this sludge must be manually brought out into the area where the stirrer can incorporate it into the rest of the paint.
Repeat the drill/scrape/drill process a few times until there are no more visible solids to be incorporated into the paint. At this point, we put the drill on level 2, a higher speed, for a few minutes. Because this moves the paint much more quickly, it breaks up any hidden chunks of solids, but it also tends to fling paint out the hole in the lid, so be ready with a rag to cover it if necessary.
After we have applied the first gallon of paint, we remove the lid of the second gallon and replace it with the first. Later we use the lid that is still intact to keep the paint from curing while we wait for launch day when we will use the rest of it. Now we can enjoy how good Eurisko looks with her new black coat without having to wear one ourselves.
Connie McBride's work has been published in Good Old Boat, Sail Magazine, Small Craft Advisor, Cruising World, All at Sea, and Blue Water Sailing. As a full-time liveaboard cruiser for over 15 years, she has written several books and in her spare time, well, who has spare time?
It's here! My latest book, Years of Ideas from a Simple Sailor is now available on Amazon.
Did you find something of interest? Consider donating $1.