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Hull Fiberglassed!

Wow... it's always an amazing experience to see how the hull colors come out when you fiberglass the cedar!

Today was a huge day for the new Sun Wind II. I finished, faired, and fiberglassed all day!

I added the final planks this morning, and let them cure. Then I faired the hull, and now I've added the fiberglass. Phew...

Here's the hull after fairing and sanding...

Make sure it's well wiped off.

Then drape the fiberglass over the hull. I made a slit so that the cloth would slip over the fin.

Trim the fiberglass cloth so that there is only about an inch or so of excess cloth below the sheer line. Then also make a slit at the bow.

Smooth the cloth over the hull and see how it easily conforms to the hull shape. Make sure  you like how it sits, as it's hard to move it once it's wetted out with epoxy.

Then gather your fiberglassing tools. I really only use a small, very flexible yellow epoxy squeegee thing. I've used it for kayaks and RC sailboats, and it works well with both heavy 6 oz. cloth on kayaks, and on this very light 1.4 oz. cloth for RC sailboats.

Do you have loads of newspapers that you can spill epoxy onto? Good, OK, now it's time to wet out the cloth.

I'm using the WEST System 105/205 epoxy. It comes with their "Mini Pumps". For this job, I mixed up three pumps each of resin and hardener. Those three pumps each covered one entire side just about perfectly. Don't just mix up six pumps though, the epoxy in those larger amounts starts to heat itself up from the chemical reaction and might seize up on you. It's better to just do one side at a time, and then mix up another three pumps for the other side.

Pour a pretty good amount of the epoxy onto the hull near the keel on one side only. Then use the squeegee to gently spread the epoxy over the cloth. Be careful not to move the cloth.

Once the entire side is covered, then mix up another three pumps and go do the other side.

Now, return to the first side, and with your squeegee and a plastic cup, start to squeegee the excess epoxy from the cloth. Start in the middle up at the fin. Don't press too hard, but enough so that the epoxy comes out enough so that you can see the weave of the cloth. Don't press hard enough that you starve the wood though! You can tell if the cloth starts to turn whitish. Work you way forward and aft, and then do the other side.

It won't be perfect, but you should end up seeing a lot of the weave. This allows for the cloth to sit down well onto the wood, instead of floating up on top of the epoxy and making ripples. The more  you can get the cloth to lay down, the smoother it will be when dry.

Here's how it looked afterward...

radio controlled sailboats Vintage Marblehead

radio controlled sailboats Vintage Marblehead

Not done yet though! Later the excess cloth was trimmed flush to the sheer line. Tomorrow... sanding, and then a second coat of epoxy.


Radio controlled sailboats Vintage Marblehead


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