Assembling a Fairing Crew

Discussion in 'Boatbuilding' started by CatBuilder, Feb 7, 2012.

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  1. CatBuilder

    CatBuilder Previous Member

    Ok, I just bragged about how great the guy helping me is, but I think I may have spoke too soon.

    His work has been just painfully slow this week. Today was really bad.

    In the time that I laid up half a "half hull's" foam in the mold, he sanded one side of 1/2 of a bulkhead on a flat, table like surface.

    Dismal. This guy was always slow, but he's just been doing a terrible job this week.

    I plan to give him the whole week to see if he improves, but I feel I might have to get a "fairing crew" together.

    Any ideas on how to find such people? Do you think out of work sheetrockers would be good? Cement workers? Maybe I could assemble a fairing and painting crew somehow from the construction trades?

    I need to stick to the schedule and this guy is dragging me down compared to if there were two of me working.

    Plus, it costs the same amount of money to have 10 guys work for 3 days as it costs to have one guy work for 30 days. I just need speed here.
     
  2. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Auto body workers are the only people capable of actually fairing. Plasters, painters, drywall guys, haven't a clue what a fair surface is or how to get it.
     
  3. CatBuilder

    CatBuilder Previous Member

    Damn, that's good thinking, PAR. I will update my search to look for autobody guys... though I doubt too many are out of work right now with everyone keeping their old, used cars.
     
  4. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    You might want to avoid guys from Macco.
     
  5. michael pierzga
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    michael pierzga Senior Member

    Unemployed yacht crew are typically used for daywork. Its unfortunate that youre not building in a shipyard. When I bring a yacht to the yard there is always a steady stream of young guys looking fo work. Room and board plus 2000 per month normally gets a good one. Hign Plains drifter British, Kiwi and South Africans are particularly hardworking. Some of these young guys looking for temp work are very talented, be prepared to pump up the pay if one comes by.
     
  6. CatBuilder

    CatBuilder Previous Member

    I am building in a shipyard. There are no megayachts though. It's an industrial shipyard and pleasure marinara nearby. No day labor here at all.
     
  7. michael pierzga
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    michael pierzga Senior Member

    Its always tough to find a good worker. Manytimes I end up having to supervise, hold their hand and crack the whip. This becomes so much work that I end up working double time, get frustrated then just get in and do it myself. Im presently painting a superstructrue singlehanded because the avaible labour is just not up to the skill level needed.

    Id say that since your project is so big you must keep up the search and when you find a good one ....do what is needed to keep them.
     
  8. CatBuilder

    CatBuilder Previous Member

    Yes, Michael. I've kicked crew right off boats for the same reason. Had one delivery I did singlehanded because it was easier!

    While we are at it, what is the most efficient, professional way to fair?

    Long boards and lots of labor? What size board?

    Power long board?

    What about flat vs curved surfaces? What power tools can be used?

    How can I speed it all up?
     
  9. michael pierzga
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    michael pierzga Senior Member

    Dust devils work...build a few.

    Naturally you also need several different sanding boards for final proofing. Long ones ,short ones, flexible ones, stiff ones...........

    Dust devil info.
     

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  10. hoytedow
    Joined: Sep 2009
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    hoytedow Wood Butcher

    Excerpt from above pdf Sanding Tricks of the Trade.pdf: By Damian McLaughlin
    "All of the boat builders that I know have little
    tricks that make a job go faster or do it
    better. Fairing a 40' custom-built hull is an
    arduous task which is often accomplished
    with two-man teams and fairing boards. We
    do 90% of the work with a grinding device.
    Almost everyone in the business will agree
    that a grinder will remove a substantial
    amount of material quickly. The trick is controlling
    that removal.
    Here in my shop, we use a common
    heavy-duty 0 to 6,000 rpm sander/polisher.
    What is not so common is the pad we mount
    on this machine. We glue a 9" × 11" rectangular
    piece of fiberglass or Lexan™ onto a
    standard round foam backup pad. Using this
    setup, it’s virtually impossible to gouge the
    surface."

    Open and read is worth the time.
     
  11. rxcomposite
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    rxcomposite Senior Member

    Semi flexible rubber backed long boards of 24" or longer. For bigger boats we use a two man crew, one pulling, one pushing 38" or longer boards. Adjustable height scaffoldings. They need to be comfortable. No squatting or reaching out. Sand at 45 degree angle, both ways.

    Unfortunately, there are very few people who can fair. Maybe one out of twelve. And fewer still who has a good eye.

    For final fairing, you need banks of long parallel lights like banks of fluorescent lights. Car shops have this. A wet surface magnifies imperfections. You also must carry with you two color marking pen one to encircle the depression and the other one to mark the bumps. Other wise the other guy will just be removing what you add.

    I do this with my eyes closed or looking the other way. I feel the surface with my bare hand by carresing it. It is easy once you get the hang of it. Doesn't work with calloused palms.
     
  12. michael pierzga
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    michael pierzga Senior Member

    As Rx says ...fairing is a skill. Ive never been good at it..takes me twice as long to fair a panel.
    Laying the fairing compound on is the critical part. Flexible blades, pvc pipe, plexi glass boards, inside radius, outside radius tools
    Normally by the time you finish a project youre pretty good at it. Its only the first 1000 hrs that are hard.
     
  13. rxcomposite
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    rxcomposite Senior Member

    Me too!
     
  14. themanshed
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    themanshed Senior Member

    Fairing is almost an art form........I started with doing show cars and restore jobs more for pleasure as a hobby. Now with boat repair or building it is more tedious as the medium you are working with well let’s say if composite …. It just sucks. It’s hard to find somebody that wants to roll around in fiberglass or carbon fiber dust. It is hard for me to look at a boat or car and not glance down the side to see how straight it is or should I say slight of flaws. I like to go to boat shows and look at the production boat and see the workmanship, usually lack of, and feel better about my work. Like other posts on the final work I look away and run my hand down the surface and feel what my eyes may or may not see as a flaw or bend of the light. I also use contrasting colors in the primer stage. The problem I have is getting myself to figure when to stop and say good is good enough.
    I have a saying is that if you have to get really close to the object and bend over to find a flaw it will result in a bigger dent of flaw ---- as my foot strikes your rear and propels you into my work.
     

  15. rxcomposite
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    rxcomposite Senior Member

    themanshed- if you are sanding through fiberglass or carbon that will weaken the structure. But I will say, the part has been badly made in the first place. You need to build it up with microbaloon laced putty.

    If you are doing show cars, you are at the top of the field. Very few have that skill.
     
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