So the boat progressed slowly. It took 3 overall tries to get the right amount of tabs put in the inside to hold her fair, just how I want it. It was worth the effort as she turned out very fair. I then took the ROS and sanded the chines and seams to a nice fairness.
Afterwards, the prep work began. There is no better way than to get EVERYTHING cut and prepped before you even consider laying epoxy down. I have cut all the tape, all the fiberglass sheets, and all the little odds and ends that will need to be laid on the bottom. Every lap has been cornered and trimmed so it lays flat. This saves time and effort both in laying and in sanding later.
Firstly, get the fabric nice and flat (a bubble or two when dry is no biggie):
Don’t forget your overlaps!
Then using a batten and a metal ruler, I laid out the 12″ or 152mm overlap on the chine, its the small black line:
Then simply trim it up:
Rinse, repeat until you have a pile of individua LABELED rolls, ready for epoxy:
Last week I piddled around a bit with the bow fillet. I was a tad uncomfy with the proposition as I had never made and external bow fillet. As it would turn out, it was a misconception that it would be difficult. With a little duct tape holding the drip-through, I filled the space betwixt the sides, and made what I feel to be a nice looking fillet.
You be the judge:
In profile, you can also see where I had to fill gaps on the side panels:
Finally, in context with the boat, and with your humble narrator’s shadow:
All it really took was multiple layers laid as each one turned green, then when all was green, and hard, but not cured, I went out with the trusty sure-form and shaved it down to a respectable shape. Trick is definitely to add more material than you need, and shave it back down to what you want. Worked like a charm.
Now, on to the glassing!
Big breakfast, long deep breath, and out came the jugs of epoxy. I started with the centerline strips, which are 2 layers of tape staggered over the joint. Everything was precut earlier last week in order to save time at this phase. The pieces shortened up a bit when rolled, but the joy of this 45/45 biax is it just stretches and stretches. The initial wet-out was interesting as I had never worked with a fabric having such a voracious appetite for epoxy. Took about an hour to figure out what was dry, what was wet, and how much to put where. Once the curve leveled off, I was off to the races.
Laying up the centerline strips, I ran them about 18′, then quit. I then laid the sides completely down in order to seal the edges of the chine strips under the doubled bow strip. Tidy glass equals less fairing work for lazy boat builders. I had made it through that 18′ when Ron, my neighbor down the lake a ways, shows up wanting to know what I was working on. No sooner are we BSing about layups and his ideas for boats when I throw a set of gloves at him and put him to work!
Ron brought his glass roller with him. What a great tool! Above you can see how he is pressing the fabric into the epoxy we rolled on, and just dabbing a little in the wet spots really sucked it down tight to the wood. We switched to the wet method as it only really works well with two people. Between rolling out epoxy first, then a little wet out on top, then rolling it with that little bugger, we really cut down the amount of epoxy in the layup. No starved areas, everything wet out well.
Thanks Ron, I appreciated it!
An extra set of hands really sped up the process.
Here she is, taped up for the dance:
This is why I laid out the tape how and when I did, very tidy:
Here is another example, the aft (right) section was done with a brush and squeegee, the bow (left) section with the roller on wet:
Much less epoxy.
All in all, we only used 3/4 of a gallon of epoxy for the entire exterior taping program. I am shooting for using even less on the interior as I will try to get some peel-ply and that roller for round 2. Less epoxy makes for a lighter boat!
I managed to get the bottom sheeted alone. Other than one pot of epoxy that I managed to fill with 7 pumps of epoxy and 3 of hardener… Lost count, short swaring fit, decided not to risk it. 12oz of epoxy wasted is much less effort than scraping a section of fiberglass off the hull, BELIEVE ME.
Small garage + noxious fumes = short term buzz, long term stupidity.
Its an organic respirator suited for paint/glue fumes. Still had a pretty wicked throbber going on afterwards, but Im sure its better than if I didnt have it on. Gloves also, unless you want to develop that sensitivity hives thing. I suppose if your into the leprosy look, whatever your into.
I borrowed Ron’s epoxy roller as the only one I could get around here was the Worst Marine plastic jobby for $18 plus Wa tax. Not worth it. I decided that for one person working, there needed to be a hybridized version of the wet method. I spread out one sheet of fabric, wet from above to saturation, then got out the roller and squeege. I wet out areas of about 4-6 sq ft at a time, using about 8 resin/4 hardener pump batches. Seemed to work out well with a wet edge transition. I just couldnt wet out a big enough area to work on the wet method being alone all day, so this seemed like a good idea at the time. The fabric laid wonderfully, and this technique allowed me to stretch the fabric out where I needed and use a reasonably small amount of epoxy. After its said and done, 2 gals of epoxy and 1 gal of hardener did both bottom panels and all the tape. I think with the current epoxy usage rate, Im going to get relatively close to Jacques weight. One can only hope.
8 hrs later:
Okay, now your a tiger!
Results with my method:
And a close up of the weave:
Well lets burn up some bandwidth while we are at it. Both sides of the bow:
The light color of the fabric in the bow isnt dry area, it is the overlapping of up to 3 layers of fabric in certain areas. I did manage to get some milkiness in the bow area epoxy trying to get the last layer to lay down correctly, but its tight, there are no air bubbles, and its *relatively* smooth.
So there I was, laying fiberglass. Beautiful sunny day, temps in the 60’s outside and the 70’s in the garage for the first time this year. Glass is going down nicely, epoxy is flowing and curing just like one would hope. Im working on the wall side of the boat, having finished the car side about an hour ago. Then it happened.
I hear a strange popping sound, like a section of wood relaxing. Pop, crack, pop pop, creak, crack, pop. Instantly, I think “hmm, that can’t be good”. Well, whatcha gonna do, I have wet glass, a wet edge, and a full pot of epoxy to spread. I figure anything that happened couldn’t be so bad.
Before, while I was starting the wall side:
After, when I shot some more pictures and figured out the cause of the popping:
I’d love to go off on a swearing fit, throw tools, break things, such and so-forth, but this is one of those problems that just gives you an ulcer. It seems that the joint I glued at 24 degree temps and a heater (with pretty poor alignment) wasn’t prepared for the stresses once it warmed to over 70 degrees. Since this occurred under green, still soft glass, it didn’t spread or get too out of fair.
Light tells the story, nice weave though:
So naturally, its time to fix it as best we can. The joint was held by the same type of glass on the inside, so who’s to say it won’t stay together if we get it held in the right position? Time for some creative ingenuity!
Twofold, the bracing, and a shot of the final fiberglassing:
This will be, from now until eternity, known as the “water-passat” clamp.
I sure hope this works.
Here are some gratuitous photos of the boat and the glass work:
Some people mispronounce my last name. Some misspell it.
Today, I built a misspelling of my name.
First, we measure it:
Then a few cuts and some radiusing of the edges, and voila!
This perspective gives a better idea of the size of this hunka goodness:
The skeg is complete, glued up, and ready for service. I wanted a nice strong skeg, as the area we live in has some shallow mucky areas that might try to get their grubby little hands on our skeg.
Our friend the skeg needed to be not only glued up parallel to the centerline of the boat, but also vertical, as well as straight. The board I purchased had a bit of a hooey in it, which complicated the task slightly. It did work out fine though.
Here you can see the clamping to the 2×4 to hold the skeg straight. To get it vertical, the long level was run up to the rafter, trued up with the board, and clamped to a truss. There are perks to not having your garage completely finished!
After the initial cure, here is how it looks (frail, in my opinion):
Next, its time for filleting. My original mixture sagged out, which was a bummer. Instead of wasting the epoxy, I ended up scraping it off quickly, throwing in some more silica, and making it VERY stiff. It went back on, and turned out to be a pretty decent fillet. Not my best work, but not bad. I figured out a better idea of what it should look like when its right for a no-sag stick.
If you have ever made bread (or if your lucky like me, the wifey makes foccacia), you know exactly how it should look while stirring. It gets that floury texture while stirring in the last of the powder, then saturates into a nice dry putty that won’t sag for anything.
Mediocre first fillet, after remixing:
Eh, not that stellar, but strong.
Other side, some of my best work:
I’m proud of that one.
Here is a view from aft of the fillets with glass laid up, almost like a cutaway:
A nice perspective, taped up:
Finally, the bow end, which is going to have the glass trimmed up this morning. I wanted it semi-blunted so that if something strikes it, its unlikely to splinter or break the end. I think the extra silica should really make it strong if we bonk some debris:
It just kinda happened.
I decided it was a good time to roll, so I hinted at a couple people around here that I might need a hand. I figured one or two extra hands, some bracing here and there, blankets, etc.
I called Sean, he came with his son Bret and a friend. Shayne from work stopped by to drop off a router from craigslist. Then on the way, Sean’s father in law happened to show up. Then Bryce and his brother Ray across the street decided to join in. Just about the time we get that work party ready, Pete and Brady from next door pull up. Poof! We had ourselves a boat flipping crew!
Alycia, my wife, brought out the BIG camera, so the photos are a bit larger. You can also see her photography work and web design at http://alyciastaggs.com
Man this thing is light!
Many hands, as they say:
It then sat in the yard for about 15 minutes while I attached the new bunks on the jig to support it. 2x4x14′ with bracing, seems to do the job, and I will be adding some more bracing here and there. It also apparently collected 3 gallons of water.
Time to put her to bed:
Big thanks to Shayne, Sean, the boys, Pete, Brady, Teri’s dad, Brice, Ray, and my wife Alycia. I really appreciate everyone’s help.
I piddled around with a mockup using the jig structure. All the internal framing went in and was test-fit. While it was in, I leveled the boat off, made sure all the keel sections were flat, parallel, and where they needed to be. I then braced the transom, amidships, and the bow. This bracing will protect the sheeting and stabilize the boat while I add support structure and fiberglass.
A quick glimpse of the interior structure in place, and the transom braces on the jig:
The bow bracing is 2×4 screwed and braced, followed by 1/4″ plywood pads to stabilize the vertical structures. The pads are hot-glued in place to the bracing so that they have a little flexibility.
Gratuitous frontal nudity:
And a shot to close, just showing the sheer of the boat, and her overall size and shape (starting to get a little excited at this point):