Before and after painting the cockpit

Finally all our preparations before painting the cockpit was done and we could paint it white. We used Epifanes polyurethane two-component lack, which was pretty easy to paint with. But it didn’t cover very good so on some places we needed four layers. We used foam rollers, which worked pretty well. They swallowed a lot of paint but the result was good. Since it is a two-component paint we also needed to change the foam rollers after some time since the paint dissolved the roller.

But now let’s look at some pictures of how it looked before and after painting. The real before and after pictures of the cockpit will be shown later when other things are finished as well, such as the cabin door and other details in the cockpit.

Next to the sliding hatch before painting.
And after.


painted with Epifanes polyurethane two-component lack
And a final picture of the entire cockpit 🙂

The cockpit looks really fresh and clean right now, we will see how long that lasts… 😉 We are not finished with the cockpit yet, we still have some other tasks left to do; like finish the cabin door, paint some of the floor parts in the cockpit with anti-slip paint, fix the teak around the cockpit and get all the hatches in position.

If you want to read our previous posts about the work we have done in the cockpit all posts related to that can be found under the tag Cockpit, and all plastic repairs we have done under the tag Plastic Repair.

Final preparations before painting the cockpit

After our failure with painting gelcoat in the cockpit (read more about it HERE) we decided to paint the cockpit with two component paint instead. Since we had some work to get rid of the gelcoat we also took the time to fix the final plastic crack we had. This crack had occurred during winter due to leakages above, when the temperature dropped the water inside froze and caused the plastic to crack. The reason for the water getting inside the plastic was some leakages in one of the cowling vents, which we have fixed, and hopefully that was the only leakage.

The crack that appeared during winter due to our leaking cowl vent.

First up was to grind around the plastic crack, and to let the wood inside dry.

The plastic crack grinded and ready for some plastic repairs (sorry for the bad visuality on the picture).
Adding plastic and fiberglass on the crack. We used polyester here same as we used for the cockpit.
After all layers of polyester and fiberglass.

Then it was time for fun work, or maybe not… It was adding putty and sanding time! One thing we learned is that in order to have even surfaces the process of adding putty and sanding must be done more times than you first think.

As mentioned above we also had to get rid of the gelcoat in the cockpit that hadn’t hardened properly. We got rid of most of it and also sanded the surfaces we could. When we were satisfied it was time for the first layer of paint, the primer.

Primer added in the cockpit.

It was really nice to see the even surfaces and this primer covered really good. It was thin so we had to constantly stop the paint from running, but overall it was easy to paint with. Way easier than the gelcoat!

For both the primer and paint we chose to use Epifanes polyurethane 2-component lack.

We have actually already added the first layer of white paint, but we need two or three more layers to make it cover properly. After that we will be able to show some awesome before and after pictures! 🙂

Our mistake of painting with gelcoat

After many days of preparing the cockpit for painting by adding putty and sanding, we were finally satisfied with the surfaces. We cleaned the cockpit thoroughly with both water and acetone and added masking tape. Our plan was to paint with gelcoat first and then add another layer of topcoat above. The reason for this is because if it doesn’t cover properly the topcoat most be sanded first before the second layer can be applied. If only gelcoat were to be used it would harden properly and will remain a little bit sticky.

We had discussed earlier if we should use a two component paint instead but since we had already bought the gelcoat (we did that early autumn last year) we thought we should go with it. Life would have been much easier if we had just bought the two component paint at that point.

Then our failures started. First up was the color of the paint. We had an idea that we should use a paint that wasn’t white-white, in order to make it more comfortable for our eyes when the sun is shining. So we had bought a paint named Bone-white, which we thought looked pretty white on the color map in the store. But when we opened it it we thought it looked pink/yellow, and it was not that color we wanted.

The color of the gelcoat, not what we had expected…

Nevertheless we thought we could still use it for the first layer and use a white topcoat. So we started painting with the gelcoat. Maybe not such a big surprise but it hardened really quick and it was hard to paint and get a good nice surface out of it. And after all the time and energy we have added to making the surfaces even in the cockpit, we doesn’t want the paint to ruin it. Also, a small cloud of rain passed by leaving small craters in the gelcoat, making the surface even more uneven.

We where only able to paint for like 10-15 minutes (then it hardened) and we soon decided that we wouldn’t continue with this and buy two component paint instead, which will be white, nothing else.

But since it is gelcoat that isn’t exactly easy. On some places it had been able to harden but is some other places it was still wet. On those places there had been one component paint under which had dissolved. We had removed as much of the one component paint as we could but in some narrow places there where still some left.

The gelcoat didn’t stuck to the one component paint.

We sanded the places where it had harden in order to prepare it for the next layer of paint. On the places where it hadn’t hardened we tried to help the gelcoat by heating it. It helped in some places but wasn’t good enough. Instead we started to remove the gelcoat with a paint scraper, which worked really well. We got rid of the gelcoat and the one component paint below.

Using a paint scraper to get rid of the gelcoat that hadn’t harden.
Both the gelcoat and the one component paint that had dissolved could be removed with the paint scraper.
Still some gelcoat left that needs to be removed, but got rid of a lot.

We will continue working with repairing our mistake, in the meantime we will also fix a plastic crack we have on deck so that we can paint it the same time as we paint the cockpit. After that and when we are satisfied with the cockpit we can finally start adding paint and hopefully the result will be what we expect it to be.

Continuing with the plastic repairs

On Saturday the sun was shining and we were finally able to continue with the plastic repairs. As mentioned earlier, we had removed the window we had in the cockpit since it was leaking a lot (read more about it HERE). Now it was time to seal and reinforce this area with fiberglass and polyester.

We started with the plastic repair late summer last year, if you want to read more about our previous plastic work, check the tag Plastic repair.

We have chosen to use polyester for the plastic repairs in the cockpit, the reasons why we choose polyester over epoxy are:

  • The price, polyester is cheaper than epoxy
  • It is not possible to paint with polyester topcoat on top of epoxy
  • The old plastic in the cockpit is polyester
The old window sealed with wood. Before starting with the plastic we sanded the area around the hole.
Adding the first layer of polyester.
And after we had added enough polyester we added the first piece of fiberglass.
Then more polyester and using the brush to remove the air bubbles.
Next layer of fiberglass. In total we needed seven layers of fiberglass to build up this area.
Final plastic added and left to dry and then the real hard work begins…
Hard, hard work sanding the plastic in the cockpit.
Well needed coffee break 🙂
Then it is time for putty (polyester mixed with talc) everywhere we find irregularities.
Putty, putty, putty.

The following days has been all about adding putty, sanding, adding putty, sanding and we will continue doing this until we have even surfaces in the cockpit.

Removing leaking window in cockpit

We recently fixed a leaking porthole we had in the cockpit, but that was not the only leakage we had in the cockpit. There is a also a window on the deck in the cockpit which has been leaking a lot. It is just a plexiglass sealed with marine sealing. Since most sealing materials doesn’t stick pretty well on plexiglass we will remove this window completely. For a while we had an idea of having a proper deck hatch, but they are expensive and our cockpit is pretty small so the hatch might make it feel smaller. We also have an idea of having a table in the cockpit and then we want to have choices on how mount that.

But before starting to remove the window we removed the cover for the steering pedestal. From this we found that it was dirty inside, that we have chain and wire steering and that we need to do some further investigations on how the steering works. This means opening the metal hatch seen in the picture below, but we will save that for another day.

Cover removed from the steering pedestal.
Removing the old sealing from the plexiglass window. Very thin layer, so no surprise that we have had a lot of leaking here.
Window removed 🙂

We will fill the old window with a marine plywood. We bought a big piece of this mahogany plywood. It is made for non visible places, but it looks pretty good so we think we might be able to use it for some interior as well.

Using the plexiglass as a template to cut the plywood.
Perfect fit!
Gluing the pieces together. We cut two pieces of plywood as 2 times 12mm matches the thickness of the deck in the cockpit pretty well.
Now the glue will have to dry and then we are ready to finish the plastic work when the temperature in Stockholm rises.