Building Kayaks for the Grandkids #2: Installing The plywood and Fiberglass

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Blog entry by English posted 07-28-2017 09:06 PM 2219 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Kayak Build: Getting Started Part 2 of Building Kayaks for the Grandkids series Part 3: Kayak Build: Painting the bottoms »

Next step is to install plywood to the faired frame. I am using 6 mm Okoume Marine Plywood for the sides and bottom and 3mm for the decks.

The side panels are fitted and screwed to the frame .

The bottoms are fitted and screwed.

The panels are marked to show where the panels touch the frame and removed from the frame.

The frames, and the panels where they make contact to the frames, are coated with epoxy, then reinstalled to the frame using #7×3/4” stainless steel screws to hold the panels in place while the epoxy cures.

After the epoxy has cured the panels are trimmed and faired.

The screw holes and the seams are filled with a thickened epoxy made from epoxy and wood flour.

The cured thickened epoxy is sanded smooth with the plywood and the edges are rounded over.

To reinforce the frame, the seams are laminated with 6” wide 6 oz. fiberglass tape and epoxy.

After the epoxy on the tape cured it was sanded to a feathered edge.

The boats where covered completely with a 6 oz. fiberglass cloth.

The epoxy is poured over the cloth and allowed the saturate the cloth, any excess is scrapped away with a Bondo scraper.

And laminated to the boats with epoxy.

After the epoxy cured the excess cloth was trimmed and two more coats of epoxy was added to fill the weave of the cloth.

The kayaks are now ready for sanding. The epoxy has filled the weave of the cloth but has a orange peal appearance. Laminating epoxy is not self leveling, so a lot of the two fill coats will end up being sanded away. I try to sand epoxy within two days of application. Epoxy takes a week or so to completely cure, each day it gets harder. If you wait a week it will be very hard and will wear out sand paper very fast.

Thanks for looking!!

-- John, Suffolk Virgina

2 comments so far

View CaptainSkully's profile


1612 posts in 4158 days

#1 posted 07-29-2017 04:00 AM

Dude, this is very cool! You’ve really summarized the boat building process and I hope that makes it feel accessible to others. Thanks so much for blogging about your process.

-- You can't control the wind, but you can trim your sails

View English's profile


682 posts in 2077 days

#2 posted 07-29-2017 11:50 AM


Thanks for the comment. I hope folks see that boat building is not hard. It just takes patients to follow the steps, once a boat is finished the satisfaction of the completed project and the ability to get out on the water in something you built yourself is wonderful.

-- John, Suffolk Virgina

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