Sunday is clean-up day, well, it’s supposed to be. Neville is good at the mess, so I suppose I compliment him by being better at the cleaning up. We can now see the saloon and the ‘couch’ furniture as I’ve ‘cleaned up’ this area this afternoon. I can’t really help ‘hands on’ with many jobs but today I had the job of ‘flow-coating’ the inside of the compartments within the ‘couch’. This is the fibreglass structure Neville has built to add our upholstery to. There will be seperate sections so we can lift cushions to access the storage compartments underneath. We’ll also run pipes along the back up high, you’ll see three holes in the supports along the back. The compartments also add strength to the seating.
We have had a few questions about flow-coating in comments on our blog. Basically flow-coat is used to cover up those messy fibreglass areas inside lockers etc. While they are not on show, when you lift a lid or open a locker, they are seen. We decided way back at the start that we were going to try and build a boat that was close (if not better) to a manufactured boat built by a boat builder. So the inside of lockers, behind doors, inside engine bays and all our interior cupboards, they are all important – wherever it can be seen, it will be flow-coated!
Flow-coat is like gelcoat with wax in it. You paint it on with a brush or roller, or you can also thin it with monomer and spray it. It is very thick and messy so gloves are best. It is also very smelly. A breathing apparatus is the go. Vacuum the area first, followed by an acetone clean which removes all the dust and gives the fibreglass a slightly sticky feel. Catalyst is added as the hardening agent so temperature is important. Ideally you need at least 15 degrees for the flow-coat to ‘go off’, with 20 degrees being ideal. We used a pale grey flow-coat in the engine wells where we felt one coat was enough, however, inside the boat we are using white and two coats will be needed.