Monday, March 15, 2010

Fiberglassing the Bottom Trailing Edge

The Fiberglass work on the outside of hull is 90% done and 90% to go. That is what every one says when it looks like you are almost done with a project and there seems to be so much more work to do before it is completed. I have been working for the last couple of weeks with fiberglass and epoxy followed by washing and sanding and sanding and sanding....I keep saying, I LOVE SANDING but it does not help. The only thing that does help it seeing the progress being made and how nice the boat is looking.
The one thing that I have been working hard to get right is to fiberglass and sand everything straight and level. If the bottom is not straight and level, I am told you could have issues with the boat propusing and I want to avoid that problem. A very important part of the hull shape is the the bottom edge along the transom. The area where the transom and hull meet needs to be a very sharp edge. When you first lay up your fiberglass cloth over this area the edge is sanded round so the cloth will lay flat and not cause air bubbles under the glass. This is a problem because in high speed boats this area needs to be a sharp edge for better performance. My solution was to tape a scrap piece of wood with duct tape (so the epoxy will not stick to it) and make a form/dam for the epoxy mixed with fiberglass powder to form against. After the epoxy hardened, I pulled the form and all the edge needed was just a little sanding to get just right. Did I mention sanding again. It was very nice to have the boat so close to the wall so I could use some scrape wood to apply pressure against the form. No need for clamps, just a little more duct tape and it was held into position nicely.

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