How to spot highs and lows
By far the best tool for spotting irregularities is a critical eye. Get down low to the surface you’re examining and look at it from every angle and you’ll spot problems that evade a simple glance. Hands work well too: when you’re sanding, run a hand over your work regularly to find small bumps and hollows.
There are ways you can help your eyes, however. The instructions which come with the boat kit suggest drawing a grid over the whole boat before using a longboard (sandpaper attached to – you’ve guessed it – a long board) to give the hull an initial sand. The board will bridge across any high points, removing the grid, while leaving the marks untouched in any hollows.
Mike Pickles, foreman at Harbour Marine Services in Southwold and regular author of our ‘View from the Boatyard’ column, recommends simply scribbling over the area to be faired before using the longboard.
Longboards made short work of fairing