Re: Another little disast

Posted by Laszlo on Sep 17, 2006

Matt man, take a deep breath and stop saying "disaster". Remember Bob Pruden taking his boat over a waterfall and coming out in 3 pieces (bow, stern & him)? Now THAT'S disaster. But he was able to put the boat back together again.

There's no such thing as a disaster with stitch & glue. Worst case, it's a big mess and a royal nuisance. You can always back off, let the goo set, sand it smooth and try again.

Here's some strategies that I learned through annoying experience to use to get rid of the surprise factor:

1. Rehearse everything without using epoxy. I dry-assembled my 16LT deck many times over the course of three days to get a good idea of what was involved. During that time I went out and got some more straps, worked out how much they needed tightening, figured out where I had to stand, etc.

2. If something will be done many times, do only 1 first, evaluate it and then do the rest.

3. Prepare for an epoxy task as if I was performing surgery. Clean off the workspace, lay out all the tools and supplies, check quantities of everything (especially resin, hardener, woodflour and gloves), make sure the work area is clear of obstructions (footstools, kids, pets) and turn off all telephones and other distractions (spouses included). Only mix the epoxy when everything is ready. Until the mixing happens, I'm not committed to anything and can always back out without wasting epoxy.

4. Plan on departures from nominal procedure ("disasters"). Have extras of gloves, clean applicators, tape, epoxy, etc.

5. Be willing to abort the process at any point. For example, if the epoxy starts kicking and the glass is staying white, stop and peel off all the bad glass. It's always easier to clean up after an abort than to grind off a bad layup.

And always have lots of Irish Spring deodorant soap on hand. It dissolves even gummy epoxy.

It'll all work out and you'll be the only one who'll see the flaws. And the next boat will be much easier.

Good luck and hang in there. As the wise man said, "Remember, I'm pulling for you. We're all in this together."


In Response to: Another little disaster.. by Monterey Matt on Sep 16, 2006