fabric under fiberglass

I recently purchased a WD 14 kit and I had so much fun building it I fiberglassed and epoxied the hull before I really knew how I was going to finish it. Consequently I now want to put fabric under a new layer of fiberglass and epoxy. I presume this is OK, other than the additional weight the extra layers are going to add to the boat.

I have not put any paint or varnish on this area so my base will be the sanded epoxy.

If anyone has done this, thanks for any feedback you can give me. 


8 replies:

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RE: fabric under fiberglass

This is question, not an answer but I wonder if you have to re-glass it?  You mentioned that it is already glassed.  Why not lay the fabric and coat it multiple times with epoxy.  I would think that would be enough to protect the fabric?  Anyone else think that's ok?

RE: fabric under fiberglass

Given you already have fibreglass why not just apply fabric with epoxy and finish with marine varnish? I'm guessing the only advantage of having the fabric under the fibreglass is to protect it more from abrasion, scratches etc? Another whole layer of fibreglass and epoxy sounds like too much time, expense and weight. Just make sure you wet out the fabric well.

I just completed a canoe and spent 2 weeks ocean sailing / paddling / motoring. Every day it got dragged up and down the sand to go out and otherwise was left baking in the severe New Zealand sun. I had a dark fabric epoxied to the ply with just 2 coats of marine varnish over that, no fibreglass cloth at all as I ran out of time for that step! To my surprise the finish handled this abuse easliy and looks fine so I am going to leave it like this for now. If it starts looking sad I will sand back to epoxy and fibreglass over it.

 cheers Dave


RE: fabric under fiberglass

thanks for the response Dave, good to hear of your experience. I have just completed my hatch lids with just the fabric and 2 initial coats of epoxy, sanding and then a 3rd coat. Everything looks smooth and really decent. I'll sand the epoxy again and the lids will be ready for varnish. I'll then tackle the sides of my WD 14 from shear panel to the top of the bottom panel. The nice thing about the fabric I have is that if I do sand a touch too deep and get into the fabric a bit, it turns a light color (the fabric is quite dark), but as soon as I re epoxy or varnish it darkens back up to normal and things look great.


RE: fabric under fiberglass

It is good to know I could sand into the fabric and have it wet out to look normal again, I will likely have to do that sometime.

I am quite amazed what a good finish fabric + epoxy is. And it is very eye-catching - always had people coming up to ask about the boat and the finish on it. My previous canoe was painted with house enamel (primer/undercoat + 2xtopcoat) and after 2 weeks of abuse at the beach the keel was worn through to wood and there were a number of unsightly scratches, chips and cracks topsides. I guess it is the epoxy which is tough stuff.

 Be sure to post a pic or 2 when its done. 



RE: fabric under fiberglass

RE: fabric under fiberglass

sorry about the goofy picture above. my first attempt at a pic insert. The camo fabric turned out great.

RE: fabric under fiberglass

Wow looks great Randy, I like the combination of natural wood and fabric.

Be prepared - from my experience you are going to get a lot of interest every time you launch or land.

Here is a pic of my hull  (fingers crossed):

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