15/315 My All-Glassed Boat

In the last four days I have finished glassing the bottom, covered everything with Quik-Fair to fill the weave and smooth things out, attached the keel strip, stem and transom and sanded half the boat to nearly be ready for a coat of primer!!!!!!

Glassing the second side was more work than the first. Because the cloth wasn’t wide enough to cover the bottom from seam to seam I cut it in half and did just one side first to be sure I would be able to keep up mixing epoxy, etc.

I glassed down the largest piece, let it get just tacky and then I covered the remaining gap with two pieces cut roughly to shape.

The next morning, I put a coat of epoxy down the middle where the keel strip is going and then put Quik-Fair on the rest. In retrospect, I think using Quik-fair for this was a mistake and I think that using some thickened epoxy would have done a good job of filling the weave, dried smoother and been MUCH harder. Oh well, too late now.

My next project was to install the keel strip. I decided to install the stem first so that I would be able to trim the ends of the keel strip layers to butt up against the stem before installing them. The stem went on pretty easily using EZ-Fillet after a coat of epoxy.

Then it was time for the keel strip. I used EZ-Fillet to join the two surfaces. I had Patty help me by pushing down on the strip as I drove screws into it from inside the boat. I was only using 3/4″ screws but they were enough to grab it and pull it against the hull.

After letting that set up I got the second layer ready. I laid it on top of the first layer, trimmed the angle against the stem by running a Japanese saw blade down the end as I held it against the stem. Then I predrilled and countersunk several holes. After that, I mixed up some thickened epoxy, put it into a baggie and squeezed it onto the two surfaces. Spread that around with a piece of wood and then put the strip on by myself. Cleaned up the squeezeout and let it harden.

Next up I attached the transom with lots of thickened epoxy. Nothing special to report there…I shoved the bolts through and then wiped their threads clean with an acetone soaked paper towel before attaching the nuts and tightening them. Used 7 clamps and left it overnight.

Yesterday and today I trimmed off the excess stem and keel strip, scraped excess epoxy away and sanded. My neighbour, Dan – who knows an awful lot about refinishing cars…among other things – loaned me a long sanding block used by body shops and showed me how to use it. I have been using that and the random orbital sander to smooth things out. One side of the hull is looking pretty good after several hours of sanding to day. If I can get the other side ready tomorrow I’ll be ready for a coat of primer on Tuesday!

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Filed under Assembly, Glassing, Materials, Sanding and finishing

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