Chesapeak 16 hull fibreglassing


Hi all

I am not there yet but sometime I will have to fiberglass the hull of my Chesapeak 16. I have watched the instruction video and read the manual and there it looks easy. However,  the video also mentions a potential Viking funeral in I get this part wrong…..  For background, I cannot get the resin/hardener measuring pumps here in South Africa so I use a scale. However, this takes time. As mentioned, I am building in SA and it is hot here (currently 35C/95F during daytime, 70F at night) so epoxy cures fast. I am using a slow(ish) cure epoxy. When mixing epoxy/resin (using a cup) I can mix about a maximum of 110ml (about 4 once) and then I have to use it fast (10/15 minutes) before it gets very hot and can’t be used anymore. I realize that when fibreglassing the hull one pours the resin over the hull hence the heat buildup is possibly not a factor. In short, I will need to make a lot of resin batches to cover the complete hull and this  takes time. Chances are that part of the hull will be semi-cured already before I even start on other parts of the hull.

After all this, any tips and tricks for this part of the built would be appreciated. Also setting my mind at rest that a fiberglass newby can do this would make me sleep better.



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RE: Chesapeak 16 hull fibreglassing

We do hand layup of composite materials at the lab where I work.  One of the tricks we use is to place the "cup" of mixed epoxy in a larger "cup" full of ice to keep the epoxy cool until it is on the fabric.

RE: Chesapeak 16 hull fibreglassing

Lots of epoxies get really thick when chilled, makes wetting glass more difficult.

I'd wait until evening, when it's cooling off (not morning, when the temp is rising which leads to outgassing wood and bubbles), and go for maybe 6 oz batches in a wide-bottomed container. Pour as much out as you can without causing it to drip all over, and just work from one end to the other, or the middle to the ends. The stuff on the boat won't set up by the time you're done, regardless if you smoke a batch in the cup. You'll find it almost impossible not to have at least a "green" if not still fully wet edge from which to work.

Use a rubber/plastic squeegie, not a brush. It's not hard, just think it through and go for it.

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