Starting Skerry build; fiberglass before stitching?

I'm just about to start a Skerry build here in Japan. A friend who has built lots of boats in the past has suggested fiberglassing the individual planks and bottom after scarfing but before stitching together and then just glassing the joins after stitching it all together. 
Anyone done it this way?  Will it create any problems later in the build?

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RE: Starting Skerry build; fiberglass before stitching?

Fiberglassing the panels and bottom before assembly will make them much stiffer since you'll be 'glassing both sides. They may not bend into the right shape when you wire it together. On the Skerry it's easy to do the fiberglass after the hull is glued together since it's only the bottom and number one panels. 

George K

RE: Starting Skerry build; fiberglass before stitching?

I've done this with a couple of my boats and I know that's how CLC built the Outrigger Junior. It leaves very nice panels that need almost no sanding, especially if you're careful when filling the weave. It also lets you use a single continuous piece of glass instead of trying to piece around thwarts and stuff. It avoids wrinkles, bubbles and glass "snot" at the edges, especially inside the boat where sanding is the hardest.

But those boats all had gentle predominantly one-dimensional curves unlike the Skerry. The Skerry's garboard plank is at a 30 or so degree angle in the middle and nearly vertical at the ends. The ends are touching while the middles are feet apart. It's a very different hull shape.

If I were to do this with the Skerry I'd only do it on the inside for a couple of reasons. First, the outside, being convex, is perfectly easy to glass if you turn the boat over. You have gravity helping you, not fighting you. Second, glass resists tensile forces more than compression forces, so it has less of a negative impact on bending when it's on the inside rather than the outside.

If you use slow hardener, and stitch the panels just as soon as they are no longer tacky, I think that you would be OK with the bends. You may need a helper and the window of time is very short, maybe just a couple of hours. If you miss the window and the epoxy loses its flexibility you may need to buy new wood for the garboard planks. Don't forget that you'll have to allow time to re-drill the stich holes for the bottom/garboard joint. You also have to complete all the stitching, as well as taking out any twist, before the glassed panels finish curing. Otherwise you risk locking in any twist into the final shape of your boat. This is especially important if you're building from plans and not a kit.

It's a bit of a risky thing for someone new to epoxy and S&G boats but your friend is right in that it is possible.

Good luck,



RE: Starting Skerry build; fiberglass before stitching?

   Having built a skerry as a second boat, I say no. Getting the bow and stern bends in the planks isn't easy and stiffened planks would be iffy. 

RE: Starting Skerry build; fiberglass before stitching?

   George, Laszlo, Mummichog, thanks for your advice. We're going to do it the regular way instead of trying to be too clever!  Appreciate you help.  
Boards are ripped to size and about to start scarfing. Exciting!

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