Many, many people have helped me learn from this forum, so I'm going to make sure I return that favor in posting what I learned about restoring my boat.
I will never do this again. It has been an incredible amount of time and effort and I'm missing out on other things I'd like to be doing. That said, I have become much more knowledgeable and experienced and I will be very happy that I restored "Old Blue" once I'm finished. But, did it once, don't need to do it again.
Other things I've learned:
- Planning slows things down. Not planning makes a lot of wrong things happen, really slowing things down.
- Epoxy sticks to everything. I have four pairs of shorts that don't fold the way they used to.
- Tyvek keeps the itches away. It's hot, but very effective.
- Nothing in a boat is straight. Curves suck when laying glass, carpet and beveling pieces to mate to the hull.
- Engines don't usually leak oil. Mine had always leaked. Now it doesn't, because I fixed it.
- Taking the engine out is a PITA, but makes working on things SO much easier.
- I learned to like alcohol and acetone for cleaning. I'd never used so much cleaner on a job.
- Wet sanding rocks. I can't wait to finish the rest of the hull.
- Buy good stuff. Good heat shrink, real ring lugs, good epoxy... makes the job so much easier.
- Filleting is really important. Fiberglass does not bend well and needs support.
- Fiberglass is forgiving. I screwed up many times. Grind and redo. Nice.
Alright, now for some pics