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Interior Fiberglass, Filling the Weave

Posted by Zachary Wiest in Epoxy, Fiberglass, Tools

After letting the first fiberglass / epoxy layer cure for about 20 hours, I quickly installed the radio and speakers to make sure the epoxy covering wire run was still functional.  I was a little worried that I had cut one of the wires when trimming away the excess fiberglass, but all was well.  Next, I put down a second coat of unthickened epoxy to fill the fiberglass weave.  This was applied with a thin nap roller.  This second coat was also supposed to cover the rest of the hull (#2/3 panels and rails).  I rolled it on where I could and used a brush on the rails.  Getting into all the rail spacers with a brush and epoxy was tedious, especially when trying to curb epoxy runs.

Time Spent: 2.5 Hours

Total Time In Build: 113.0 Hours

Fiberglassing Skerry Interior

Posted by Zachary Wiest in Electrical, Epoxy, Fiberglass

I am pooped!  I just spent 7 straight hours on the Skerry.  I began the day by taping off the seam between the bottom panel and the #1 panel on the inside of the hull.  Next, I laid the speaker wire which will run from the center to forward frame in the lap joint.  All of the laps and seams throughout the boat will get fillets of epoxy thickened with wood flour, and the fillet I taped off is the only one that needs to be below the fiberglass. The speaker wire will run under this fillet.  I filled a ziploc bag with epoxy for an easy application.  I used it like a pastry bag by cutting a hole in one corner.

While the fillets sat for a little, I cut fiberglass cloth to fit the interior of the hull.  The manual only calls for covering the bottom and #1 panels.  After the fiberglass was cut, I smoothed my fillets with a gloved, denatured alcohol soaked finger.  The fiberglass went in next and unthickened epoxy was poured on top and spread with a plastic squeegee.  After about an hour of drying time, excess fiberglass was cut out with a razor blade.

It was a long day, and now I am at work for a midnight flight, but when I get home I have to put on another coat of unthickened epoxy to fill the fiberglass weave.

Time Spent: 7.0 Hours

Total Time In Build: 110.5 Hours

Fiberglassing the Daggerboard for Strength

Posted by Zachary Wiest in Decisions, Epoxy, Fiberglass

Because the daggerboard has the greatest draft of any part of the boat, I decided to reinforce its leading edge with a little fiberglass.  I used some fiberglass tape and unthickened epoxy.  Once this gets a couple more coats it will be ready for sanding and paint/varnish.

Time Spent: 1.0 Hours

Total Time In Build: 74.0 Hours

Sanding the Fiberglassed Hull – Part 2

Posted by Zachary Wiest in Epoxy, Fiberglass, Sanding, Tools

More sanding today.  I used the random orbit sander with 80 grit and completed all I could with it on the hull.  The stems and lap seams will require a hand block.  It is long and tedious work.

Time Spent: 2.0 Hours

Total Time In Build: 56.5 Hours

Sanding Fiberglassed Hull – Part 1

Posted by Zachary Wiest in Epoxy, Fiberglass, Sanding, Tools

I have reached what I believe will be one of the most time-consuming steps in the build.  I started sanding down the epoxy-covered fiberglass hull.  The goal is to get it slippery smooth through 220 grit prior to one last coat of epoxy.  After that it’ll be primer and paint.  As I learned today, there is no quick way to do it.  After three hours of work I completed the bottom panel and am about 80% through port panel #1.  It’ll take quite a few days for me to finish it up.

Time Spent: 3.0 Hours

Total Time In Build: 54.5 Hours

Fixing My Fiberglass Mishap, Part 2

Posted by Zachary Wiest in Epoxy, Fiberglass, Mishaps

I was finally able to re-fiberglass the sanded out bad fiberglass on the hull tonight.  The process was identical to the first time.  I laid out the fiberglass, cut to size.  Then I used the squeegee to spread the epoxy into the fiberglass weave.  You can barely tell that anything was wrong.  When it all gets sanded smooth, you definitely won’t be able to tell.

Time Spent: 1.0 Hours

Total Time In Build: 45.5 Hours

Fixing My Fiberglass Mishap

Posted by Zachary Wiest in Epoxy, Fiberglass, Mishaps

In my last post I talked about how I screwed up and let some of my epoxy get too thick to saturate through the fiberglass weave.  Today I got out the sander and removed the two problems areas.  It was tough work sanding through all that epoxy and fiberglass.  I will soon redo these areas.

Time Spent: 1.5 Hours

Total Time In Build: 44.5 Hours

Fiberglassing the Bottom of the Hull

Posted by Zachary Wiest in Epoxy, Fiberglass, Mishaps

I woke up this morning all set to epoxy my fiberglass cloth to the bottom of the hull.  Per the manual’s instructions, I mixed up some unthickened epoxy and started pouring it on the hull, using a plastic squeegee to move it about the hull.  The thickeness is right when the fiberglass weave is still visible but fully saturated.

It was going great until I started noticing that the epoxy in the cup was starting to get hot.  I had about 8 ounces left and I poured a few ounces on to the hull.  The epoxy was smoking it was so hot!  Unfortunately it was now so thick that it would not penetrate the weave.  I had only mixed about 20 ounces, less than the manual recommended, and it was already curing in my cup!  Maybe I wasn’t working fast enough or maybe it was the South Florida heat, but I was left with a 20″ section of the bottom panel that I would need to redo.  The epoxy was just too thick to saturate the fiberglass cloth.

I mixed up a new, smaller batch and completed the rest of the hull.  When complete, I ran a razor blade in the first lap to remove the extra cloth.  I then removed the plastic skirt and cut some fiberglass cloth to lay on the bow and stern.  I quickly glued these pieces to the hull.

The manual says to come back between 4 and 30 hours to apply a second coat to fill the weave.  I will do this in a little bit, but will avoid the bad spot.  I am kind of disappointed because I will have to sand out and redo the bad fiberglass.  I guess it is all part of the experience…

Time Spent: 1.5 Hours

Total Time In Build: 43.0 Hours

Prepping for Fiberglass on the Bottom of the Hull

Posted by Zachary Wiest in Fiberglass, Preparation

I decided to do a little more work before heading to bed tonight.  Tomorrow I plan to fiberglass the bottom of the hull, so I did some reading and made some decisions on how I could do the best possible job.

Only the bottom and first panels get fiberglassed and the manual cautions the builder about epoxy running when completing this task.  To curb any runs, I used some painter’s tape and plastic to create a skirt where I do not want any epoxy.

Next, I cut some fiberglass cloth to size and laid it over the hull.  I should be able to wake up tomorrow and start the process.

Time Spent: 0.5 Hours

Total Time In Build: 41.5 Hours

Filleting and Fiberglassing the Stems

Posted by Zachary Wiest in Epoxy, Fiberglass

I just finished putting some fillets (pronounced “fill-its”) in the bow and stern.  These are made of an epoxy / wood flour / silica mixture of peanut butter consistency.  I laid down some tape to prevent spillage passed where I want the fillet to lay.  I used a rounded over piece of wood to keep the fillet uniform.

After the fillets were complete. I cut fiberglass tape to size and laid it over the fillets.  I then saturated the fiberglass with unthickened epoxy until the fiberglass became clear. When this cures, I should be able to sand the bow and stern to shape.

Time Spent: 1.5 Hours

Total Time In Build: 31.0 Hours