Chip Ford's 1974 Catalina 22 Restoration Project
Sail #3282  l  Marblehead, Massachusetts

The never-ending project to fill my hole in the ocean while bailing it out

Refinishing the Tiller, 2004

Also see Refinishing the Tiller, 2005

Click thumbnails for a larger picture


I began refinishing the tiller (Feb. 1) by sanding the weathered finish with 100 grit paper. In this shot, the base has been sanded as I worked up to the grip end.

The tiller sanded and ready for the first coat of varnish.

After the first coat of Z-Spar Captain's Varnish (#1015) has been applied.

Looking closely, a few "dry spots" and brush marks are visible, but those will fill in and smooth out after more sanding between building up with further coats of varnish. Next comes the second coat and subsequent light wet-sandings with 220 between a few more.

I applied another five coats of varnish, wet-sanding with 180 after the first two, 22o after the next two coats, and 320 before the  final coat. (Feb. 10)

I mixed the final coat of varnish in a small cup and added a shot of Penetrol to slow drying and allow for more flow.

Still I wasn't satisfied. There were numerous specks of hardened dust marring an otherwise perfect surface that bothered me enough to give the tiller another light wet-sanding with 320 to remove them. I wiped down the sanded tiller with a cotton rag dampened with turpentine, then with a tack-cloth, before applying a seventh  coat of varnish, again mixed with Penetrol. This did the trick: a perfectly smooth like-glass finish at last. (Mar. 7)

More photos of the finally-finished tiller
Click thumbnails for larger picture

Click here to see a before-and-after comparison
Also see Refinishing the Tiller, 2005
Moving on with Season 2004 improvements
It's never-ending ... and the best times have ended again for now!

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