Hull Fiberglass, roller vs squeegee

I'm new to the forum and am at the stage of fiberglassing the hull exterior of a Chesapeake 17.  I was wondering which works better for applying the first layer of epoxy to the fiberglass: plastic squeegee or foam roller?  I used the squeegee on the cockpit fiberglass and it seemed to work well but have been using a roller for the subsequent layers of epoxy on the interior and like that too.


The plans and video say that it is necessary to cut a dart in the fiberglass at the stern but don't illustrate how this is done.  Do you cut the fiberglass in such a way that you get two overlapping layers covering the stern?  Does the cut rise up to the radius of the keel/stern?  Any tricks to getting everything lay flat?





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RE: Hull Fiberglass, roller vs squeegee

Hi scott,

I have tried both the roller and the squeegee and I preferred the squeegee for the first coat because I was getting float with the roller.  That is, I had too much epoxy and the fabric did not end up tight to the wood.  This was totaly my fault as an application error so it should not be read as one method is better than the other, but for me I had better luck moving and removing excess epoxy using the squeegee.  For subsequent coats I used the roller and, after scaling WAY BACK on the amount of resin I was applying, I had excellent results with the roller.

As for the dart, again, I can only tell you how I have done it, not necessarily the best or preferred way.  I made two cuts in the fabric, angled slightly toward the keel so that I had a sort of triangular piece at the keel and two wrap around pieces on each side.  I tuck the triangle in first, down (technically up) the stern about two inches and trim it at that length.  Then I wrap the two side pieces around in no particular order.  Never really had anything lift or move so I would just say watch it to make sure that nothing shifts as it is setting.  After all is said and done you do have a double layer on each side and a tripple layer near the keel/stern junction but after filling and sanding and finish work you don't really see any difference. 

RE: Hull Fiberglass, roller vs squeegee

Gloved hands work really well for me the wetting out coat, rollers for filling the weave. If you try this, have lots of gloves around.



RE: Hull Fiberglass, roller vs squeegee

Thanks for the advice!  I used your technique of dart cutting and it worked out well except at the very tip of the curve on the stern where I had the fiberglass weave come undone.  I have a small (less than 1/4 inch square) segment that has no fiberglass on it that I need to cover.  This leads to my next post ;)


I tried both squeegee and roller and both seemed to work well.  I used Laszlo's technique in the cockpit area and it worked very well.  Especially smoothing in over the curved fillets.



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