Thursday, April 16, 2009


So I had to take a step backwards before going forward again. The chines, wales, and bottom had been dry/trial fitted. So I dissembled them, (step backwards) and reassembled with epoxy, (step forward).

But first, I had to fair the invisible fiberglass butt joints. Here's a tip for you future builders. When setting up the fiberglass butt joints, be sure you get the 4 ml thick plastic that goes on the outside of the joint during the layup process. If you use thinner plastic as I did, you'll end up with unwanted texture in you butt joint from the wrinkles in the thin plastic. Even though my joint was compressed during the layup, there were still wrinkles in the thin plastic, argh. The 4ml is thick enough so that it will lay smooth and flat w/o wrinkles and give the glass joint a nice smooth finish.

So I had unwanted texture and thus some extra fairing to do. I mixed up some fairing compound from epoxy and thickening solids that I purchased with the epoxy. The solids were inexpensive, about 5 bucks for a quart I think. I spread the fairing compound on and around the glass joints, let it dry, spread on more fairing compound and sanded it down until I got the joints looking pretty flat. Ha, easier said than done. Seems to me this fairing thing takes some practice. I guess I did ok for the first time. I can always go back and fair further. Most importantly, the fairing gives a smoother surface for a better seal at the chines and sides, and at the chines and bottom. Yeaaaah, lets keep the water out.

The fairing compound is the purple colored stuff you see. It was fun to work with. Kind of like playing with putty in a way. If the fiberglass joint was smooth, this is all I'd have to do, fair in the edges as you see in this pic.

Here the entire joint is getting fully covered and the unwanted texture is magically disappearing.

This pic is further along in the fairing process. It's actually pretty smooth here and more fair than it perhaps looks in the pic.

This pic shows the bottom attached with epoxy, screws, and clamps. Funny, those PVC clamps have a pretty stiff grip. You can't beat the price. :)

This is a shot of the joint on the hull bottom looking pretty fair now.

Yup, have to fair all the screw holes.

I had some saw marks and unevenness on the side where chine and bottom meet. Figured I might as well fair it some long as I'm at it. Oops, pic is closer than I had intended.

While the boat was upside down I thought this would be a good time to lay a bead along the bottom of the gunwale and the side of the boat. Just another bit of fairing. This part was easy. I smoothed the bead with a popsicle stick. It blends in so well you have to know it's there to see it.

In this pic everything has been assembled with epoxy and basically faired. Making progress and moving forward. :)

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