Fiberglassed The Bottom

2016-03-11 13.51.06 (Medium)Today with help from Mark R. and Mark N., I was able to fiberglass the bottom of the boat.  The bottom received one layer of 6 oz. fiberglass cloth and each side also received one layer of 6 oz. fiberglass cloth.  Since the fiberglass cloth is 50 inches wide, the result is the keel has three layers of glass, the bottom up to about 6 inches passed the bottom chime has two layers and one layer from there to the sheer.  The transom also received one layer of glass and the transom looks so good I just might have to finish it bright; that means the transom will have varnish on it and you can see the wood.  After the fiberglass was set on the boat, the epoxy was poured on the horizontal surfaces, spread out with an epoxy spreader to work the epoxy into the weave of the fiberglass and then I pulled the excess to the dry fiberglass.  For the vertical surfaces the epoxy was either brushed on or rolled on.  Once the fiberglass cloth was saturated and smoothed out, peel ply was placed over the fiberglass and also smoothed out.  You can see from the photo what the boat looks like covered with peel ply.  One of the advantage of using peel ply is when you rub the hull with paper towels you can soak up excess epoxy which results in a finish that needs very little sanding.

Once the epoxy starts to cure I can pull the peel ply off and scrap the rough spots.  The epoxy will not have curred hard so the scrapping is fairly easy.  I will also touch up some of the rough areas with Quick Fair which as the name suggests is a fairing compound which should let me fair the boat out quickly.  With a little luck I will be putting the first coat of paint primer on in a week.

I had previously using denatured alcohol to clean up the uncured epoxy but I have often read that boat builders were using white vinegar instead.  I tried it for the first time and I was impressed with how quickly and easily it cleaned up the scissor and roller frame.  I also tossed the epoxy spreaders in a can with some vinegar and it quickly cleaned them up.  It will definitely save me some time and money when I use vinegar to clean my tools.


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