We arrived at Akupara late yesterday and it was cold and raining of course. Andrea set about working on the last of the sanding and I was at a bit of a loss as to what I should do. We had stopped and picked up sandpaper including some 80 grit for the belt sander, and I thought what the hell, need to find out sooner or later if this is going to work. So, I started a test spot on the main cabin top and that quickly developed into rough sanding the entire top. It took me approximately 3 hours to complete the horizontal surface. Not bad. I will have to go back and get into some of the tighter places with a palm sander but for the most part it is sanded enough to apply an epoxy primer. I still have lots of work around all of the stanchions etc so the side decks will be a while yet. I calculate that one good day with the belt sander and I will be able to complete all of the large surfaces. It will probably be another complete day at least with a palm sander to knock down the harder to reach areas.
I spoke to a rep from Interlux paint at the boat show and he advised me to use a two part epoxy product and paint that is perfectly legal in Canada but for whatever reason is not sold here. Looks like I will have to head south to get some.
The plan is to use 80 grit in order to provide good adhesion for an epoxy primer. Then knock that down with a finer grit, and quite possibly a third time as well. Then it would be ready for paint.
Because this is such a giant pain in the ass job it is easy to want to take shortcut but any pro painter will tell you, the trick is in the preparation. Guess the sound of sanders is still in our future for a while yet.