joining the deck and hull

I have started joining the deck and hull on my wood duck hybrid. I have been having a problem rolling the fiberglass tape all the way to the bow. I made the brush handle like the directions suggested, but it seems like my roll of tape does not take in enough epxoy when its being soaked in the tray. I started rolling it but it became twisted and would not stick to anything the further it went down to the bow. I left it in place for now and I think that when it dries I will place the kayak on the floor and ill probably have to get inside head first to fix this problem. I was thinking either cutting it off at the twisted part and starting a new strip, or seeing if I can salavge what is there. Has anyone ever had problems with this before?


Also, does the fiberglass tape have to be coated with epoxy a second time, to fill the weave? I have some white spots that I am concerned about.


Thanks for any suggestions

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RE: joining the deck and hull

I didn't know that you used the seam-taping method on a hybrid. I have the instruction manual (no kit yet) for a Shearwater Hybrid, and it utilizes shear clamps.

I did build a stitch-and-glue SW, however. I found that the 'glass absorbed the epoxy more easily if I just folded it into the tray loosely. Your tape is saturated adequately when the tape is clear. Don't form it into a roll until it is. I also had trouble with the brush-on-a-stick. It hard to get the tape to roll out STRAIGHT. For the "reachable" areas, I just used a gloved hand. Has the epoxy cured on that twisted area? If not, pull it off & try again.It it has, and you try to pull it off, you may see just how strong that arrangement is, even when twisted!

You don't have to fill the weave on the tape. I also got a few small bubbles that don't concern me.

RE: joining the deck and hull

Not familiar with the Wood duck but have done a couple of hybrids. As mentioned, if you have sheer clamps then you do't need tape

RE: joining the deck and hull


1. Soaking is not enough. You have to massage the roll gently  to work the epoxy into the tape. Before you even think about putting the tape into the boat, it should be totally transparent with no white areas at all. Beware, though, too much handling of the roll will cause the threads at the end to come loose and make a real mess of "glass snot". If it's bad enough, the only thing to do is to throw away the tape and start over.

2. Definitely remove the twisted and dry tape and replace it with another layer. That tape is the main structural attachment of the deck and hull. It needs to be as close to perfect as you can get it.

3. On the Wood Duck series, the closer you get to the bow, the harder it is to get the tools past the curve of the deck. On the standard WD12, for example, it's impossible to get all the way to the bow. The tape has to stop about a foot short. That's normal. Not sure if it works exactly the same way with the hybrids, but it might.

4. I used 2 tools, the brush on the stick to apply the tape and a putty knife on a stick to steer the roll. Anytime it tried to wander, I'd push it back on track. The tape went on nice and straight. The rounded knife on the stick was for applying the fillet.

Hop this helps,




RE: joining the deck and hull

Just a follow-up. Wetting out the glass is the process of soaking the glass fibers with epoxy. Properly wet-out glass is transparent. If it's white, that means that the glass has not absorbed any resin. In areas that flex, this is the starting point for fatigue failure and peeling, as well as potential water entry.

Filling the weave is the process of filling in the low spots in the pattern of glass in epoxy. It's not actually necessary unless a smooth surface is needed.

White glass needs to be removed and replaced, if possible. If not, it should have a layer of properly wet-out glass applied over it.



RE: joining the deck and hull

Having now built three WD 12s, I have been able to get the tape to the bow.

I work with the boat upside down on sawhorses, enabling me to kneel on the floor and reach into the cockpit (wearing all the usual protective gear and a headlamp so I can see). Using a chip brush with a hole drilled through it and the handle cut off, screwed into the end of a stick long enough to reach the bow, I run a fillet of wood-flour thickened epoxy forward along the seam. I wet out the fiberglass tape, but instead of rolling it, I drape the end of the tape onto the end of the brush/stick, reach forward, and stick it down  at the bow, into the deck-hull seam. Sometimes it takes a couple tries (and it helps to practice the move as a "dry run" BEFORE mixing up any epoxy), but once the forward end of the tape is in place, then it is a matter of moving the tape into place and pressing it into the fillet, working aft toward the cockpit. I've found that to be much easier than trying to roll it forward. As the epoxy starts to get a little sticky, it gets easier, as the tape will stay where you put it, and you can use the great tools like Lazlo's pictures show to push/pull the tape toward the center of the seam.

I've then brushed over the tape again with a little unthickened epoxy to smooth it out and to make sure it is all firmly stuck into the seam. I'm not tall (5'4"), but can still manage pretty well by reaching one arm in as far as I can go. Later, doing a small end-pour into the bow will take care of the tip -- and cover whatever mush of tape is up there.

I find this is the hottest, messiest, stinkiest part of the whole build... but oh-so-satisfying when it is done!

Julie K


RE: joining the deck and hull

Thanks so much for all the ideas...these are some great tips ! I'll be heading out to the garage in a few minutes to try to fix my mistakes..

Thanks again


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