Sunday, December 27, 2009

Port Bottom Fiberglass

Yesterday I sanded the seam of the first layer of fiberglass at the center of the bottom of the boat. This "feathers" the seam down so that the opposite sides layer of fiberglass sits flush to the first layer without leaving a large hump where the two overlap in the middle.

Today I applied the port side of the bottom fiberglass. I didnt have a helper this time and it took about 30 minutes longer. If it were 80 degrees today the epoxy would have set before I was done working. Luckily, its only 65 in my garage so I had more working time with the epoxy. I dont think I will attempt the side fiberglass without a couple helpers. I have better light in the shop now due to a nice Christmas present.

Once the bottom epoxy sets I can sand the seams including the part that overlaps the sides. You can see how ugly the side overlap is before sanding in the bottom picture. Luckily, these strings of fiberglass sand easily. The next step is ordering 4oz cloth for the sides and when that arrives I will be ready to start fiberglassing the side on whatever day I can recruit a couple helpers. In the mean time I have plenty of sanding and other prep work to do and a two day trip to Chicago.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

fiberglassed starboard bottom.

Today my Dad and I fiberglassed half of the bottom of the Zip. Dad showed up unexpected the night before to deliver Christmas gifts. We watched the "how to fiberglass" dvd from Glen-L after dinner. This morning we got to work on the boat. This was the first my Dad had actually seen the boat and it was a lot of fun to get him invlolved. He had raced hydroplanes years ago. There used to be a picture of it in our house when I was a kid.

Here are a couple pics of laying and wetting out the fiberglass. Dad mixed the epoxy and kept a steady supply ready for me while I spread the epoxy to wet out the glass. It took less than an hour from start to finish.

A couple hours after the first coat of epoxy is applied I will apply a second coat of epoxy to fill the weave of the fabric. Then tomorrow I can sand the edge that overhangs the center/keel of the boat then apply the opposite side fiberglass. With the holidays the second side will most likely not get applied until monday or tuesday after Christmas. If I work fast I might be able to squeeze it into Christmas Eve's schedule.
Here is a picture of the first coat after the glass has been wet out. It turns almost completely transparent. After this sits for an hour to harden a bit I will trim off the overhanging fiberglass at the transom with a utilitly knife. I decided not to round the transom edge so I did not attempt to shape the glass around such a sharp corner. You could apply the glass around the edge if you sand the edge round but then later you must build up the edge to a sharp, crisp corner to prevent porpoising when the boat runs at speed.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Trimming Bottom Fiberglass

Today I trimmed the fiberglass to fit the bottom of the boat. To prep for this I sanded the 3 coats of resin used to encapsulate the boat and finished rounding the sharp edges of the boat. I used 80 grit paper throughout this process so the fiberglass will achieve both a good mechanical and chemical bond. I then cleaned the boat with white vinegar and then rinsed it with water.The fiberglass Glen-L sends for the bottom is a 34' by 38" piece of 6oz fiberglass cloth. You simply cut it in half so you have two pieces that equal the length of the boat then trim the outside edges leaving roughly 4" of overhang on the sides. You also overlap at the middle of the boat. The cloth will need to sit for several days and periodically be smoothed out so that it will lay nicely when its time to "wet out" the glass with epoxy resin. When the cloth is wet out it bonds to the surface and also should become transparent so all you see is natural wood, like the fiberglass isnt even there.

I'm still waiting for the "How to Fiberglass" DVD from Glen-L. I want to make sure I know what I am doing on this important step. However, the DVD is still on backorder. Darn.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Prep for Fiberglass

Work lately on the boat has consisted of prep for the fiberglass cloth. I finished encapsulating the boat in epoxy resin. Its needs a final wipedown with acetone and a final sanding.
I am very happy with the plastic enclosed space. Its 34 outside today and the work space is 68F. I am going to get one more small heater in addition to the over head heater. I want one that I can move around to the cool spots like the bow of the boat, which is farthest from the overhead heater.

I also put a small fiberglass patch at the low spot in the bow to help build this area up.

I am really torn on the decison on how to finish the sides. I orginally planned to use 6oz fiberglass on the entire boat. Several builders had said they were not happy with the transparency with the fiberglass on the bright sides. I could buy lighter 3oz cloth for the sides or I could simply skip the fiberglass on the sides altogether and build the sides up with more epoxy to replace at least some of the abrasion resistance that is gained with the fiberglass. The fiberglass really adds very little to the strength of the boat but is helpful if you bounce off a dock a little harder than you would like. Sounds like a question to post on the Glen-L forum online.
Hit Counters
online coupons