Shearwater 17 fillets

I've removed the stitches and sanded the major spikes and blobs and am nearly ready to fillet and lay fiberglass tape, but I have a few questions. 

The manual says not to tape the bulkheads,  but the picture shows them doing so. It also says that the cockpit is fully glassed. Is it necessary to use fiberglass tape over the fillets or is the cloth sufficient? If I am to use tape then cloth should the epoxied tape set up first?

Should I lay the bottom tape first into the bow and stern and then the sides or the other way around? Should I overlap the tapes or butt them up to each other? 

TIA, Dan 

6 replies:

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RE: Shearwater 17 fillets

Sheath the inside of the cockpit with cloth, but not tape. It's okay to run the cloth onto the bulkheads a bit, but not at all necessary. Tape the seams in the end compartments, overlapping the tapes at the bow and stern for additional strength and stiffness. It doesn't matter which seam you tape first, but I usually do the bottom seam first. I like to run the tape onto the bulkheads by an inch or less. No need to tape the seams between the bulkheads and the sides, deck or bottom.

RE: Shearwater 17 fillets

OK. I've filleted and taped the bow section. I used blue painters tape to mask off the fillets, as per another builders suggestion, and this made the fillets nice and neat. The tape went down fairly straight. I laid the epoxy a bit heavy (being a newbie), but this morning is looks fine. 

Several more questions...

Does the interior get more than one coat of epoxy? the manual says nothing about this. One edge of the tape has a bit of a raised lip. Should I sand this and recoat or doesn't it matter since it is inside the hatch area? Does the cockpit get more than one coat?

When glassing the outside of the hull the manual calls for a full layer of glass, a bottom layer and a keel layer. Does each layer get 3 coats of epoxy as it say for the full layer?

TIA again, Dan 

RE: Shearwater 17 fillets

Try to keep the epoxy to a minimum, as it adds weight without adding strength once the cloth is saturated. Sand off the rough edges of the tape, then add a thin second coat to the bare wood surfaces. If you want to eliminate the cloth weave in the cockpit, you can add a second coat of epoxy, but it's not necessary for strength. Lay down all three layers of cloth dry, then saturate them all at once with epoxy, working it in well with a chip brush. After the epoxy sets up hard, but before it is fully cured (12 to 24 hours), sand out the cloth edges, then add another coat of epoxy to fill the cloth weave. Smooth it out with a plastic squeegee. Finally, don't worry so much about getting it perfect; as they say, this isn't rocket surgery!

RE: Shearwater 17 fillets

Yes, but is it brain science? ;-)

Thanks again

RE: Shearwater 17 fillets

Pictures here...

more to follow 

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