Fiberglassing

It was important that we had the proper material on hand prior to doing any fiberglass work. The material included:

  • West Systems 105 resin (probably need 2-gal) and equal 205 fast hardener (fast because work was done in cold garage in February)
  • West Systems 407 fairing.
  • West Systems pumps, squeegee, rollers.
  • 6-oz eglass from USComposites. 12 yards of the 60″ width. If I do another I would get the 7-1/2 oz cloth.

After the material was obtained the West Systems use guides were studied, then studied over again. Their products and knowledge base is the best combination for people who don’t fiberglass for a living.

Before the fabric was laid, the boat’s screwholes, bumps, and ridges were given a coat of 407 fairing compound and sanded smooth upon drying. We had to do 2 layers in some places.

Fairing Completed

When we were satisfied that the fairing was satisfactory, we got a router out and put a 1/2″ corner around the chines, and all transom corners. We then put an approximate 2″ radius on the stem bottom (with an orbital sander) and made sure sure it was nicely rounded (no sharp corners).

We did a final once over to make sure we didn’t miss anything, then we were comfortable enough to put the fiberglass cloth on the bottom. We started from 1-ft in front of stem, down the hull, around the transom and let it hang over 1-ft. So the cloth is now dry covering both the bottom and transom. We then dry smoothed by hand, then wet out the glass in accordance with West System use guides, using the squeegee method (starting at the boat’s middle). Allowance for the wet cloth to extend over the chine radius allowed for future cloth doubling in this high wear area. When everything dried, the excess cloth removed and jagged edges sanded. It was important any jagged edges sanded because the next layer of cloth won’t sit properly, so this was double checked.

The starboard side was next. The cloth was dry fit over the sides, and duct tape was used to secure the cloth, with an approximate 2″ overlap on the bottom. The cloth on the corners was cut on a 45-deg angle and overlapped. Wet out was done via West Systems use guide but the general trick was to puddle epoxy on the bottom, near the edge, and then squeegee down over the corner and down the sides. Care was taken to not to squeegee too rough on the corners, as that would pull the cloth apart. Everything was allowed to dry and the excess cloth removed.

The hull was scrubbed with soapy water to remove the epoxy amine blush, the sanded (100 grit) to allow grip on next coat. Then 4 coats of epoxy were rolled on over a 2-day period. During these coats, the previous coat was tacky but not dry (if allowed to dry a total boat sanding would be required). Even with 4 coats, the fabric was still apparent. 

Another scrub-then-sand was accomplished after the 4th coat dried hard. A thin layer of 407 was squeegeed on to fill remains voided, ripples, or areas at showed fabric. After final smooth sanding (100 grit) a final coat of clear epoxy applied, dried, scrubbed and sanded in prep for paint. 

After all the pain prep work was done, 2 skegs were attached. Each skeg was 52″ long and 3/4″ high trapezoidal cross section (with the right angle side facing inboard to prevent turn skidding). The skegs were bedded in 3M 4200. Each skeg was attached with 4 screws with the ends secured (to floor frames) from the bottom and 2 screws securing mid section from the top.

.

Wetting out Bottom Fiberglass

Preparing to Wet Out the Sides

407 Squeegee Layer Being Applied
Skegs Attached

The boat was then flipped again to attach the rub rail. 

Attached Rub Rail
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