Filling Stitch Holes ?

Hi. I'm a newbie working on my first S&G kayak.  Do folks typically fill the wire holes first or just epoxy/glass over the holes.

 To those that fill the holes first, what do you use for filler?

Any advice/guidance would be greatly appreciated

Thx. Howard

8 replies:

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RE: Filling Stitch Holes ?

In my opinion, no need to directly fill the holes - they will fill themselves in when you glass/epoxy.

I have heard that some prefer to fill in the holes while doing filet's using the thickened epoxy/woodflour mix... but I did not feel the need to do this and so far I'm floating fine.

Someone with a little more experience than myself might have a different opinion here though.

RE: Filling Stitch Holes ?

Don't bother trying to fill them. They will fill automagically when you fillet the seams and glass the hull.

RE: Filling Stitch Holes ?

Some of the holes will trap air bubbles and light shining through them will be more obvious. Personally I filled my over 900 holes with the same thickened epoxy that went in the fillets from the outside a little dab with the syringe it went pretty fast. It was a little more scraping with the carbide scraper while I was knocking down the fillets and only a few dripped into the interior so lining the inside with newpaper couldn't hurt if you go that route. It was my first build too and everyone that has seen the boat has said the same thing "it is beautiful" so I guess its all a matter of preferance. Someone asked me if I considered filling the holes with tooth picks once. That was a definate NO.

RE: Filling Stitch Holes ?

Feel I need to add something to my original response that for whatever reason didn't dawn on me earlier when I was writing it...

I did not feel the need to fill the holes directly... I did however later graphite/epoxy coat the bottom panels; and when doing so made the line just over the stich holes on the side panels thus thouroughly covering them over (as per following along with Lazlo's duck build blog).


RE: Filling Stitch Holes ?

It's not a question of whether or not I need to fill the holes ... I was really asking if the boat would look better if I filled the holes with thickened epoxy, etc.

RE: Filling Stitch Holes ?

You are clearly agonising over this, Howard, so my advice would be to fill the holes, otherwise you are going to be constantly wondering...!

I'm at that very stage now, and will be tediously and laboriously filling the many stitch holes, not a chore I look forward to today, but...

A tip from  a previous build, if I may - try to make up a filling mix that will be relatively soft and easy to sand, not a hard-as-rock compound.

Enjoy the rest of the build.


RE: Filling Stitch Holes ?

Look better? That's a matter of personal taste. My feeling is that the stitch holes are part of the stitch & glue building process. They are an honorable artifact, like the visible pegs in pinned mortis & tennon construction, the bead lines in welding, the planks in lapstrake or the rivet heads in riveted iron hulls. Leaving them unfilled is just an honest acknowledgement of the building process.

That said, if you want to take the time & trouble to plug them, go for it - it's your boat.

Have fun either way,



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