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Nomad and Caribou Repairs & Repainting Continued



Moved to DIY, continued from another thread.


Still sea kayak repairs and repainting, still materials and technique transferable to canoes.

In preparation for a 2[SUP]nd[/SUP] coat of EZ-Poxy paint I wet sanded the Nomad. 400 grit wrapped in a dish sponge to provide some foam contouring on the everywhere rounded hull bottom. Wet sanded twice, once “all over”, then rinsed. After rinsing any spots I missed sanding are distinctly visible; the water will bead up on the still glossy un-sanded spots, not on the sanded areas.

P5270001 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

Spot sand those missed areas and rinse again, done de-glossing, no spots still water beady. Quick and easy work wet sanding that hull; the Nomad may be 19’ feet long (18’ 10” not including the rudder), but it is only 21 ¼” wide, and unlike a canoe I only had to sand the bottom.

Water “streaky” areas are sanded, water beaded spots still need attention.

P5270004 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

Hooray for wet sanding! Easier, faster, more thorough and less aggressive than dry sanding a painted surface. And, (this will become more important when sanding the epoxy with graphite powder) no dust.

Even that light touch sponge wrapped 400 grit wet sanding cut through the first layer of paint where there were raised imperfections from previous epoxy “patches”; I need to convince Joel to always use peel ply when he does repairs.

P5280007 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

Back inside and right side up first for deck inspection. Remember
in Florida there are said to be only two boat colors, white and turning white.

Sure enough.

P5280005 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

The only way to paint the top of the Nomad would be to spray. Rolling and tipping would involve removing all of the deck lines and fittings, and paint would puddle settle in the dimpled reveals. Looks like Joel gets to buff and wax 19 feet of deck.

The bottom of the Nomad gets a 2[SUP]nd[/SUP] paint coat soon, and probably a 3[SUP]rd[/SUP], but first there is some work left on the Caribou’s vee bottom and side stripes. The peel ply compressed Dynel sleeve needs a thin topcoat of epoxy, pigment and graphite powder, so more taping and papering. Without Joel around I had to do that work myself.

The cut ends of the Dynel sleeve, as always, even with peel ply roller compression, stood a little proud, but a couple minutes of work with a file beveled down those abrupt ends.

The top coat of epoxy, again 105/206, black pigment and graphite powder, this time with some G/flex added. No peel ply needed, so the surface should turn out smooth and glossy.

A hint about taping a hull for epoxy or paint. Curves are tricky and there are curves to both the bottom black and side orange stripes on the Caribou. Taping, like tipping out, is an acquired “feel”. Once you get going and get comfortable, keep going. Might as well tape the orange stripes for a 2[SUP]nd[/SUP] coat while I’m at it.

P5290009 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

Don’t forget to leave folded over pull tabs on one end of the tape, and think strategically about which pieces of tape will come off first (HINT – the upper non-gravity drip side is the place to start). It took a few lessons but Joel finally got that shit down.

While the tape was out I needed to mask the Nomad seam, and cover the brass HIN plate so that it remains readable. Painting a hull with the HIN etched into the gel coat I would opt to DIY stamp the HIN on a strip of aluminum, or etch it in the paint. Or, a bit classier, have a brass “dog collar” ID stamped. Maybe skip the “If found return to. . .”.

Joel thoughtfully covered that HIN plate. After the shop supervisor pointed it out. Post wet sanding I needed to cover it again. He even taped the High Intensity reflective tape on the stern, precious discontinued stuff. Joel expressed the same appreciation for that reflective tape as I; he can shine a flash light at the boats before going to bed and be assured that all are present and accounted for. There is no reflective tape on the Nomad bow, and I have a few pieces left. And I can do anything I want.

Preparatory for an epoxy top coat I needed to paper mask the Caribou center stripe, a run of newsprint with little pieces of scotch tape, another run of painters tape.

Walking back and forth and back and forth to fetch newpaper and little squibs of Scotch tape is stupid, and I am kinda slow to recognize my own stupidity. I recently watched Joel do just that, and I’ve done similar.

This time I put the newsprint and tape on the handy shop cart and pulled it along as I went. Wayyyyyy faster; a couple minutes per side to paper and retape. Love that shop cart, but I really liked having a shop monkey to boss around for that kind of no-brainer work.

P5290018 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

Actually it isn’t really no-brainer work. In taping curves, even hull length gentle curves, there is some indefinable technique that works best. Starting with “Lay 6 inches of tape at a time, adjust to the curve and then shuffle along, all in one continuous tape stripe”.

But even then, starting at one end and working to the other, the hull curves continually, and about the time you have the stem-to-center slightly curved tape application down satisfactorily you reach the middle of the hull and the curve starts to bend in the opposite direction.

It is semi-maddening, and is easier to do with 1” painters tape than wider stuff. I used the wider tape where there was no need to install a newspaper mask to catch drips but wanted a wider drip edge.

All taped, masked and ready for action.

P5290020 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

I will say I have gotten really good at estimating how much of what epoxy mix I will need for a particular job. I used every drip and dribble of epoxy mix top coating the Caribou’s Dynel center stripe, with not enough left to be worth swiping on something else

P5290024 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

Still a might cool and damp to paint the second coat of EZ-Poxy on the wet sanded, taped and waiting Nomad. I want the doors and windows (all screened) open for that and an exhaust fan running. No rush, I’ll be here all summer, tip your waitresses.

But I can topcoat already taped orange side stripes. Much better looking with a second coat of orange enamel, hiding more of the scratches and dings. I still have plenty of orange paint left, and that stripe is easy enough to tape. Looks like it will get a third coat.

As usual (eh, usually, not always) I remembered to run the tape strategically, so the first tape runs to be removed are on top, not buried under other tape. And, as always - ‘cause gravity - I could pull the top runs of tape immediately after painting.

P5290025 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

Looking good, and will get better.

P5290028 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

It warned up enough to paint, and I was ready to roll and tip the 2[SUP]nd[/SUP] EZ-Poxy coat on the Nomad when the shop door opened and yet another friend stopped by for a visit. Had he arrived 20 minutes later I’d have had to shoo him of out the shop rudely and abruptly; once you get started rolling and tipping you need to finish.

He brought beer, so I let him stay. I may have still been rude.

Second coat of EZ-Poxy will have to wait ‘til tomorrow.


With shop visitor Tom heading out there would be no rolling and tipping that afternoon, such work is best done with a modicum of sobriety. But I could clean the visitation detritus off the benches; Tom’s shop activities are usually relegated to the 20 feet of “Little boy bench” on the far side of the room, but those had a canoe on them.

P5300001 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

(Tom needs 20 feet of bench. Tom holds the world record for occupying every square inch of a picnic table, including both benches. 3 minutes, 57 seconds. And they thought no one would ever break the 4 minute occlusion)

That is Tom’s “WFT?” look, an expression with which I am all too familiar.

As he was leaving I noticed the classy, high-end canoe overhang flag he was using; a quintessential example of Tom handiwork.

P5300008 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

There were two canoes on his truck racks, he needed another flag. I was fresh out of old newspaper wrappers and red biohazard bags, but flagged his other canoe none the less.

P5300009 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

Next day, finally ready to roll and tip, I was about to open the can of EZ-Poxy when Tom’s wife Jane showed up. Walking in just like Tom, as I was about to begin painting I (not so) innocently said “You are just like your husband”. I would have taken Jane’s photograph, but her expression, body language and finger gestures after I made that remark was best not memorialized.

I enjoy Jane’s weekly visits, but she didn’t bring beer, so she had to leave. No sooner had she departed than another visitor raced (pun) into the driveway.

P5310021 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

The glossy shine of a Racer is distinct. Maybe I can convince DougD to sleep under a tarp in the yard next visit.

Oh, year, something about painting. Before the second coat goes on some volumetric experimentation was needed, in preparation for the 3[SUP]rd[/SUP] coat. That third and final coat gets a measured dose of 3021 Performance Enhancer.

The can of 3021 instructs “Pour the 8oz can into a gallon of EZ-Poxy, or use two ounces per quart. 8 hour pot life. Do Not use the mixed material beyond 8 hours”.

A quart of paint will cover a 16 foot canoe three times with some to spare and I have a lot left. How to estimate the paint quantity I need to decant and enhance for a third coat on the 19’ Nomad?

I remember approximately how much paint it took dumped into the pan to roll out the hull the first time around, and can roughly work that calculation backwards. I put that much water in an old paint pan, poured it out and measured the volume.

1 3/4 cups. Seems like a lot, especially for a 2[SUP]nd[/SUP] coat, which typically uses far less paint than a first coat. Calculations made I dispensed that quantity and got to work.

I timed it, mostly because I looked at the clock when I started. 30 minutes start to finish, one side rolled and tipped, walk around, other side rolled and tipped. All that sanding and prep work for 30 minutes painting. 19 feet of hull meant 19 feet of walking back and forth multiple times on both sides, lightly dragging a foam brush while tipping out. Where is my pedometer?

Finished with the paint and damn, I was way the hell off on the quantity of paint needed; with both sides rolled and tipped I had quite a bit left in the pan. Poured that excess into a graduated cup.

Jeeze Louise and WTF, I had ¾ of a cup leftover. A single cup of enhanced EZ-Poxy should 3[SUP]rd[/SUP] coat roll and tip that hull. I already knew that second coats use a lot less paint, never really knew how much less. A lot less, YMMV.

The second coated the Nomad came out looking mighty fine. The first coat thin spots and holidays are all covered, and more of the light scratches are gone

P5310019 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

That may be the best rolling and tipping job I have done yet, and I fear the 3[SUP]rd[/SUP] coat may not come out as well; it can’t get better.

Some dry time awaits, then I can 400 wet sand it again, tape and paper again, and roll tip the third enhanced coat. And attend to the (almost) last paint on the Caribou.
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It could have been a black rat, they have considerable color variation and it demonstrated the kinked body more often associated with a rat snake.

I have heard/read that racers have a shinier appearance. This one was smooth scaled and glossy, with a dark belly and pale chin. When I moved it off the driveway it was far more aggressive than rat snakes usually are.


We do have black rat snakes of various sizes and colorations. It still amazes me when I see a rat snakes miraculously attached to the side of a tree trunk 20 feet in the air.
Aug 29, 2017
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Gaithersburg, MD
It could have been a black rat, they have considerable color variation and it demonstrated the kinked body more often associated with a rat snake.

I have heard/read that racers have a shinier appearance. This one was smooth scaled and glossy, with a dark belly and pale chin. When I moved it off the driveway it was far more aggressive than rat snakes usually are.


We do have black rat snakes of various sizes and colorations. It still amazes me when I see a rat snakes miraculously attached to the side of a tree trunk 20 feet in the air.

Like this guy at the Sorel Ridge camp on the Paw Paw Click image for larger version  Name:	04A4E30B-FFAA-4561-A8C3-42A283C4E8BD.jpeg Views:	0 Size:	153.9 KB ID:	125365


Sanding time. The entire Nomad bottom got wet sanded 400 once again, and the Caribou’s Dynel, epoxy and graphite powder black stripe sanded with something more vigorous; RO sander and 60 grit smoothed it out. Best done outside with goggles and respirator,

Dry sanding a pigmented & graphite powdered epoxy mix is a black dust mess, but 400 wet wouldn’t have done much with the bumps and ridges, or even the faint peel ply weave. That Dynel, epoxy & graphite powder mix is seriously tough stuff.

P6010025 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

Once RO sanded the 400 wet finished off the still glossy areas, followed by a thorough rinse for fine black dust removal.

There are some blotches and blems on the off-white Caribou bottom. A petroglyph-ish squiggle of unknown origin, and a repaired area that was long ago masked and painted with too white spray paint. Now chalky, cracked and crumbly spray paint.

P5300012 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

With that spray paint mistake sanded down I can paint some leftover Hatteras Cream EZ-Poxy for a (hopefully) better color match. Please channel your inner Nancy Reagan and just say no to spray paint. Never, ever again on a boat.

Boats wet sanded I brought them back inside to dry for a day, re-taped and ready to roll the next afternoon. It’s a good thing I am efficient at taping and papering, that’s another 100’ of painters tape on those two hulls.

P6020003 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

Black Caribou stripe first. If, as calculated, a cup of EZ-Poxy will lay a third coat on the entire Nomad bottom how much just for that black stripe?

I thought “Half a cup”. And then thought some more. It is a first paint coat, which always uses more paint. It will get brushed, not rolled and tipped, so laid thicker. Even with the RO and wet sanding the fine weave from the peel ply tape is visible in places, so more still.

Betting the raw center stripe is thirsty, I mixed a full cup of enhanced EZ-Poxy. If not I have a use for any enhanced black leftovers.

P6020002 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

Love those graduated medicine cups. The black stripe got brushed, not rolled, and then I slid the Caribou to the side and made room to cart my way around the Nomad with roller and pan.

Well damn, I had no exemplar for that stripe’s paint quantity needed, and should have gone with my ½ cup instincts. Nearly half a cup of the enhanced paint was left in the pot, and I can’t add it back to the can. The excess went on another paint test panel, some DIY trash can lids and the rest on my paint stump outside.

Rolled and tipped the pre-calculated paint quantity for the Nomad came out much closer, still a little extra, but I have uses prepared for that too. Had to squeeze the white outa the roller, but I now have a paint test panel with Performance Enhanced EZ-Poxy.

P6020007 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

My concerns that the third Nomad coat might turn out sloppier than the second coat were assuaged; if anything it is even better. Definitely time to stop.

P6020009 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

I’m calling the Nomad done. I even replaced the reflective tape that someone (me) forgot to mask and partially painted over. In a few days the Nomad can move out, and I’ll have 19 feet less hull to squeeze past in the shop.

The black EZ-Poxy coat on the Caribou’s Dynel strip helped immensely, but alas, I have now done that stripe, 18 Dynel skid plates on canoes, and the black side stripes on the Freefire with that quart.

After painting the Caribou bottom stripe I have less than a cup left, not enough to bother decanting into another container. I need to use it soon, so it looks like the Caribou stripe will get wet sanded again, re-taped and papered again and a 2[SUP]nd[/SUP] enhanced EZ-Poxy coat applied.


The thickly brush stroked batch of enhanced EZ-Poxy on the center stripe needed time to cure before wet sanding. Again. And taping and papering. Again.

But I just couldn’t stop there, wet sanding the orange side stripes and Hatteras Cream patch for additional paint coats. The Nomad and Caribou are some of my best work yet, and the original Caribou repairs, done 10+ years ago, came with a “Lifetime Guarantee”.

Joel has no paperwork to prove it, and doesn’t need any; the Nomad has the same guarantee. Hopefully the most recent repairs hold for more than a season; next spring I really want to have my way with his Sawyer Loon.

Time to move boats. A lotta boats, shuffling outdoor rack space and indoor storage.

First the 19 feet of 3[SUP]rd[/SUP] coated Nomad, occluding my shop space suck in that gut and shuffle past, garage door to wall, needs to go on my outside racks. Better stored outside here for the summer than outside unattended in Florida during hurricane season (knocks wood).

One two-boat crossbar on the outside racks is spaced for the sea kayaks to rest, as they should, on their bulkheads. But it is capped with a piece of slit PVC pipe, and I’d like some protective cushion against the decks.

I have bemoaned for years that I have a full Xerox box of “useless” minicel cylinders from hole sawing canoe console beverage holders. Not anymore; I cut a semi-circular divot from a bunch of them to fit snuggly on the pipe.

P6040010 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

Several minicel deck cushion variations; I still have a lot of those cylinders left, and made a variety of shapes and sizes to see which shape/cut out works best.

P6040004 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

The Malecite and Optima, usually precious shop kept boats, were evicted to make room for 37 combined feet of sea kayaks, and they can now come back home under cover.

I was chagrined to notice that the white EZ-Poxy paint job on the Malecite, of which I was once semi-proud, is nowhere near the quality as the paint job on Joel’s Nomad. Practice does make perfect, or nearly so.


Once more to the 400 grit, sponge and hose. The black center stripe, orange side stripes, and Hatteras hide-a-patch all got wet sanded. I’ve lost count, but I think that is the 5[SUP]th[/SUP] time I’ve sanded that black bottom stripe. Well, 4[SUP]th[/SUP] time, Joel did the first one.

P6040013 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

Worth doing, the three stripes took only minutes to wet sand and rinse

Taped and papered again, likewise the 5[SUP]th[/SUP] (4[SUP]th[/SUP]) time.

P6050014 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

One reason for the 2[SUP]nd[/SUP] EZ-Poxy coat on the Dynel stripe, beyond needing to use up the last dregs of the can; that Dynel sleeve was laid atop a thick bed of pigmented epoxy, top coated with a heavier load of epoxy and graphite powder, and then hard roller compressed under peel ply so the two-layer sleeve would be fully saturated. Best proven practices, done well.

But at the sharpest points of the stems, just as on a canoe, gravity pulled the epoxy away from the /\ apex, and left a noticeable Dynel weave pattern at the tip of the vee.

The second coat of epoxy, with G/flex, pigment and graphite powder filled most, but not all, of that remaining weave texture, some from the Dynel, some from the peel ply tape. The first coat of EZ-Poxy filled a little more, accent on the “little”. Gravity sucks. Or pulls.

That second enhanced topcoat half cup killed the last of the black EZ-Poxy, and largely filled any remaining visible weave; a few sandy beach landings will remove what little is left.

P6050016 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

P6050018 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

What scant dregs of black EZ-Poxy that remained went on the feet of some oversized and stored-outside sawhorses, which had previously been a receptacle for leftover epoxy.

P6050020 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

Those horses are 15 year old pressure treated, stored outside feet in the dirt in the dirt year round. The bottom of sawhorse legs will last a lot longer if slathered with leftover epoxy or paint.

Once the tape and paper mask were pulled, a third coat of orange enamel went on the side stripes. Brushed, and then lightly tipped out; I should have tipped the first two coats of orange (my brush work really sucks), but some of the drips and sags are from the original, sloppy epoxy and cloth repairs. I wish I had those busted chine repairs to do over again.

The Caribou, having been worked on progressively for 10 years now, has seen some past “experiments”, including, laid at the same time for comparative real-world abuse and abrasion, S-glass cloth, 1” S-glass tape, 2” E-glass tape and Dynel in different places.

The only thing that lasted worth a damn in Everglades oyster bar slicing and worm rock or lime stone abrasion was the Dynel. The orange painted side stripes are covering long ago epoxy and 2” E-glass tape, and they so chipped and dinged that sanding them down smooth would have meant sanding them off completely. Had I known about 1 ¾” wide Dynel sleeve 10 years ago those cracked chine reinforcements would have stayed far more intact.

But, in the name of continuing education, the Caribou experiments carry on my wayward son; the black stripe has two coats of performance enhanced EZ-Poxy, the Hatteras Cream two unenhanced coats of EZ-Poxy and the orange has three coats of Rustoleum enamel. Time, and the Florida sun, will tell.

The Hatteras Cream covering the fugly spray paint is damn close to a color match. Even so I would never paint that off-white bottom; the gel coat on the Caribou is astonishingly scratch resistant stuff. There is gel coat, and there is gel coat, some weak, some strong.

A second coat of Hatteras Cream on an old boo boo and the ‘Bou was done.

P6060023 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

In a couple days the Caribou can go out on the racks and I’ll only have three boats on horses stuffed into my shop space. Plus three hung on the wall.

I really need more inside storage. There is a long empty wall in the clubroom, adjacent to a sliding patio door. “Oh honey, I have an idea

Dream on McCrea.