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Cotehele Quay Pilot Gig painting

he bare bones (the keel) of this Gig were laid down a long time ago, and then it waited for an order to come in before building could start proper. When Cotehele placed the order, building started in earnest. This was immediately compounded by another order for a Gig – so Brian Nobbs has taken on the task of building TWO Gigs to go under the starting gun in the Scilly’s on the 1st of May. No pressure then.

Here we are then, beautifully made out of Oak and Elm just waiting to be painted. Actually, Brian has been painting polyurethane sealer under the ribs and inbetween the Clinker built boards as the build progressed to ensure everything is coated up; so almost completely unpainted. First thing to do is carry on with the clear sealer. It’s a two part Polyurethane sealer that penetrates the wood, providing good adhesion and a tough surface for subsequent coatings. It also part-fills the pores of the grain in the wood.

Several coats later, the undercoats are applied. One or two coats of International Pre-Kote obliterates the background colour and makes for easy sanding.

All these paints are “top side” paints; that is paints that do not spend the whole time under water. These boats are only placed in the water for racing and training, and spend most of their lives on a trailer.

Once the undercoat is nicely rubbed down, on with two coats of Toplac gloss in the colours.

Everyone always asks “are you going to do the sign-writing then?” It is something I would like to do some day, but Brian knows a proper signwriter who is very experienced and lightning fast – most of it done freehand – I will leave it to the professionals!

Published by: Colin Taylor on: February 23rd 2016

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