fiberglass for top of west river 180

Hi, I am reconditioning my West River 180.  When i built it (2000) the topside wasn't covered with fiberglass.  I understand this has changed. and the newer models now spec with glass all around.  Since I have taken the deck down to bare wood I am in a position to add glass to the top and need to know how much fg do I need to cover the deck?  Also, how far over the side should i extend the glass?  The hull is in good shape (no need to re-glass) but i need some repairs where the deck meets the sides.


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RE: fiberglass for top of west river 180

Honestly why bother? It adds weight don't it? Do you need the extra strength? Are you planning to jump up and down on your deck perhaps? In successive kayaks I've left more and more glass off for less weight and ease of handling with no ill effects, and I think this is fine if you are in big flat water most of the time, as I expect you would be with a WR 180 as this is what it was designed for. My latest layup is wrap the hull in 4 oz glass, tape the seams in side and varnish everything else. I did this on a pax 20 and it worked fine. If you go ahead  I'd suggest 4 oz glass laid on the bias, and round over the edges of your deck to the side to make it easier for the glass to follow the curve. Just get the length of your boat and lay it on. Use a good squeegie to minimise the amount of epoxy you use and cover the sides where varnish is over the epoxy or you will have a mess to clean.  Interestingly I'm about to begin a WR 180 this very day. So how well does yours go? Are you happy with it?

RE: fiberglass for top of west river 180

I like to have exterior glass on my boats' decks more for abrasion resistance than structural strength. While the water may be flat & soft, the path to the shore is littered with trees, bushes, rocks, other people, etc. I also like to go up small creeks with low overhanging branches. Many's the time my boat's hull was floating free but the deck was "impaled" by a branch. It can be a nuisance, but it lets me get to places that have no other boaters, especially the motorized types. There I've floated silently in mirror smooth water while  enormous beavers ghosted by, birds nearly perched on my bow and water snakes threaded themselves through the water inches from  the boat.  

The weigh gain is a good point, not to mention the extra labor in application & fairing, but depending on how the boat will be used it may be worth it.


RE: fiberglass for top of west river 180

Thanks for both of your perspectives.  As you suggest, the boat was okay strengthwise without the deck glass before, I was just curious that CLC decided to add glass in the later versions.  The 180 is a fast boat, fairly easy to turn despite its length and I don't have a rudder system.  I like it better in calm waters, but that could just be my skill level.  A bit less stable than others.  I have enjoyed it and am anxious to get the repairs done so I can be back on the water.

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