The JoAhna K Got New Upper Deck Railings!

After a week in the shipyard, the JoAhna K now has upper deck railings. The 58ft wooden yacht has ample amount of seating and standing area on the main deck, but without railings, her upper deck wasn't acceptable for people to hang out. The Molan family knew this must be the first large project of the year! By having upper deck railings, suddenly there is almost double the square footage and guests receive 360 degree views. By far the best seats in the house.

The JoAhna K's railings were custom designed and welded by Seth Miner - Miner Services Inc. For 5 days Seth worked hard in the shipyard to weld on-site 85 feet of one inch steel tubing.

Thankful for the weather holding out in Seattle (which mean's it didn't rain), the Molan's were able to get the raw steel primed and painted. Now this sounds like an easy enough task... well in order to do it right, it takes some acrobatic skills. Painting round railings means trying to see around the whole 3D tube and make sure you didn't miss any surfaces. On our backs, on ladders, on our tip toes and balancing on lower railings we painted 8 hours a day for 3 days straight.

The first 2 coats are a primer that is so heavy duty it seals off the raw steel and protects it from rust. Don't forget to wear gloves because this stuff DOES NOT COME OFF! Capt. Jack got a bit on his face and looked like a 21 year old raver girl heading to a festival for a week! There are many different metal prep primers you can use to seal off raw metal. We used Rustlok 6989 - You can purchase it at your local paint store or online.

After the Rustlok dried, we went to work on the white finish. Now this isn't just any white acrylic smooth paint. This stuff is like glue. Very sticky. Finding the best way to spread it evenly on the steel was a bit of a trial and error. We tried brushes, but they left too many ridged lines. We tried rolling, but paint went everywhere. We landed on sponge brushes. Racing against the clock with rain in the forecast we painted 3 coats with just under 24 hours between each. Marine paint doesn't just dry, it dries HARD!

Painting round tubing means getting on your back for hours doing a slight sit up position to see 360 degrees around. So with my 6 pack well underway from 3 days of constant crunches, the new railings were pristine white and hard as a rock.

We mustn't forget the moment the wind blew a whole can of white glue paint onto our upper deck. What a mess. The upper decks could use a fresh coat of grip paint anyways but now it was an absolute must before customers came aboard.

Now the whole time we've been painting the railings they have been elevated by a very professional system of buckets and 2x4's so that we could paint underneath the base pads (so they don't rust on the deck). At about 6pm on the final day in the shipyard it was time to lower the railings. Now, this isn't a kick-the-bucket out and be done with situation.

In order to secure the railings you have to caulk the bottom of the pads and then screw them in. Well before screwing them in there needs to be holes to drill into. So first we had to drop the railing and drill 4 holes in precise place under each base pad, then lift the whole railing back up (thank God for our wench). Once the railing was up we had to move fast with the caulking. I caulked while the captain drilled. It was almost like doing the wave in a stadium. We'd raise one side up, I'd caulk the crap out of about 4 base pads, we'd set that side down and drill drill drill.

Once all the base pads were set we had our railings - and they were MAGNIFICENT!!!! Opening up so much space on the upper deck. Cocktail hour was now open upstairs!

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