Strip deck before glassing hull

Shearwater 17 HYBRID build.

Where I am, it's been sub zero for a few days. It took nearly four days for the glue on my sheer clamps to dry! I've got it in mind to tack weld, fillet and tape the bow and stern section and then go straight on to stripping the deck, leaving the cockpit and outer hull glassing until warmer weather.

Any disadvantages this? My main concern is the hull will get out of shape but my thinking is that the 16(ish) deck formers glued into place should overcome this.

Or should I really try to do things in the 'right' order?

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RE: Strip deck before glassing hull

   If you strip the deck. Then seperate it from the hull. Then remove the forms. Then glass the inside it follows normal strip building . But if you strip and the deck stays attached. It could be awkward.

RE: Strip deck before glassing hull

Hi Oceanrower. 

your post is a bit confusing.   yes, you have some options....but it would be nice if it was a bit clearer where you are at and or post some pictures.

first, you can, if you elect, handle all the glassing for the hull....inside and out...after your strip the deck..  but as grumpy points out, you complete/glass the inside of both the deck and hull prior to actually attaching the deck to the hull.

at a minimum, to start stripping the deck you have to have a hull that is at least wired together with the forms temporarily hot-glued in. 

i am a bit concerned when you mention that the sheer clamps took 4 days to dry.  epoxy does not 'dry'.  it chemically cures.  and if you cannot maintain 60 degrees and above (preferably 70degrees) i would not even think of working with epoxy unless you have a lot of experience in low temperature epoxy work.   doing epoxy below the recommended temperatures can lead to a lot of problems. 

the only kind of work i will do in low temperatures is working with wood glue doing stripping.  i often, when building a strip built kayak, do most of the stripping of the hull and deck in the winter and then when spring comes and it warms up, start into all my glass i can be ready for a summer launch.

so going back to your question, yes, you could take that approach....but even what you mention includes epoxy work and it needs to be warmer to do that.   don't epoxy in low temperatures.  the only disadvantage i see in your proposal is it is a bit easier to clean hot glue off of an epoxied surface than raw wood.  ...and you will need to clean off the hot glue residue to finish/epoxy/glass the inside of the hull.   and while it is easier to clean an epoxied surface, i don't think it will be terribly harder to clean a raw wood surface.  so i don't really see an issue in your idea.


RE: Strip deck before glassing hull

   Hi both, sorry if I wasn't clear. I was trying to put the information down on a phone and it's easy to lose track of where you are.


I'm at the stage where I have joined the ply into lengths, cut out the side and bottom panels, attached the shearclamps and loosely wired it all together. I appreciate that epoxy doesn't dry as such but it was shorthand for what I meant. "Go off" if you prefer.

My next stage will be to tack weld the joints and then, according to my manual,

1: Fillet, tape and 'paint' epoxy onto the bow and stern compartments.

2: Fibreglass the cockpit.

3: Turn the boat over and fibreglass the hull.

I'm happy I can achieve part 1 ( I can heat a small tented area) but I'd rather leave parts 2 and 3 until warm weather. Would there be any disadvantage to skipping those parts and going on to stripping the deck.

I hadn't thought about removing the hot glue from bare wood. That would, however, only apply to the cockpit area so should only be 4 or 5 formers.


Sorry, no photos. I tried before and, after several attempts gave up. The people on here are lovely but the photo attachment section is the least friendly I've ever seen!

RE: Strip deck before glassing hull

If it's taking four days for epoxy to set, it must be pretty cool in the OP's work space. Check the minimum temperature on the glue you plan to use for your strip build. Unlike epoxy, which just takes a long time to set when it's cold, wood glue turns to chalk and the joint falls apart. Titebond III requires 47º or higher, and that's the lowest temp requirement of the TB's.

RE: Strip deck before glassing hull

Hi Oceanrower, 

thanks for clairfiying.  i don't see anything wrong with your proposal.

after you strip the deck and remove the deck in anticipation of glassing, i would actually fibreglass the outside of the hull with the forms still there to have the least 'drift' of shape of the hull.   then glass the inside of the cockpit after removing the inside forms.  but after that is done, if there is a big time lag in your build, consider taping the forms temporarily back in place, again, to minimize drift.

drift just mean the natural movement of parts away from the shape they are expected to be absent their final gluing.  another area drift happens is when you glass the inside of a deck.  in that case, again, glass/epoxy the inside of the deck, but as soon as the glass on the deck is cured enough not to be sticky, put it right back on the forms and temporarily tape it down tight with strapping tape while the epoxy comes to its final cure.

fwiw, drift if not managed can make it really challenging to get a hull and deck back together without a huge amount of effort.  the main things that cause drift are projects pieces are left for long period of time unbraced and through wide temperature variations and/or with one side glassed and the other side not glassed.

anyway, it all sounds good to me....but do mind the temperature comments.  even titebond, as chenier mentions, starts to get funky in low temps.






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