filleting question

am building a chesapeake 16 lt. Have stitched it all, and getting ready for the epoxy filleting. However I'm not goig to be able to do all this in one go..Checking the manual, they advise putting temporary epoxy plugs down on the hull bottom, presumably to avoid it coming out of true, whilst the other fillets cure.

So the question is this, when the fillets cure, do they shrink/expand therefore distorting the rest of the hull ? Is it just the bottom panels that require fixing, or should it be all the chine joints ?

Finally, there are a few steps where it's mentioned that its important timewise, to get the next coat of epoxy on asap. However there are a number of occasions (attaching hatch stiffeners to the inside of a previously coated hull) where a few weeks might have elapsed. Is this a problem ?

Thanks all, am having a blast building it.

7 replies:

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RE: filleting question

Epoxy resin does not shrink as it cures. That's a shortcoming of polyester resins.

Go with what the manual says about which joints to stabilize.

After a few weeks you need to give it a light sanding to roughen uo the surface for a better bond. You only need to do this right at the bond points.

Have fun,





RE: filleting question

Why not get it all done at the same time? It really doesn't take that long. I think I got a little different take on the construction of my Chesapeake 16. Pick up Chris Kulczycki's book (The New Kayak Shop), if I remember correctly he drew the boat to begin with and it's well worth the $21. And you'll get plans for two more boats.

Very important to read a whole section of the book at a time though and make a few notes on each stage of the process.

RE: filleting question

Thanks guys. Will revisit the manual, however I think in retrospect, as the hull is pretty fair, that it won't make much of a difference. Will remember about roughing up the surface though, I was confusing waxy films on cured epoxy with good mechanical bonding.

Was looking at doing it over a few nights, as I'm trying to fit this in with working during the day and am not sure I can do it all in a few hours, at least not without getting too sloppy. 

The book sounds interesting, I'll hunt down a copy.

Thanks again



RE: filleting question

Hi Colin,

If you want an easy way to get clean fillets, put down a long strip of blue painter's tape on both sides of each fillet joint.  I usually align it with the stitch holes along each panel to get an even spacing and it works well.  Then apply the fillet with a ziploc bag with the tip cut off (if you've ever done any cake decorating, it's easy) or apply a line of fillet mixture down the seam with a spatula if you're not up for the squeeze bag.  Smooth the fillet and when you're all done, pull the tape (before the epoxy cures).  I've found this makes nice, neat fillets; mine would be really messy otherwise.  You can put the tape down one evening and do the fillets the next to fit with your "real" job schedule. 

P.S.  I've never been able to get really neat fillets in the narrow bow/stern areas, and the tape trick doesn't work too well there.  But the good news is that on a kayak no one will ever see these places, so if you have the same challenges don't stress about it!

RE: filleting question

thanks kathy. I might give the cake decorating method a bash just to confuse the neighbors ....the tape I'll definitely use. Spreading it out (sic) over a couple of evenings will allow me to spend a little more time to hopefully get a better result. Plus I can learn from the first nights mistakes for the second night ....

RE: filleting question

The cake bag idea seems to work for some people, but I've not had good experience with it. The two times I tried, I ended up with a load of wasted epoxy where I didn't want it and an unholy mess to clean up.

My preference is to use empty caulking tubes, sold by CLC, West Marine, and others, in an ordinary caulking gun. This method lays down a nice even bead that can be easily smoothed out with a plastic spatula. It also reaches further up into the ends of the boat when filleting the deck to the hull.


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