Arenal Kayaks Boatshop

Boat construction is considered by many to be the ultimate test of carpentry skills. Also a test of patience as many hours of work sometimes spanning years are required to construct a seaworthy craft.

More fiberglass

With the outside of the hull glassed, and the cockpit coaming applied, it's now time to glass the outside of the deck, the inside of the deck, and finally the inside of the hull. Three large surfaces to test my developing fiberglassing skills.

Didn't find any new surprises in this effort except that my supply of cloth was looking low and my supplier wasn't getting any more in the forseeable future. I did finally get a roller to help squeeze the air out from under the cloth acheiving a better bond with the wood. Having the roller for the outside of the hull would have made that application go a lot better. As it turned out, I ended up patching a fairly good size area of the hull where the cloth separated from the wood. Anyways, I didn't have any troubles like that with the deck and here's a few photos of glassing the deck and inside the hull.

Once those surfaces were all glassed it was time to get that form out of the way and attach the deck to the hull. Sounded pretty easy in the book, didn't turn out that way. First problem is to get the top and bottom halves to line up perfectly. I used every strap, rope, tape, and even some clamps I had to make this happen. Even with all of that I was still unable to totally control the seam and some slippage occured. Not all that bad really and easy enough to sand out.

So, with the boat up on edge now, I attempt to do the inner seams. First I try the rollout method talked about in the book. No way. First of all, the book calls for actual fiberglass tape which is not available from my guy. So I had cut enough 2" strips from the edge of my remaining cloth. I assume that tape has nice clean edges on it which would have been nice. What I had to work with was a raw edge with threads constantly fraying off and getting tangled in just about anything. Also, unrolling this mess of cloth and epoxy was just not happening. Oh, did I mention that this is all done from the cockpit opening? Using one pole with a brush on the end and another pole for poking and prodding? Right about at that point I was regretting the decision to not cut any hatch holes in the deck.

Anyways, that part is over. Didn't get a great seam tape job but it held.

Total time to do the inside seam was 4 days. Just couldn't do very much at one time. But, once that was done, the tape, clamps, straps, etc. came off and it was looking more like a boat. Went ahead and did the outside seam which was a lot easier. In the meantime I was also laminating strips onto the coaming to build up a lip for the spray skirt and wrapping that with glass.

With all of that done, it's a boat! We're missing some of the outer coating on the hull and along the seam but at this point the boat is seaworthy.