Glass!

Well, after all the previously mentioned sanding, we got to the point that the boat was looking pretty fair.  There remain low spots that need filling, but the high spots were down.  That means it’s time to glass!

Today we glassed the sides.  I can’t tell you how awesome it feels to be at this point.  It’s really starting to feel like we’ve got a BOAT on our hands.

Anyway, I need to back up a bit before getting into the glassing.  Glass doesn’t tend to contour particularly well to sharp breaks in the underlying shape.  This boat has a number of sharp breaks: the stem, the keel, the chines, the transitions to the transom, etc.  Many of these are desirable in the final form, but we can’t have them during glassing.  We’ve got to round them off, and then after the glass goes on we’ll build them back up from thickened epoxy.  Here’re some shots of rounded edges:

Next up, we cut the glass and started applying resin.  Here’s my dad mixing the first batch of resin to be rolled into the glass.  We’d already rolled a thick layer of resin onto the hull beneath:

After a whole lotta rolling, squeegeing, and futzing about we had a glassed hull:

I’m pretty happy with the quality of the wetout.  This is HEAVY glass, which makes it tough to get the resin to fully saturate and tougher to get the bubbles worked out, but we ended up with a good product:

After this had a chance to gell a bit, we begin applying coats of resin thickened with fairing filler to fill the weave.  It’s a good idea to do this before the resin used to lay up the glass has cured because it allows you to get a chemical (cross-linked) bond.  Here’s a shot after the starboard side had been filled, prior to filling the port side.  You can see that it’s a bit more opaque.  You can also see in this photo that I’ve added a layer of glass tape along the stem of the boat to seal things up.

After three coats of filler, it was looking pretty good.  The weave was mostly filled and I think we’re ready to begin sanding without getting into the glass:

Tomorrow we’ll sand the areas where the bottom glass laps the sides, do a sanity check on other details, and then glass the bottom.  Then it’s off to the races on final fairing.  It’s gonna be awesome.

-Ben

 

 

 

 

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