The secret to a great bottom finish is using Interlux 355 Vinyl-Lux Solvent as a thinner with the VC Offshore paint and applying with West System foam rollers.
Due to recent environmental laws, wet sanding is no longer an option in Rhode Island so we elected to dry sand using an orbital sander with a built in vacuum that we rented from The Ships Store & Rigging in nearby Portsmouth, RI.
After applying 3 coats of VC Offshore, the entire bottom was sanded with 400 grit, which is the finest grit available in the required disc size. My captain claims "in retrospect it would have been more efficient to do a first pass with 240 followed by a second pass with 400 grit".
We seem to make a habit out of getting a “lift”, and yet again in a different boatyard.
My captain decided to have the boat’s bottom painted while temperatures are warm enough for his preferred Interlux VC Offshore bottom paint to set properly and quickly. It’s been 3 years since we last applied bottom paint, which used to be a toiling annual ritual where we spent days applying and wet-sanding between 3 coats of paint before literally polishing the project off with 600-grit to achieve a perfect racing bottom.
We got quotes from every Narragansett Bay area facility with a large enough travel lift. After checking out their facilities, we opted to try J & J Marine near mouth of the Taunton River in Somerset, MA. Initially unknown to us, my captain was “pleasantly surprised by the yards infrastructure including a 40 ton travel lift and state-of-the-art spraying booth, their experienced staff, a well stocked store room and helpfulness.”