Builders' Forum Archives
Re: Glassing deck - or no
Posted by Kyle T on Mar 22, 2005
Now for the dissenting opinion: I didn't glass the deck and have never had any reason to think it needs to be stronger or tougher. With my experience I don't plan to do so on my next S&G project either.
I have a LT17 that is over three years old and paddled weekly. It has been through several adventure races where it was treated unkindly at best. Paddling in Florida I also enjoy practicing wet exits and entries all summer just to cool off. I guess the epoxy over the plywood is pretty tough because all the paddle banging that has been done to the poor boat has never resulted in more than a scrape in the varnish. All that abuse and the deck still looks great though it is time for a new coat of varnish all round. So if I were ever to add glass to a deck it would be for strength and the only way glass adds strength to this application is if it is applied to the inside of the deck not the outside.
But you can never make a boat too strong. Or can you? There is a point of diminishing returns where you have just added needless weight. People have very little difficulty getting along with skin on frame kayaks and I should think that the piece of 4mm plywood you are using for a deck is 100 times stronger. I’m just starting a science project where I will build the lightest possible tandem taking shortcuts that will make many builders cringe. Then I will then seriously abuse it. So I’ll let you know if it is possible to build a plywood kayak that is too light. Until then you better put on your suspenders with that belt just to be safe.
In Response to: Glassing deck - or not? by Jon Loraine on Mar 21, 2005