It is now past 8:30 and no one else showed up. Maybe they know something I don’t? There is a better than average chance I’ll be leaving early today. As promised, I have some “over run” photos, previously unseen by anyone, that I can post today. So without further adieu… The key to getting a good looking bottom job (top of the bottom) is getting a straight line when you mask. We’ve had people who were untrainable in this and consequently aren’t here painting bottoms any more. It’s not rocket science — it just takes a steady hand and good eye. The key is to get a long stretch of tape out before pressing it to the surface. If the bottom paint is sound it won’t take much prep but you always hard sand along the waterline because here you aren’t painting on paint — you are painting on scum and other contaminants that are picked up from our not so pristine cruising waters. Also, even if you are using ablative paint the paint will get built up above the water line since it never ablates off. This is how many people we used to man-handle the rails back up onto the boat. If you drop one person from these four, the chance of damaging either the rail or the boat are 25% higher. If you drop 2 people it’s 50% higher. And if you try to do it by yourself there is a 100% chance of damage. John thought everyone would be interested in our “mobile” steps. I think they are a bit shaky to walk up sitting on a boat trailer like they are but it is the easiest way to move them around since they are mostly steel. The gelcoat repairs take a lot of wet sanding – don’t try to do it dry, you won’t be happy with the results. But that’s not the real tip. I’m going to tell you where to get Grand Banks white gelcoat for a good color match. Mind you, once gelcoat starts to fade, having the original is only going to get you close since you will be putting unfaded gel on faded gel but with adequate wet sanding you can get damned close. Here is the source – Spectrum Color What’s up with the yellow tape? You see us using it all the time. This tape is da bomb! Much cheaper than the marine tape and it works in almost every thing we do. Once they had done a bottom job on an Albin 28 and had neglectfully left the boat outside with the tape on it through rain and sun for weeks. When I noticed I assumed we would have a ton of clean up but when I pulled it off it came right off in one piece and left virtually no adhesive behind. Of course you can buy this at Amazon. Anything Can Happen Friday About design opportunities. Sometimes mistakes make us change direction and sometimes we take advantage of this redirection. Last weekend I was turning a nice chunk of walnut into a lidded bowl. I had the outside done and the grain was spectacular when finished. I then went on to do the inside and bam! I went through the bottom. I have it sitting on my bench and not in the trash. This piece will become something either this weekend or next and nothing like I originally envisioned. Now that’s an opportunity.