Item posted: Sunday 15th April , 2012
You know when it has snowed, and you catch yourself continuously glancing out of the window just to check it hasnít melted yet? Well, my cockpit isnít quite full of snow, but it is bright white. And I keep catching myself looking out of the window in my door to remind myself that, yes, I have actually painted the decks Ė and they look amazing. I can do this maintenance malarkey!
After beginning the process the other week by sanding the decks down with my friend Jonny, it was then a matter of waiting for a weather window (and not using it go to sailing instead!). Voila! Over the Easter bank holiday weekend, I did a very British thing: some DIY. Albeit on my boat, not a house.
I could probably have spent an indefinite amount of time sanding and filling the decks, but I didnít want this to be a job that dragged out. And my view on tasks like this is, if it looks better than it did before, itís a success. So once I was happy with the sanding preparation, I masked the entire foredeck, catwalks and cockpit sole & seats. (I am yet to do the tops of the coachroof and saloon.) Decks sanded and masked, I gave them a quick wipe-down with white spirit, and started painting.
Whilst researching which non-slip paint to use, I came across a lot of people who use paints like Sandtex, which isnít actually a marine paint. But people use it anyway, because itís a lot cheaper than the stuff from the chandlers. I considered using Sandtex, but I didnít mind paying a bit extra for the proper marine deck paint Ė about £25 a tin for Internationalís Interdeck, pre-mixed with a non-slip additive. However, I didnít realise I would end up needing four tins of paint for the entire boat! Still, it is well worth it: I have put two coats of paint on the foredeck & catwalks, and am just waiting for another weather window to put a second coat on the cockpit sole. The difference is amazing even just with the first coat, and it is very grippy to walk on when wet. The only difficulty I found was in obtaining Interdeck in the right colour Ė I bought the only two tins of white in the whole of Brighton marina, so had to take a trip to Newhaven when I realised I would need two more tins.
Painting the cockpit was interesting. I had planned it carefully, as I didnít want to trap myself and Bosun inside the boat until the paint dried. So, I left a square unpainted on the cockpit sole, just big enough to manoeuvre in and out of the boat without stepping in paint. And then my impatience won, and I decided to paint over that last square: I was dying to see what the entire cockpit would look like painted, so didnít want to leave a patch unfinished. Spontaneity overtook planning, and I painted Bosun and I inside the boat. Getting out was fun: using the cockpit winches as foot holds, whilst using the mizzen boom to pull myself up on top of the saloon, all the while holding a wriggling Jack Russell under my arm.
The decks looking smart, I have already invited some friends to come round tomorrow night Ė hopefully the weather will be good enough for us to sit out in the cockpit and be dazzled by my white decks. But wait, if the weather is good, I should probably get on with a second coatÖ although I donít think my guests will appreciate having to climb vertically in and out of the doorÖ
jelly shares insights into the life and loves of a liveaboard writer, sailor and young entrepreneur.