Newbie stern shape

I’m sanding and preparing the hull for fiberglassing and wishing the stern shape was perfect but it isn’t. I don't see any easy way to attach a demo there a way?

At this point is there anything I can try or do I just continue?

I was careful checking to use winding sticks but the stern has some curve to it. I don’t know if this will be be noticeable in the water or if there is any way to deal with it at this point. 

Thanks for advice.

5 replies:

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RE: Newbie stern shape

Really need a better description or photo to be able to give intelligent advice. Here's how to post photos on this forum.


RE: Newbie stern shape

Thanks Laszlo,

I knew that images were needed but didn't know how to post them :)



RE: Newbie stern shape

Yeah, the instructions are well hidden :-)

So, your boat. That kind of curve is not something you find with winding sticks. They're for twist, not curve. That curve is something you find by eye, sighting down the boat like in the pictures you posted. Usually that happens at stitching time. If the problem is caught then, usually some loosening and tightening of stitches will take care of it.

That's fine for your next boat, but you're looking for an answer for this one, where the problem's escaped. There's at least 3 choices.

1. SInce the curve is glued into the hull, you could unglue it and straighten it out. "Unglue" in this case means either soften the epoxy with a heatgun and pry apart the wood or use a razor saw to cut along the entire length of the glue line for the curved portion. Once the pieces are separated, they can be re-arranged so that the curve is fixed and then re-glued.

2. Sand away the portion that sticks out the wrong way and fill in the hollows with epoxy/woodflour mix. Restore the structural strength with extra fiberglass inside and out.

3. Ignore it. No one will see it unless you point it out to them and unless you're an expert paddler racing the boat the slight pull toward the curved side won't really affect your fun. It may require some corrective paddling strokes, but again, you'll be the only one who knows.

I would say that option 2 is the riskiest because of the amount of wood that would need to be removed. There's the risk of removing one side of the joint entirely. It would also have to be built back up very carefully to maintain the structural strength and symmetry. One approach is to just reduce the problem instead of trying to completely fix it, which would reduce the amount of sanding and rebuilding.

The saw work for option 1 is very fussy. Heatguns eliminate this but carry their own risks. Definitely practice with some test pieces made from scrap wood for either. If you are going with the heat gun, don't overheat. The epoxy will soften and be separable around 150 degrees fahrenheit (sorry metric world) and wood burns in the high 400's so there should be plenty of margin, but some heatguns are so powerful that even a moment's inattention causes trouble.

Hope that all gives you something to start with,



RE: Newbie stern shape

Thank you Laszlo!

I think that I missed this curve at the stitching stage as I'm working in a garage without much space for viewing from the stern side. I tried extra wires to correct the shape but it was more noticeable after I flipped the hull :)

I will probably experiment with all three options.

I've found the heat gun quite helpful in removing (via heating & scraping) excess expoxy already.

Thanks again  :)

RE: Newbie stern shape

   I had the same issue - which I also blame on building, in my case a Mill Creek, in too small a space. I worried about it, kicked myself, and allowed it to annoy me for a bit. No-one has noticed it. It has had no discernable impact on paddling or sailing. My advice would be to live with it and move on. Life's too short. Next build you'll know to look out for it. Robert

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