Building the "Swiss Army Knife" of Small Boats...Wood Duck Double #21: Fiberglassing the Hull

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Blog entry by DustyMark posted 07-11-2020 08:11 PM 702 reads 0 times favorited 0 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 20: Just Had to Sit in the Kayak! Part 21 of Building the "Swiss Army Knife" of Small Boats...Wood Duck Double series Part 22: Applying Second Coat of Epoxy to Hull »

Fitting the Cloth
After a nice five-day camping trip, it’s back to building the kayak! I listed my kayak on Craigslist and have a “nibble”, so I need to get this one done…

With the hull sanded and vacuumed, the four-ounce fiberglass cloth is draped over the boat. The extra is trimmed off the bottom to within about two inches.

Darts are cut at the transom to make a way for the cloth to wrap around this complex shape.

Fold over to cut the other dart.

Transom darts complete and ready for epoxy. Darts are cut at the bow as well.

Applying Epoxy
With everything cut, epoxy is applied to soak the fiberglass cloth. The idea on the first coat is to wet the cloth. Subsequent coats will fill the weave of the cloth. A boat finished with varnish or painted with a finer paint will likely require a total of three coats of epoxy to fill the weave. I’m hoping that my kayak will be filled “good enough” for strength and waterproofing after two coats.

I pour the epoxy on the flat parts and spread it with a Bondo spreader. It’s easier to apply the epoxy with a brush on the vertical areas and then spread it.

Applying epoxy to the first side of the bow dart.

Working the second side over.

Looking better.

Almost there. The brush comes in handy at dabbing the dart down.

Final touch-ups are done with the spreader.

Bow dart is done.

The epoxy will be green cured this evening and I’ll trim the excess fiberglass from the bow-to-deck seams with a razor before applying the second coat of epoxy.

-- Mark, Minnesota

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