glassing tips

Posted by LeeG on May 16, 2007

Two things.

1. the ends are different than the middle and require a different method of glassing/ finish than the middle.

2. the ends don't have to be as pointy as the meeting of three pieces of plywood, ie. don't let the material totally define the design. There's nothing beneficial and much negative to a sharp eneded s&g kayak. More curved ends will make it easier to lay on multiple strips of 4oz that can lay reasonably flat. A few tiny bubbles in a thick pile of glass/epoxy in that one square inch at the ends aren't significant compared to breaking through one layer of 4oz around a sharp corner that can let in water stains.

From my perspective as a paddler about 95% of s&g kayaks are too sharp as a consequence of letting the material define the design,ie. three panels come together to a point.

That said it's easier to address the ends as a seperate issue and finish glassing an inch or two from the ends. The ends require more than one layer of 4oz to be adequately protected anyway. If you ever have to empty a kayak at the beach you'll know what I mean. Likewise any basic rescue.

Go ahead and glass about an inch or two from the end then finish with a few small pieces of 4oz. That way all the smoothing out you did in the middle isn't affected by trying to make the ends perfect.

I'd suggest cutting off at least an inch off the ends, it you're unsure how rounded you'd like the bow/stern of your kayak to be go around the house hitting corners with an open palm and decide what's ok. The corner of a table is different than the end of a broom handle. Both are possible but you won't find any production glass kayak with ends as sharp as a table but you'll find lots of s&g kayaks with ends that sharp.

Don't obsess about the last square inches on the ends. When you put on a toggle, deck rigging, etc. it'll all dissapear.

In Response to: Two glass questions by Mike on May 16, 2007