First Time Wherry Questions

Greetings, I am working on my first Annapolis Wherry and so far things have been going pretty well. I have a couple of questions as I move into the sealing, sanding, and finishing stages. My first question is in regard to the bottom fiberglass. I put a lot of effort into getting the glass to lay into the fillet along the bottom well but despite my efforts there are some small bubbles here and there; mostly less than 1/8". How critical is that at this stage? Should I go back and fill them with a syringe? 


My second question is in regard to the bottom fillets where there is no fiberglass. I have been sanding the fillets to smooth them out. Does  this seem smooth enough at this stage? I assume the 2 coats of epoxy, primer and enamel continue to improve this but I'm wondering how fussy I need to be at this point and how much additional coats will fill.


Lastly I have a friend cutting some eucalyptus veneer for my seat panels but it's taking a while to get them back. Would I be alright getting the bottom coated with epoxy while I'm waiting for those? I guess the only issue would be screw holes created by the cleats that would need to be filled.

Thank you in advance for any suggestions and thank you all for the wonderful forum. I've spent hours on here reading through posts and it has been a huge help.

4 replies:

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RE: First Time Wherry Questions

   Sorry about the bad links. Maybe this will work?


RE: First Time Wherry Questions

   I built a wherry at CLC in the March class last year and am finishing a Peeler Skiff this year..  I would say that your fillets look very good for this stage with no epoxy coating.  You can use a dowel with sandpaper wrapped around it to tune them up at each successive coat of either epoxy or priner.  The biggest fillet smoothing situation that I had was at the skeg joint to the hull.  This took alot of sanding and several extra coats of epoxy to get it totally faired.

I don't think that you have to do anything about the small air bubbles under the glass cloth.  If you are a perfectionist, however, you could drill some 1/16" holes and inject unthickened epoxy under the glass to fill the gaps.  West Marine sells a two pack of reuseable syringes for epoxy that work great and are really reuseable.

I am not sure that I understand the question about the seats.  If you are just veneering the seats, I think that you would be OK to go ahead and epoxy coat the underside of the panels so that you can install them and then add the veneer when it is available.  How do you plan to adhere the veneer.  This can be tricky if you are thinking of contact cement..  Your veneer will stick best to bare wood, especially if you are using wood glue, like Titebond III.  You can coat both substrates, let them dry, then position them and use a medium heat clothes iron to reactivate the adhesive.  This is a method that many professional furniture makers use.  The Titebond is waterproof and should stand up to the weather, especially if your seats are covered with epoxy and then varnished.

Keep up the good work,


RE: First Time Wherry Questions

Thanks for the reply Jack. Glad to know I'm not too far off on the bottom fillets!

I am planning on gluing the veneer to the bow and stern deck/seat panels in a vacum bag with Tightbond 3 before installing. According to the plans all of those panels would be installed before beginning to seal the boat with epoxy. I was just wondering if I could start coating the bottom side of the hull while I wait a few days for my deck panels to get back here and veneered to glue in place. I didn't know if it mattered whether the inside or outside was coated with epoxy first.


RE: First Time Wherry Questions

   I don't think that it makes any difference at all where you start with the epoxy coating of the hull, interior or exterior. 

Sounds like you have the best possible situation with vacuum bagging for your veneer application.


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