Skip to main content

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


Popular posts from this blog

Riptide RC Sailboat

Well I just hit the R/C Sailboat jackpot! Rod Carr, of Carr Sails in Redmond, WA, and the second ever member of the AMYA, just gifted me a Marblehead "Riptide" hull and many of the parts and templates to finish it! Thank you Rod!

I'm not sure when I'll be able to work on this, but hopefully it will turn into a fantastic vintage Marblehead. The gentleman who started it did a fantastic job. He was a true artist and I will do my best to get as close as I can to his workmanship but it will be a challenge.

Here are some pictures...

He even cast his own bulb and the mold came with the hull! I could probably start making my own fleet of Riptides as he also gave me many of the templates and such. I will only need to pin and epoxy the bulb to the fin and fair it smooth. It will be easy to do.

The frames look and feel like he hand cut them on a scroll saw, but they are very close to perfect. He used thicker plywood than I may have but they are very sturdy. The bow is very squ…

R/C Sailboat Builds

Here are the other boats I've built in the past few years:

1. A Tippecanoe T37. These are kits available from Tippecanoe Boats in Washington State.

2. A classic, wooden, Star 45. It has been officially measured and is class legal. The Star 45 is a pretty, classy, builders boat that has withstood the test of time.

3. A Salish 475. It's my own variation on the Star 45. It was built from the same laser cut frames as the Star with a number of modifications aft of frame 6. It is an update of the classic look and was an attempt to mimic a modern ocean racing yacht.

I've also built four Pygmy kayaks and many other projects. It's all fun... right?!


Radio controlled sailboats

IOM Rig Box (IOM Sail Box) plans

So all the cool IOM kids seem to have nice wooden boxes to store their rigs in. This might be my next quick project then, so that I can pretend to be cool too. :-P

The rig box images that I've seen online are mostly similar, and would work well, but David Jensen from Bellevue, WA, USA (The same guy who designed a fantastic IOM boat stand I posted about earlier) has a really nice design that he shared on RC Groups. Or if that link doesn't work, the go here and search for "IOM sail box" or "IOM rig box".

It holds three sets of rigs for the A, B, and C rigs.

He also has a nifty way to attach his IOM boat stand, with a boat on it, to the rig box. His rig box has wheels attached, so once everything is loaded up he just wheels it to the launch spot. Very nice!

There are other sources online. They show different variations of the same type of sail box.

Here's a nice looking one.

Here's a YouTube video of a really nice one.

Will post more if I actually end…

Sun Wind RC Sailboat 3D Model

One of my current projects is to 3D model Gus Lassel's 1949 "Sun Wind" Vintage Marblehead (VM) sailboat. Apparently it was originally called the "Sun Daze", as in fun sailing on Sundays, according to Adrian Olson whose father had a connection to the original designer. (By the way, check out Adrian's other model yachts too. He does beautiful work!)

Boats back then were free-sailing or vane-sailing. I think this was a free-sailing boat but am not sure. My version will be modified for RC. All I have to go by is an old set of lines, but hopefully I can get a decent model out of it. Eventually I would like to make laser-cut frames from my 3D model and actually recreate the boat in RC.

Adrian Olson offers a modern fiberglass kit for the Sun Wind. The pictures look beautiful! My intention is to create frames so that a builder can make their own wood & fiberglass version. I really doubt that many people will want to go through the effort it can take to make a …