Topsides and hull

My last post on Harmony described repairing this 1974 Mirror dinghy, again, and how I (eventually) overcame my despair at yet another repair! As a boating friend said, old wooden boats are lovely but they need a lot of maintenance and, when it’s done, that feels worth it!

The broken stern transom gunwale glued with epoxy, and the inner plywood boards dried, I got on with painting. Yes, I could’ve stripped it all back but my pragmatic solution (to get her afloat this year) was that, if the wire brush didn’t take it off, it was staying on! So, after sanding, it was undercoat (International yacht primer) first on the bare planks, then everywhere.

Then it was the topcoat, a deeper Marine blue than the original Navy, giving a vintage feel and (as I’d been misled by the red label) getting away from the red top style borrowed from the tabloid newspaper that sponsored the original. Evening came and (several) mornings came, and then I had to face turning the boat over and surveying the damage to the hull.

The keel paintwork was pretty beat up and there were a couple of dents in the woodwork. Some rotten wood too that would have to be scraped away. So I went to work with the steel brush and took off all the paint and rot that I could. Then I cleaned it up and covered it up again to dry out for some days. Boat repair takes time.

Reluctantly I realised I’d have to get out the epoxy again. So once more with the mask, gloves and goggles. Actually it took a few applications.

Then repainting. Now that the wood was nice and dry. The same Marine colour as the topsides. The same vintage look with just the nameplates showing lighter.

So now, repaired and repainted, the only thing left to do was to check the trailer. Well, I found good and bad news. But that’s a story for another day.

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