Adventures in hull glassing

Two days ago I glassed the hull of my Shearwater Sport.  Turned out to be more exciting than I'd hoped.  Ran into a few unexpected problems.  The manual called for laying three layers on the hull:  one covering bottom and sides, one covering just the bottom, and 4' x 4" strips covering the bow and stern.  I decided to do the first two layers in the first round and to the strips later.  

When I started pouring epoxy along the keel and squeegeeing it out to the sides, the top layer of cloth started unraveling at the chine with the sides and long threads and tangles went down the sides.  The more aggressively I squeegeed, the worse it unraveled.  So I eased up on the squeegeeing and now have some thick spots along the sides.  

Once I got most of the way through with the hull, I noticed a good number of fish eyes had formed, almost exclusively above wire holes.  I guess for some reason air must have come out of them.  I tried to daub them with a brush.  Got some of them, but for a good portion of the hull, the epoxy had set up enough that it didn't wet them.  That also left me with a number of thick spots where I was furiously daubing. 

So I've got some sanding to do to try to fix this.  My question is when?  Do I fill the weave on the properly squeegied areas first, or do the sanding first and just try not to do too much damage to the cloth?

Also, any way to avoid these problems on the deck?  As far as fish eyes, I was thinking about rolling a thin coat of expoxy on the deck first and tipping out any air bubbles with a foam brush.  Don't know what to do about the couple of inches of overhang from the deck cloth over the sides.  Just squeegee aggressively and expect to sand the unravelled fibers off the sides and recoat?

Any advice from folks who have done this a few times would be appreciated.


2 replies:

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RE: Adventures in hull glassing

   "Just squeegee aggressively and expect to sand the unravelled fibers off the sides and recoat? "

Sometimes finessess is better than aggressive.  Heavy handed can often cause more problems with cloth and wet epoxy. There is also a tipping point where trying to fix it wet will create more damage. Often its better to let it go and sand it and patch after it sets up.  Sanding if fun...........

 The "fisheyes" sound like air bubles. Basically you just need to get epoxy in place of the air. You need to get the bubble open and inject epoxy inside.  Sand, cut, drill, as appropriate the bubble and put epoxy inside. If you can brush it, dab it, squigee it into the hole.  I'd do the repair when you have the least epoxy covering the bubble. Then successive applications can fix / cover up the errors.  Note if you use a syringe prep all the holes then apply all.

Sanding when the bumps are the thinnest will be easier. Cutting the cloth with the sand paper is a bad thing.

RE: Adventures in hull glassing

Fisheyes...............from Tips


Oh, so that is a fisheye. Never had or noticed that problem exactly.  I use a denatured acohol wipe before expoxing.

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