Friday, July 15, 2011

Glassing the hull outside

I used a palm sander for a quick pass over the panels and soft and hard sanding blocks to round the seams.  I needed to be able to reach all sides of the hull and deck, so I set the boat upside down on saw horses on top of the bench.  I could just barely see over the top to work there.  I had a length of 50" wide cloth for this step.  I draped the cloth over the hull and, except for the deck, trimmed off the excess to save for smaller panels.

For the outside I used a thin foam roller available at marine stores.  I think I waste a lot less compared to pouring and spreading when it is a large surface.

The end result turned out well.  My plan to wrap the deck was successful, although I wouldn't recommend it for a first boat.  It was more difficult, but it saved a step and cut down on areas where glass is doubled up.  I saved the deck for last and had the rest of the hull finished.  I rolled on epoxy to the deck and held the cloth in place while I trimmed it with a sharp razor blade.  On one side I trimmed along the center up to the deck top panel and followed one side of the top.  On the other side I did the same but wrapped over the top and trimmed to the same edge as before.  This would leave one edge without reinforcing cloth on the outside, but I added tape to the inside, and I would be very surprised if there is any structure deficiency.
The next day I added a layer of 4" tape and also a layer of 2" tape to bow for extra abrasion resistance.  I also added the tape to the underside of the deck top and finished a few fillets inside as well.

 At the same time I added a layer of tape to the inside of the splash guard.  Finally, I layered cloth over the outside of the seat back.  This wrapped over the sides and overlapped the previous layer about an 1 inch.  I use the same technique in the book I mentioned, and it gives a very clean transition.  I put masking tape along the line where I would like to stop the new cloth.  I wet out the cloth just past the tape and finish smoothing everything.  At the end, I take a sharp razor and trim at the tape line.  If you can avoid messing with it, you will end up with an edge free of lots of unraveling threads.

Total time to this point: 40 hours

Next up: fill coats for the outside and since the gear box parts are almost done, I can take a break from wood for a bit.

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