Fiberglass Layup on Shearwater 14 Hull


 I am just starting construction on a Shearwater 14 kit and am wondering about the fiberglass layup on the hull.  

The manual suggests:

Inside hull:  4 oz cloth in cockpit,  tape seams in fore and aft compartments

Outside hull:  4 oz cloth, one full layer, one football, one strip of keel tape

 I am considering:

Inside hull:  4 oz cloth entire inside (I will be removing bulkheads anyway since I'm going to move them around a bit so I figured I'd put in spacers to hold hull open correct amount and just lay glass on the whole thing)

Outside hull:  6 oz cloth plus keel tape (no football - after reading several descriptions of trying to wet out three layers at once and dealing with straggling threads I am a bit nervous about trying that layup)


I've read a few other posts on this topic, and I realize it is a matter of opinion (either go with the manual - they know what they're talking about vs. you're building it you can do it the way you want).  Any thoughts from others who have built Shearwaters on relative strenght of these two layups and how hard it was to wet out 3 layers and deal with stray threads on football?




3 replies:

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RE: Fiberglass Layup on Shearwater 14 Hull

I've done a chessie, with 6 oz glass on the hull exterior, and a Shearwater with the recommended layup. I liked the Shearwater layup. It puts the heavy glass where it is important and keeps things lighter elsewhere.

You don't have to wet out all 3 layers at once. I did them one at a time about 12 to 18 hours apart. You can do them all in one go if you like.

I got a pair of shop shears at HD for 6 or 10 or 12 dollar? Sharp as the dickens with very slighty serrated blades (they look like heavy duty scissors). They cut the glass very cleanly and don't leave any threads.

At any rate, you could probably do it either way and be fine. But I wouldn't worry about the 3 layer layup. It's really not difficult and it has some advantages....


Ogata, eric

RE: Fiberglass Layup on Shearwater 14 Hull

I built a Shearwater 17 from a CLC kit and a Merganser 17W hybrid, which is essentially a Shearwater, from plans. In both cases I wet out the three layers of 4 oz. cloth all at once with no problems. As for trimming the edges, I find that they sand out easily about 12 hours into the cure (at 70 degrees) when the epoxy is still somewhat soft, but hard enough to sand without clogging the paper. Trying to sand them out after full cure, per CLC instructions, is like polishing diamonds. -Wes

RE: Fiberglass Layup on Shearwater 14 Hull

Hi Kathy,  I built a Shearwater 17 a few yrs ago and the keel will get scuffed so I would suggest that you adhere to the manual for the most part.  Here in the NW at a large Aerospace firm our guys will lay the smaller pieces of fiberglass down first so they don't have to deal with the threads. 

If you chose to stick with laying down the large to small pieces, you can cut off the threads when the epoxy is a green or sand them down when the epoxy cures.  You will have all day to work the lay-up if you need to since the epoxy is a slow cure.   Be sure to use a squeegue and a roll of paper towels to soak up any areas where the epoxy may puddle so you won't have to sand much later.  Stretch & pull the glass around the bow & stern and take your time to smooth out the cloth before epoxying.  Cover your floor as most of the epoxy will end up on the floor.

I found cutting the hatches to be the most difulcult task of my build.  You get only one chance to cut straight!


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