Monday, April 16, 2018

Glassing the Sportfisherman

Glassing of Kevin Agee's 26ft sportfisherman started yesterday, using WEST epoxy with a slow hardener to give ample time to do the work. We settled on a procedure that would give a surface that will need the least amount of fairing after completion of the glassing. That needed the glass fabric, 1708 biaxial glass with chopped strand mat on one side, to be laid down in a single length to eliminate transverse laps.

The procedure was to set up the roll of glass on a stand in front of the hull, then roll it out onto the bottom of the hull, cutting to size and shape. The 50" roll width was enough to cover one side from alongside the keel runner across to the chine, including the overlap onto the side. We cut two of these, one for each side, then rolled them up, ready for use.
Glass fabric laid out on hull and cut to shape.
The glass layer was to be covered by a layer of peel ply, so the order of tasks was to pre-coat the wood with epoxy in increments of approx 4ft, roll out the glass, wet-out the fabric with epoxy applied with mohair rollers, roll out the bubbles with ribbed rollers, lay peel ply over the top, squeegee smooth, then move on to the next 4ft section and repeat the process. The peel ply we laid in transverse strips so that we wouldn't be working with two rolls one behind the other to complicate the process.

Michelle mixed the epoxy, Kevin worked from the side on a ladder and I worked on top from the other side of centreline. We worked from transom through to the bow. About half-way through we realised that the planned completion of both sides of the bottom was not going to work. How was I going to work on top of the hull with fresh laminate where I had to stand? So the plan changed from doing two bottom panels in the day to doing one bottom panel and the opposite side, to remove any conflicts.
Half bottom glassed and covered with peel ply.
Glass wrapped onto transom. The glass roll on top of the engine bracket is for other bottom panel.
Two of Kevin's friends arrived to help after lunch, so we now had five working together to follow the same procedure. This was a big help because measuring out the glass for the side needed the glass to be held up against the hull, rather than calling on gravity to hold it there as we could with the bottom panel. The two new guys had done this work before, which none of the other three of us had done. They introduced the additional step of laying the glass back against the previous work to roll resin onto the contact surface of the new glass before it is pressed against the resin on the plywood, speeding up the wetting process.
Hull side glassed and covered with peel ply. It wraps across the chine flat and onto the bottom. When the second bottom is glassed there will be a double layer over the chine, a high-abrasion area that needs greater protection.
Side laminate wrapped onto transom. 
Other work that was done prior to starting the glassing was gluing the bottom panels onto the engine bracket, as well as structural epoxy fillets around the perimeter and inside the bracket. Some of this can be seen in the photo above.

The rest of the hull will be glassed over the next week.

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