Saturday, September 27, 2008

Fiberglassing the Foredecks

I've finished up the fiberglass sheathing of the foredecks and have started making parts for the forward hatch coamings. The fiberglass work was actually finished last week before the Boatsmith crew stopped by to visit, but I've since done some more fairing and filling work and have finished prepping the stern decks for their layer of 6-oz. glass cloth.

The first step in sheathing the decks was to get another layer around the sheer stringers, from the point where they join the topsides, wrapping all the way up to overlap the decks by about an inch and a half. This insures a good double layer of glass on the potential impact areas along the sheer and helps reinforce the deck to hull joint. To do this I taped off both sides of where I wanted to cut the glass strips and then laminated them on oversize, trimming to the tape with a razor knife after the epoxy cured enough so that the glass would not pull away.

The first two photos below show the wetted-out fiberglass overlapping the tape that defines the width of the finished strips:

After the edge sealing strips were cured and second coated with epoxy to fill the weave, the main decks were sheathed with the fiberglass overlapping the edge strips.

Again, masking tape was used to allow a neat edge to be cut at the overlap. After removing the tape and excess glass, the cloth was filled again with a second coat of epoxy thickened with phenolic microballoons and silica.

After the second coat of thickened epoxy had cured and was sanded, the decks looked like this. Final fairing will be done by adding more epoxy fairing mixture with a drywall knife and then sanding everything smooth. But before that is done, I will build the hatch coamings for the forward stowage compartments.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

damn, she's looking so good now. the craftsmanship is impressive. like the hull colour too.