Boat­yard Tip

Power & Motor Yacht - - IN THIS ISSUE - By Capt. Bill Pike

How to mask off a curve like a pro. Plus, clean­ing up af­ter a messy fiber­glass re­pair re­quires in­ge­nu­ity and lint rollers.

Idon’t know if you hap­pen to be as crazy as I am about boats, but hey, I reg­u­larly lie awake at night fan­ta­siz­ing about my lat­est and great­est boat projects. And lately, what’s been oc­cu­py­ing my wake­ful, noc­tur­nal mo­ments is the nifty way I’ve found to han­dle a mi­nor job that, if a fair amount of rep­e­ti­tion is in­volved over a broad area, can turn it­self into a time­con­sum­ing ma­jor-lea­guer.

The mi­nor job? Mask­ing off a curve—or a bunch of curves—prior to ap­ply­ing a layer of paint atop another layer of a dif­fer­ent color.

Most ex­perts will sug­gest ab­jur­ing mask­ing tape for such a task and go­ing with nar­rower, more pli­able fine-line or au­to­mo­tive-style pin-strip­ing tape, via a man­ual method that typ­i­cally in­volves the thumb of one hand squeez­ing the tape down, the in­dex fin­ger of the other main­tain­ing the curved di­rec­tion­al­ity and ten­sion of the tape that’s still on the roll, and a good deal of time and con­cen­tra­tion.

Does this work? Ab­so­lutely, al­though both dex­ter­ity and prac­tice are re­quired to guar­an­tee a good-look­ing, bleed-free job. But is there a bet­ter, speed­ier way?

Well ... let’s say some­where on your boat you need to ap­ply grit-laden tan paint to a rec­tan­gu­lar sec­tion of non­slip atop a white deck. Of course, the sides of the rec­tan­gle are easy to mask off with plain ol’ mask­ing tape. And the ends as well. But how about the cor­ners, which need to be uni­formly curved or ra­diused in or­der to cre­ate a salty, fin­ished look?

I say skip the fine-line and, in­stead, stick with the mask­ing tape, lay­ing a piece di­ag­o­nally across each cor­ner of the rec­tan­gle as shown above. Then, us­ing a curved ob­ject like a tube of caulk as a guide (or the curve of the un­der­ly­ing non­slip if it’s pre-ex­ist­ing and dis­cern­able through the tape), cut the nec­es­sary curve in the di­ag­o­nally po­si­tioned tape with an X-Acto knife, mak­ing sure to main­tain a light touch that’ll leave the gel coat un­der­neath un­scathed. Fin­ish off in sec­onds by merely re­mov­ing the piece of tape you’ve just ex­cised.

Cer­tainly, this cool lit­tle trick will not pro­duce the crisp­ness called for when pin-strip­ing an au­to­mo­bile or a boat, but it’ll work well enough on all sorts of other on­board chores where mask­ing or var­nish­ing tape must be tem­po­rar­ily ap­plied ei­ther in­side or out­side a curve or curves. And what’s more, it’s su­per-easy, rea­son­ably ac­cu­rate and, per­haps most im­por­tantly, fast.

Here a tube of caulk makes an ex­cel­lent curve.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.