So far in the evenings this week, I have taped off all of the caprail and the lower "feature strip" - all the way from the bow on the port side to the bow on the starboard side. I have used about 2 1/2 rolls of tape so far. I also need to do the cockpit coaming cap this year. And instead of being out there taping, I am in here blogging and drinking a beer. Whose fault is that?
We use the Scotch #2080 blue tape - it goes on easy, but more importantly, it will come off easy next week, after baking in the sun - even if it gets rained on (perish the thought).
The hardest part is taping the side away from the dock. To do it, I put the dinghy in the water and work from it. But it is an exquisite platform for teaching basic physics principles: every time I apply pressure on the tape going onto the boat, the dinghy slides away from the boat. So it is a constant battle: apply some tape, pull the dinghy back, apply some tape, pull the dinghy back. I spent an entire evening doing the work from the dinghy (starboard side and the stern), and I was sore afterward. From fighting the physics teaching platform.
Tomorrow, I tape the cockpit coaming, and then I start the sanding. Yes, it all needs to be smoothed out and roughed up... I use 150 grit for this first trip around the boat. If I am forced to miss a day between coats (if it rains, perish the thought), then I need to go back and resand everything again to allow for at least a physical bond between coats, if I can't have a chemical bond. For this return sanding I use 220 grit.
But for now, I'm going to finish this beer.