Last Hull Audible….I Promise.

Well shipmates, it would seem that I was wrong on my estimation of the flex seal stuff. I have attached the video I uploaded to my YouTube channel to explain. It should give a pretty decent rundown of where I will be going from here as it pertains to the hull fairing and painting.


Painting Experiments…

15 April 2017: Ahoy everyone! So as I promised, the day started with a trip to Lowes in order to purchase some paint and primer. The attendees at Lowes were perhaps baffled as I am sure they do not get a whole lot of people requesting paint for a wooden boat. With some back and forth and ultimately stating that good exterior grade latex is often used as a substitute for boats (ask Mr. Buehler), the associate had me hooked up.

Upon arrival home I got to work pouring some of the primer into one of the disposable paint trays I had purchased. Since this is an experiment to see how well the primer and paint will cover the seams, I applied it to a select group of areas. As I had anticipated the bottom hull seams which by far are the worst looked only mildly better with the paint and primer on them. However as I have stated, I am not totally concerned with having a glass bottom. The transom and stern areas seemed to do rather far better as more attention was paid to ensuring a good lay of the cloth and fairing done. Since this and the stem are going to be above water and as such visible, I want to ensure the paint and primer will look good. If not it’s more sanding and fairing. I plan on giving these areas around three or so coats to see if the roughness will improve and by how much.

The stem I decided needed to have more fairing done, so mixing up another batch of compound I set out and made short work of it. The stem is an area that will no doubt get a lot of looks and as such needs to have as much attention paid to it as possible. That being said it really does seem like it is turning out well.

While I was at Lowes, I saw a gallon of Flex Seal paint; you know the spray stuff that stops leaks even if soaked in water. I of course did not look at the price but I am thinking this may be a good alternative to bottom paint. It is likely thick and waterproof, so it could perhaps do in one coat what would take several with the exterior grade latex. I will do some more research into this product and decide if it is worth it to proceed that way for the bottom of the hull. The topsides will get that nice paint as I love the color.

Clothing is done; onto more faring.

12-14 April 2017: Big accomplishment as of late shipmates, clothing of the hull is complete! Yes that’s right; the nightmare of dealing with epoxy soaked polyester cloth is over! To this all I can personally say is thank God and I will have a beer!

The following day after inspecting the final bit of cloth application, I decided to begin creating fairing compound (Talc and Epoxy) to blend the “seams”. With a lot of these seams looking horrendous and craggy, for the first round of application I decided to mix and apply it thick. Of course this meant several trips to and from my epoxy station to mix the copious amounts of fairing epoxy required. Applying this gray goo to the hull took up most of the afternoon, yet it meant tomorrow I will likely be able to begin sanding (oh the joys of sanding!).

Next morning, I went to the shop after doing a bit of classwork and began the long and tiresomely tedious process of sanding. However compared to the nerve wracking and frustrating cloth and epoxy task, sanding took on a whole new and positive light. Being covered with dust is far less annoying and easier to remove than epoxy. I remember after my several rounds of clothing the hull, I would shower head to toe with Fast Orange to ensure I removed every bit of the devilish goo. Even then I was often surprised to find that some of the relentless stickum had stuck around afterwards.

Sanding seemed to go rather well enough, so I applied a second lighter coat of fairing compound to the stem with every intention of applying it to the transom area as well. Yet after the first and exceedingly smooth application on the stem, I had a revelation. It may not be entirely necessary to apply the fairing mix to the stern just yet. The primer and paint may do a good enough job of hiding any left-over imperfections to not warrant a second application of the compound. So tomorrow I plan on going to Lowes to get a gallon of this paint and primer to see how well it does, after all I can always sand it away and apply more compound if necessary.

Epoxying the cloth strips along the port side of the hull.

7 April 2017: Ahoy all! Well I returned from my makeup drill with the guard to more school work. Yuck!

Yet I was able before I left to apply the fill in polyester strips along what will be the port side of the hull. That was somewhat easier than before yet it sure did suck up almost every last bit of epoxy to get it done. However it was a bit tricky to flatten and smooth out as it kept wanting to bunch and crinkle up.

When I got back from Joplin I was able to determine how well the strip job had dried out. For the most part it seems to have hardened well and good to the areas I applied it. The exceptions being those folds and crinkles that had also dried into the cloth. The forward parts of the strips, around the bow look particularly “craggy”. I therefore decided today to utilize what remaining epoxy I had left to create filler or fairing compound to see it I could faire those areas out. Figured I would keep the fairing compound somewhat runny so that it would soak into any areas that were somewhat epoxy starved.

After allowing this round of fairing compound to dry, it seams that it will be possible to fair out the seams and craggy areas. Yet it will no doubt take more than one application in the rougher areas.

While I was away my wife and I decided we could go ahead and order two more gallons of epoxy and hardener. UPS says that this order should arrive Tuesday of next week. This is the epoxy order that I hope will allow me to finish sheeting and fairing the hull.

This cloth and epoxy method of sheeting and waterproofing a hull has definitely lost its allure to me. While there are no doubt serious benefits to be had, and the issues I have run into can be chalked up to being an amateur. I detest the sticky gooey of the epoxy and the complications that means for application on the cloth. Thus I have decided that I will for my next boat PLANK it rather than use plywood and epoxy. I am sure this will bring its own set of challenges, however at least I can stay clear of applying epoxy to cloth.

Cloth and Epoxy part 2, the Nightmare!

2 April 2016: Well I was able to get the keel and skeg epoxied with cloth but that was about it.

What a nightmare that turned into. Trying to get the cloth to lay well against the angle of the hull to the keel was ever so difficult. It kept trying to pop up and I wasted more epoxy than I should have. Also the notion of leaving enough of the side pieces I dry to I could wet seam them turned out to be ultimately nil. The epoxy on the sides dried nicely but it created folds and bubbles in the unwetted areas that could not be flattened out. So I decided to cut the unwetted stuff off and I plan on using strips of cloth to fill in the gap between the keel area and the side pieces.

Simply put I ran out of time today after I got the keel and skeg done to do any more. Further I have a makeup drill Tuesday and Wednesday of this week which I am leaving for Monday night. So I will not be able to attend to any of this until Thursday at the earliest. It’s looking pretty shaky right now if I will be able to start painting next weekend.

So Thursday of this week, the tentative plan is to cut and epoxy the strips of cloth into the areas they need to do along the hull. As well as cut and epoxy cloth for the inner transom (motor well area) and the stem. The stem may prove tricky, but the motor well area should be a breeze compared to the keel and skeg. Of course we shall have to see how this pans out lol!

Epoxying the Cloth part 1

1 April 2017: Well what a day shipmates. Since I woke up, I have been in the shop.

I started by warming up the shop to at least 60 degrees with the stove and my space heaters. Not only for my comfort but to ensure I was well above the 55 degree threshold for my epoxy. After that I took some paint measuring buckets that I bought at Lowes over to my epoxy station. The thought to buying these relied on the fact they were labeled with units of measurement, so I could figure out my 3 to 1 ratio with larger quantities of hardener and resin. After some fiddling with it, it worked out pretty good.

The fabric had done rather well taking on the shape of the hull naturally overnight, and I was eager to get started. When I mixed my first large batch of un-thickened epoxy I soon found out that the roller system was somewhat slower and less economical all around than the putty knives. Further the bow turned out to be problematic as I had not cut the fabric to fit and left it just lobbed over the top. This made things tricky as it did not want to cut into the corner between the keel and hull. So I went ahead and trimmed it to where it laid right up next to the keel. I figure when I overlay the keel area with fabric it will overlap and create a good seam.

The stern was a tad tricky as well. I had cut the cloth last night to allow for me to overlap them and create a seam along the side. Yet this was once again somewhat difficult and I had to apply copious amount of epoxy and trim extra cloth to get it to stay.

I carried on into the evening and ended up stopping around six. I was able to get the other side of the bow epoxied yet I decided to stop around a quarter of the way down the hull on that side. Reason for this was because the weather said it was going to get below 55 tonight and I do not think my heaters can keep the temperature in the shop up all night long. So I figured allowing what I had done sufficient time at 55 degrees was more prudent. I plan on picking back up tomorrow where I left off and continuing.

I hope to get the hull clothed this weekend so I can have it ready to paint by next weekend. My buddy and his wife are coming over to help with the painting; which is good because I hate painting. Unfortunately I have drill this week (it’s a makeup drill) so I will be out for Tuesday and Wednesday. God willing we will be able to make the hull ready for paint by next weekend.

Training the Cloth to the Hull.

March 31 2017: Ahoy everyone!

Well exciting news, I was able to get some of the cloth on the boat for a dry run and to “Train” it to the hull. I have read that it is a good idea to have the cloth lay on the hull at least overnight so that it can fit naturally to its contours and lines. My reading has stated that this will make it much easier when filling the weave with epoxy due to not having to constantly fight wrinkles.

Prepping for this was a tad easier than I expected it to be. I was talking with my father a while ago and he cited that Epoxy naturally bonds to wood better than almost any other adhesive. He told me this during a call when I asked him what sort of prep I should do before clothing the hull. So I went ahead along with the assistance of Savannah vacuuming the hull with my shop vac and wet wiping with damp rags. This was to ensure all the sawdust and debris was removed from the surface to allow for a good clean bond. It took roughly about an hour and we decided to let the hull air dry while we ate supper with the kids.

My lovely wife further decided to aide me with both the port and starboard sides of the hull and emplacing the cloth for training after supper. I decided to do these sides first before running the center piece of cloth down the keel and skeg as well as over the transom (because my cloth is to narrow to allow for anything else). To accommodate this, I plan on leaving the inner portions of the port and starboard cloth (about two inches worth) dry so that I can wet seam the last piece (keel piece) of the polyester to them. In other words the last bit of cloth running the skeg and transom will be wetted out with the un epoxied or “virgin” side pieces together. I don’t foresee a reason why this will not work but who knows, I have been wrong before lol.

Hopefully I can get enough time tomorrow away from my school stuff to wet out the cloth. I have my putty knives ready as well as the foam rollers (recommended by Mark) ready to go. Thus we are sitting on go and eagerly awaiting to get at it!

(Training the cloth)

(after the wipe down)

Some pondering and of course more sanding.

24 March 2017: Ahoy all! Well what a past few weeks.

As I stated, my older girls came down and we had their spring break. Some work was done on the boat, but it all sort of blended together.

Since all we have been doing lately is faring, it has not to anyone’s surprise I am sure become pretty monotonous. Yet we are getting ever so much closer to actually clothing this thing! Which I am sure most of you are like “yeah, yeah, you said that how many times now”.

Currently I am debating whether or not I can sheet this hull in steps. Like applying layers of cloth and letting them dry individually. I see no reason why this cannot happen and it will allow me to cloth it sooner if this is possible. Since I am inside and am not really concerned with the weather halting my advance (shy of cold temperatures). Further I think that doing it in stages will actually be a tad easier and more controlled as it will be less of a rush or fight against fatigue. I shall have to see.

Until than it is more and more sanding. Which if you are doing this boat building thing, you better get used to sanding. It is simply a fact of life.