fiberglassing the coaming

  We are building two Matunucks and are just about ready to add the coaming.  We are wondering if we should add some fiberglass to the coaming.  The manual doesn't say to add fiberglass there.  The epoxy/wood combo is pretty strong, we know from trying to get it off things after it's dried.  It isn't going anywhere, we discovered.  But being as the coaming is going to take a lot of stress, this being a surf kayak,  with a spray skirt, mightn't it be a good idea to add some fiberglass here? 

  Anybody have any opinion on that ?  We are taking into consideration that we don't want the spray skirt to slip off a rounded edge.  Maybe 'glass up to a point???


4 replies:

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RE: fiberglassing the coaming

I wouldn't bother if all you're worried about is the coaming being pulled around by the spray skirt. If you can pick up the boat by the coaming, the spray skirt will pop off long before the coaming breaks.

A layer of glass on the top won't add useful strength, anyway. The force of a spray skirt pulling on the coaming lip is a cantilever beam deflection and any glass on top will be in compression (where glass has almost no strength) so it'll just be useless weight as far as that's concerned.

A better precaution is to make sure that there's a fillet all the way around the bottom of the lip to the spacers. That will distribute the force more evenly over a larger surface area. A squared-off interface will act as a stress concentrator.

If you want to protect the top of the coaming from abrasion, then a layer of 4 oz glass wouldn't hurt, but just epoxy by itself will cure to formica hardness after a couple of weeks.

Have fun,




RE: fiberglassing the coaming

I've never bothered adding glass to my coaming and my boat's been active for 5 or 6 years now.  No need to add the weight.


RE: fiberglassing the coaming

I added fiberglass on both sides of my Matunuck's coaming. I surf the boat pretty hard so I was planning for all possibilities. I think about 1/2 of the time I spent sanding was getting the coaming smooth and clean because of the complex wrapping of glass around the underside. That said, I would do it again.

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