Step 11: Fiberglassing the Outside
Having been thoroughly prepped, the outside of the hull was now ready to be fiberglassed. The first thing I did was lay the big sheet of fiberglass over the boat. It is a narrow enough boat that I don't need two sheets which simplified things greatly. Next I had to cut slits to accommodate the curve of the bow and stern. This was somewhat difficult because the fiberglass sheet tends to fray and unravel really easily when cut. Here is the best I could do (kind of hard to see but take my word that it isn't too pretty):
To apply the unthickened epoxy I used a roller as instructed in the booklet. I got a small disposable one:
It worked great and I would definitely recommend a roller over other means of application. The reason it was so good is that you could just roll out the air bubbles and it seemed to naturally apply just the right amount. Starting in the middle I just rolled on the epoxy until it was all coated:
Done with the first coat:
The bow and stern didn't turn out that badly but because those are the places most likely to suffer damage from abrasion I decided to lay a strip of fiberglass down the whole keel with extra reinforcement at the bow and the stern (making three layers at bow and stern in all). First I cut the fiberglass tape to fit the bow and stern curvature. The middle layer of fiberglass I cut with just one slit and the upper one I cut with two so that I would get the fullest coverage. It worked pretty well:
After that, the instructions said to apply 3-4 coats until the weave of the fiberglass disappears so that is what I did. I found it actually took 5 thin coats but maybe I overdid it by one coat. After the first two coats I cut off the excess cloth with a shop knife:
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