Flyin’ By will begin enjoying her new waters and owners in northern Lake Champlain this summer.
Her new owners purchased this super rare 19’ Chris-Craft Double Cockpit Forward Custom Runabout.
Shirley and I hast seeing her go, but, knowing she would be enjoyed rarely if we kept her, finding new stewards for her was the obvious choice.
Until last winter, she sported her traditional – we believe original bottom, but her owners will be keeping her on a shaded lift, so asked us to replace it with a True 5200 Bottom, which we did.
The tough part was that she was finished show-ready throughout. Now matter how careful we were, and even having added a third strap, her topside and deck finished was severely bruised in the process.
Once the final coats of Interlux 2000E barrier coat was applied, and she received four coats of Pettit Hard Racing Copper Bronze bottom paint had been applied, we flipped her upright and removed the protective masking paper.
The path forward was obvious. We’d be sanding her topsides, decks and covering boards until all evidence of the bruising was gone.
Fortunately, the transom, complete with its hand-painted lettering, had not been hurt in any way, so, while we hand-sanded it gently with 400 and 600 grit paper.
The rest of the hull was sanded first with 120 grit followed by with that same progression, 400 and 600 grit.
Varnish selection presented other challenges. Her hull was originally varnished with Pettit Hi Build, which has strong amber notes that would turn the brilliantly white decks seams an awful amber brown.
We needed a crystal-clear varnish like Interlux Perfection Plus Two-Part Varnish, but two-part varnishes cannot be applied over one-part varnishes without creating curdling and milky residue.
Using a Pettit product preserves the chemistry, which means the two will play nicely with one another, so we pivoted to Pettit Z Spar Captains Varnish Ultra Clear 2067
According to Jamestown Distributors, Z Spar Captains Varnish Ultra Clear 2067 is a premium urethane varnish with ultraviolet inhibitors designed to maintain outstanding gloss long after ordinary varnishes have faded. Ultra-Clear differs from Flagship and Captains 1015 in that it is as a urethane resin type resin. The urethane resin adds clarity and hardness not found in natural varnishes. As a result, Ultra Clear provides remarkable resistance to scratches, chips, alcohol and water. Excellent brushability, leveling and fast buildup make this varnish a pleasure to apply. Z Spar Captains Ultra Clear 2067 varnish is an excellent choice for areas where durability and brightwork gloss are required. (https://www.jamestowndistributors.com/userportal/show_product.do?pid=6743)
Between that moment and today, we applied (rolled and tipped) ten coats – over the original 24 that had been applied to the entire hull in 2017 – to the topsides and transom. The decks and covering boards received seventeen coats.
We did our traditional sanding to a snow field procedure, progressing among coats from 400 to 1500. The sanding with 1500 followed applying the fifteenth coat, at which point we allowed the varnish to cure for a week.
Then it was Joe’s turn to first wet sand the decks and covering boards with 400, 800, 1000 and 1500, He then pivoted to buffing using Meguiar’s Cutting Crème (2000 grit) and finishing with Meguiar’s Polishing Creme (2500 grit).
RJ and I installed all the hardware before Joe completed two applications of Meguiar’s 3-in-1 Wax G191016.
We will allow Flyin’ By to speak for herself.
Since we removed the engine, wiring, gauges, and, well everything from the hull, and have now reassembled everything, we will first run her here and then take our last romp on Lake Champlain, but not until the Lake’s level drops a foot or more and the water temperature rises well above is current 40 degrees Fahrenheit.