Assembling a Fairing Crew

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

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  1. michael pierzga
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    michael pierzga Senior Member

    Important to not get carried away and seek fairing perfection on a yacht. A GOOD JOB is all the is required. Better to your spend time an craftmanship on the construction and first class systems.
     
  2. themanshed
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    themanshed Senior Member

    Well taken...In repair work you will hit fibers and certain aspects of building, but general fairing I agree you should not be fairing your laminate. But I know of few areas that boats are being build that do not have some glass dust around short of a painting area. In my current build I have a very thin skin and no room to fair the outside skin fiber at all. I have trophies from cars I’ve done and I really like to work in lacquer which has been practically banned in the states.
     

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  3. mastcolin
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    mastcolin Senior Member

    Your talking about the cat that we have pictures of?

    You need one good guy and 2 guys with stamina/good attitude to work. Actually you can do it with 2 guys total as I assume your built hulls are reasonably fair. You'd only really need the 3rd guy for filling over large areas.

    But the good guy has to be good. I don't doubt car-body repair guys could do it but in my experience most of them get sick of it after a day. They get bored with the scale of it all. They normally want to spray after a half day sanding:)

    We work on 2m2/man hour board sanding. It doesn't make much difference what paper you use really. The rougher papers cut quicker but then you are normally sanding deeper with those. Once you go to the finer/slower cutting papers you sand less deep...so you get back to approx 2m2/hour. It doesn't seem much at the time but this is the average over a 40hour week for most people. You have to remember that you don't sand all day. Guys have to go to toilet/coffee/answer phone to girlfriend/find the sandpaper/rearrange scaffolding(work area) access etc. And chat. And smoke...and watch the chicks outside.

    You can machine 10m2/man hour.

    To be fair(excuse the joke) on the guy, what is he sanding? And with what paper? It goes without saying that some materials sand better than others and p40 sands quicker than p180 if it is very hard.
     
  4. Stumble
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    Stumble Senior Member

    The best in the US (i may be prejudice) at fairing hulls is a guy named Donnie Brennan in Biloxi MS. The only tools I have seen him pick up is a grinder and a long board, everything else he does by hand. He is also the fastest I have ever seen. But then he has been doing glass work for decades, and can get a smoother bottom with a grinder than I can with a long board.

    I think here more than most places the trick isn't in the tools, but in the craftsman, and there is just no replacing experience.
     
  5. CatBuilder

    CatBuilder Previous Member

    Colin, he was sanding microballoon epoxy bog. Typical fairing compound on a flat bulkhead panel. This was laid horizontally on saw horses flat.

    However, the good news is that he realized I was unhappy with his performance and put in an extra effort today. He did a good job today. I think he was having a couple of off days, so I will not replace him unless it becomes a problem.

    He does have that special skill of being able to see things that are out of fair, so we'll keep him.

    I'll also maybe build a team with two more guys for a week or two for when the hulls are upright and the really large fairing is taking place.

    Like your model, I think having my full time guy with the temporary crew will make a difference. Having a skilled guy working with the crew should help, I think.
     
  6. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    What you need are two good fairers, both on the same page in regard to technique, style and work ethic. Having one that likes to "knock down", which might typically use the notched trowel approach, will drive a more conventional "fill 'til level" approach person (like me) nuts. As a fill and level guy, I couldn't tolerate someone sanding 90% of his bog off, in an effort to get fair, while I'm sanding just what I need to, to achieve the same result. I'd get pissed he was only 1/4 of the way down the hull, when I reached the other end.

    It's also unlikely that you can have a skilled guy along with less skilled crew. The skilled guy will spend his time attempting to train the less skilled, instead of actually fairing. Fairing is, as has been mentioned an art form, almost. You either can or you wish you can. You can hire those that wish they can, in hopes they can pick up enough good mogo from the skilled guy, or you can just get a couple of skilled guys and screw the luck aspect of the equation.
     
  7. Herman
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    Herman Senior Member

    Indeed. It would be best if you find a team of 2, that do a lot of fairing. You will not need to teach them, and if you pay them a lump sum, they will work quickly as well. Only problem then is the discussion on what is fair for them, and what is fair for you. There can be a difference...

    You can do a go at it yourself. First take a fluorescent light (old one, not wired) and slide it over the surface, holding it with 4 fingers in the middle. Once you slide it over a bump, you will feel it, as it cants over. Mark this place with a pencil. (prevent ink markers, they can do funny things later in the painting process).

    After having done the complete hull, knock down the high spots with a power grinder (sorry, Par.... :))

    Now you have a surface which should be reasonably fair, some low spots. Take a longboard (make several, as you will need them with different lengths and stiffness. Experience will tell what stiffness you want)
    Sand the complete surface with course sandpaper. (remember, it is fairness you want to achieve, not a smooth surface). Unless you forgot an area in the previous step, you can quickly run over the complete hull. All you do is a bit of fairing, but mostly marking the low spots (as you will not hit them with your sandpaper.)
    Now add bog to the low spots. Do not care about smoothness, but do care about the thickness. If there is a small lump in your bog, it creates a channel (might happen sometimes). Do not care about that. These imperfections can be dealt with later.

    Only now it is time to seriously hit the complete hull with sandpaper and fairing boards. Avoid the use of power grinders, unless you know exactly what you are doing. Repeat the processes before, and you will quickly reach a fair state. The more you reach that state, the more skill is needed to actually improve the fairness.

    Only after the hull is fair, it is time to smooth the surface. Roll a layer of epoxy on the fairing compound. It helps protect the fairing compound, and it is faster than sanding grit 60-80-120-180 etc.
    Consult your paint supplier to find out the final grit they want for their primer. Expect to see some minor imperfections after the primer, you can still correct these.
     
  8. michael pierzga
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    michael pierzga Senior Member

    Speaking of Fluorescent lights. Overall work area Lighting is critical to fairing and paint work.

    The local gang use a powerful , portable, two bulb fluorescent light fixture ,screwed to a plywood plank and they constantly move, hang, clamp this light around the work area to look for low spots. You cant do a good job if you cant see what you are doing

    And as Hermans says...FILL IN THE LOW SPOTS. I see to many people apply bog then sand like mad men untill its all gone and the low spots are still there.
    Gently board sand with razor sharp paper to knock off high spots and reveal the low spots.... then mark and fill the lows. The overall surafce will radily become fair...then begin work on details like corners and transitions.
     
  9. motorbike
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    motorbike Senior Member

    If I may add to a very good thread, fairing is hard repetitive work.

    There must be shortcuts but essentially its just hard work, I used a two man longboard on a 34ft hull and it took 3 grueling days before we had it sorted enough to go the the one man.

    Big boats have 4 and 6 man boards, new apprentices are made to cry when put on the workfit team!

    You have to learn to love that 36grit!
     
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  10. rxcomposite
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    rxcomposite Senior Member

    So far nobody has touched the aching shoulders and swollen joints. Fairing is like doing calisthenics all day long. Not to mention being powdered all over like a baby. :eek:I hate fairing.:p
     
  11. waikikin
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    waikikin Senior Member

    maybe recruit from the gym, some muscle builders might even pay to come....ha ha
     
  12. michael pierzga
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    michael pierzga Senior Member

  13. waikikin
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    waikikin Senior Member

    Never used one but have watched one, they used to hire out by the day as it was an exxy machine, of no advantage to the guy I saw, but in skilled & competent hands would be good for broad areas.

    Developed to replace longboards, the POWERBOARD enables a single operator to fair several square metres in seconds. Compared with the traditional method, the POWERBOARD can save hours in labour costs, approximately 30 to 50%, and the dust extractor ensures a cleaner and healthier shop environment.

    In Red has to be marketing BS.

    Jeff
     
  14. Stumble
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    Stumble Senior Member

    That fairing board looks like it could be magic in the hands of a skilled operator, or a disaster in the hands of a unschooled user... I wouldn't trust myself enough to try it, at least not on my boat.
     

  15. michael pierzga
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    michael pierzga Senior Member

    A square sanding disc on a grinder also does the same work. Very powerful and relativly easy to control. The problem with a square pad grinder is that it makes so much dust that the user loses sight of the work surface. Takes a bit of practice. Ive used them on strip planking...very effective.
     
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