A question about fiber-glassing 17LT Deck

Plan to fiberglass and epoxy the deck this week. As this is my first kayak, the question is how close to I cut the fiberglass cloth to the the rail or where the deck joins the hull? 

 And, oh by the way, I put in the non-thru hull fittings for the foot braces. A light went off in my brain that said keep an eye on them and make sure they don't move until the epoxy has set ... or they will slide to some place other than their assigned spot. Worked out fine with some extra watching + creative bracing. 


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RE: A question about fiber-glassing 17LT Deck

Cut the glass longer rather than too short. My problem was all the strings from the fiberglass that sort of made a mess. Though I haven't tried it I kind of like the idea of putting tape around the hull about 2-3" down from the joint, followed by carfull trimming at the top of the tape when the epoxy dries.

 When I epoxied my non-thru hull fittings for the foot braces I did it with the foot rails attached. That way I knew they would fit at the end. I did one side at a time with bracing. Though epoxy shouldn't stick to the plastic keepers foot rails I think I used wide clear tape around the holes where the bolts attached to make sure they didn't stick.

RE: A question about fiber-glassing 17LT Deck

Thanks ... for input on both. Sometimes the simplest solutions (foot-brace) are not the ones that come into my head first. I will try the tape idea - makes sense. JD

RE: A question about fiber-glassing 17LT Deck

I let about 3" of glass over hang all the way around, not enough the weight pulls it but enough that when I spread the epoxy I still have enough to cover.  Your glass will move as you spread.  To avoid the strings, place the reinforcing under the full sheet of glass and that way you dont pull on the ends making strings.  Once the epoxy is firm but not cured (about 6 hrs in FL with slow) trim what is over hanging with a razor knife.

As far as the foot pegs, I drill a scrap of wood matching the rails to hold the bolts at the proper distance, and put just a spot of 5 minute epoxy to tack them in place.  Then pull the scrap, cut some squares of glass tape, mask the bolt and epoxy them down solid.

You will find everyone has a different way, the trick is to do what works for you.


RE: A question about fiber-glassing 17LT Deck


Here's some pictures of what Ralph describes. Click on the pictures to go to the web pages.



RE: A question about fiber-glassing 17LT Deck

Use blue, low-stick painter's tape, applied in a fair curve along each side and around the bow and stern.  Cut the glass cloth so it overlaps the tape.  Wet the cloth out all over and to about the middle of the blue tape.  When the epoxy is green (firm but not rock hard, say 8 hours at 70F using slow hardner) cut the glass along the top edge of the tape.  Use a SHARP blade.  I have better luck holding the knife blade at a low angle (30-45 degrees away from the hull).  That lets me follow the edge of the tape better and reduces the chance of scoring the original hull glass more than needed.

This minimizes the frayed glass edges, makes it easier to catch and clean drips, and leaves a nice edge to blend in with the hull glass.  The slight score line will be filled with epoxy as you fair the surfaces.  Just don't brute force your knife.  A light touch with a sharp blade will work when the epoxy is green.  Pick a spot to start, cut along the tape's top edge for 6-12".  Then go back to near the start of the cut and carefully cut across the tape from the top down.  Use scissors to cut through any bare glass.  Peel the tape back over itself.  If you haven't cut through the new glass, try another cut along the edge.  You want the tape, and glass on it, to come away from the hull, but not the glass you just epoxied on.  So be patient and carefull.  You spent a lot of time putting the tape and cloth on, spend the time needed to get it off cleanly.  It's better to leave a sliver of blue tape on initially than to cut into the deck side of the glass.  You can sneak up on the sliver later, either with the knife (easier) or the sanding block (harder cause the epoxy has hardened).

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