Glassing the deck on a hybrid kayak

I have a hybrid kayak that I was given that is starting to show its age.  The original builder did not fiberglass the cedar strip deck, just coated it with three layers of epoxy.  I have some extra glass from another boat building project  and  was thinking about fiberglassing it which is what the original plans called for. 

Do I need to sand it all the way down to bare wood or can I just sand off the top layers of epoxy and glass over it it? 




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RE: Glassing the deck on a hybrid kayak

no need to go all the way down to the wood if you are satisfied with the color of the wood (e.g., you don't want to stain it and their is no problem in the underlying wood you want to address) and the epoxy is in good shape (not cracked, flaking or discolored).

that said, you do need to make sure that you are glassing to epoxy and not varnish and you should monitor the process for color consistency.

by color consistency, i mean if the wood has been exposed to sun it will often change color slightly....and, if in sanding, on some parts you go through the epoxy into the wood  so that now you are into 'fresh wood' you will create a color blotch.   so the whole thing, in this case, may look better to take everything down to that same fresh wood so you have a uniform color/look.

my personal perspective is if it is a strip deck i was redoing and i only had epoxy on it....and it was aged a lot....i would probably just take it down to the bare wood.  i don't think it would be that much more effort.  the nice thing about strip decks is they are often relatively thick and becuase they are not plywood, you can't sand through the veneer and mess it up.  this way i have no doubts about what i am working with.   i would hate to put in all the effort and find out that i did not have a good foundation.


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