Slap on the Paint.
The building work was completed, ladders fixed and the toilet door hung. Now came the crucial part. Protecting all that beautiful wood. What to do? A clear epoxy finish so the craftsmanship could be seen? Very appealing for a piece of furniture but this was to be a working boat with roughy toughy divers, tanks, weights, anchors and lots of things that go bump, so we needed something tough and durable.
Bring on the Experts
Once again we turned to the experts. And here was the shopping list. Cans of paint, white, blue, yellow and grey. Epoxy glue, the first coat for pre-treating the timber. And talcum powder! Sacks of it. If you have ever seen World Diving’s Big Boat, you will notice how smooth the paint work is. Not a hint of grain or any of the wood that is underneath. That is due to coat number two. This is a blend of paint, epoxy and talc. It’s applied like thin plaster and literally sticks like the proverbial to a blanket!
Grin Ders, Cigarettes and Thinners
The other thing they needed were grin ders. “What,” I asked “is a Grin Der?” Apperently they are made by Bosch, Matika or Kenmaster and we use them for grinding. These angle grinders are the only thing that can be used to sand down the incredibly hard undercoat. That and an awful lot of sand paper. I was pleased to note that full safety equipment was being used to offset the danger of dust inhalation and eye damage. The standard wool balaclava and sunglasses seemed to do the trick! Though I was slightly dismayed with the cavalier attitude used to thin the paint. A vast amount of highly flammable cellulose thinners being sloshed into the paint tin and mixed, with a burning cigarette firmly clenched in the painter’s lips!
Finally the last coat of high gloss was applied. And there she stood, a thing of beauty, gleaming in the sunlight. The ladders were bolted on. The World Diving signs applied and the toilet seat fitted.
We now faced the final hurdle, getting a five tonne boat out of the jungle and two hundred metres d own the main road to the sea…….Easy!