Shop Tips » Working With Epoxy and Fiberglass
Drill, Fill, Drill
We cherish the look of wood. Epoxy and fiberglass cloth sheathing is part of the miracle that lets us enjoy the beauty of wood without laborious annual maintenance. But what happens if water penetrates the protective shield of epoxy and fiberglass? At best, the encroaching water can make ugly stains in your boat's finish. The best way for water to get into the wood is to sneak in where we've pierced the envelope of epoxy with a metal fastener; around deck rigging fasteners, for example, or footbrace fasteners.
Jay Hockenberry builds a lot of boats for display here at CLC, and he abhors the thought of water stains marring his careful finishes. So as he works, you hear him repeating the mantra, "Drill, Fill, Drill." If you need to drill a hole for a fastener in your boat, drill the hole larger than necessary. Fill the hole with epoxy and let it cure. Then drill a smaller hole for the fastener in the epoxy-filled hole. You can be sure water will never enter the wood past the impermeable barrier of epoxy.