View Full Version : What cloth weight for the 10' canoe?
I'm getting ready to go ahead and order some cloth for the canoe, I'm just not sure of what weight cloth I want. I want to keep the canoe as light as possible, but still be strong enough. I don't want to get my cloth to heavy that it takes a ton of epoxy to wet out.
I'm looking at three choices of plain weave.
It seems like I did the Micmac out of a 5.5 but I'm not sure and they don't have it at RAKA.
07-25-2008, 09:27 PM
Chad, what's the beam and how "flat" is the bottom - has it got a good arch?
Also, how hard are you going to be on it - will it see a fair number of rocks, etc?
At midships the bottom is about 30" wide and the sides are around 10" high. You loose a couple of inches here and there at the turns because it is about 54" from gunwale to gunwale. I'll post some images here that can help with the rest of the questiosn.
07-26-2008, 08:58 AM
I'd probably go with 6 oz cloth inside and then either 4 or 6 oz on the outside depending on how hard you are on your boat. The 7.5 is overkill.
On the Wee Lassie and Wee Lassie II we use 4 oz inside and out, but the hull is a bit narrower and has a nice arch in cross section that helps to keep the boat a bit stronger, IMO.
Most of the excess weight that you're worried about from the glassing job has as much to do with the way you apply your epoxy as it does with the weight of the cloth. In my experience, most beginners tend to use too much epoxy on the first coat and are trying to fill the weave with that first coat. This is a big mistake. When applying the first coat of epoxy to the glass, I find that a squeegee is the tool of choice. (polyethylene body squeegee, not a rubber window one for those who don't know...) After you've wet out the hull, but before it's cured, go back and gently remove the excess epoxy with the squeegee. Put the waste in a cup with a slit down the side that wipes the squeegee. When done, you should see a uniform cloth texture all over with no high spots, and no starved spots.
If you use too much epoxy, the cloth just floats on it adding weight, but no strength.
Thanks, 6 oz is about what I was thinking.
In referance to the weight of the cloth and the weight of the canoe it is my understanding that a heiver weight cloth requires more epoxy to wet out, thus the heavier canoe.
When I get to the glassing stage I'm going to do it away that you said earlier (btw I already use squeegge to wet out). You had said to put a coat of epoxy on and after a couple of hours (I think that was about the time) but before the epoxy complety cures and while that first coat is still green apply the cloth with a second coat.
07-26-2008, 11:54 AM
7.5 sometimes gets tricky to get really clear and as mentioned is overkill. You have enough beam that I'd probably go six inside and out over a football of six inside and out - but I like tough boats that I don't have to worry much about breaking. The weight will still be quite reasonable if you do a decent job of glassing. Four ounce would depend on the cloth used. I wouldn't worry much about one of the 4 oz. cloths with a fairly open weave, but some of the tightly-woven fours are more prone to trapping bubbles and draping poorly.
For a general-purpose boat, I don't mind the slight weight increase that filling six-ounce on the outside makes, compared to 4 oz. - as those layers are your primary defense against abrasion and a slightly thicker filler layer wears better. I wouldn't fill the inside much at all. I'd just squeegee it into a nice even cloth weave pattern to save weight and provide some non-skid.
And as I've mentioned many times before, don't even think about the old heavier layup outside than inside trick unless you want to make a very weak canoe. Balance your inner and outer skins whenever possible and if you don't, make the inside skin the heavier one, not the outside one.
07-27-2008, 02:49 PM
Thanks for the advice Todd. I am building the same boat as Chad and had already decided on 6 oz and planning on doing the football with another layer. I don't think I have ever seen the advice of putting the heavier layer on the inside before. After taking a good look at the stripped hull I think I'll go with six oz over 6oz both inside and out. I suspect this boat will get a lot of hard usage and a lot of being dragged over deadfalls etc.
07-27-2008, 02:54 PM
Satin weave drapes much easier than the plain. S glass is 20-30% stronger then E glass etc. The tightly woven satin weave, takes less resin to fill the weave so that might save some weight as well.
07-27-2008, 03:44 PM
Its a 10' boat - it is unlikely to weigh much more than 20# regardless.
3 layers of 3.2oz satin cloth inside and outside.
More glass on the inside sounds good until you realize that the cloth on the outside is damaged by abrasion on the bottom in normal usage.
Thanks for the advice. I didn't get to work on the canoe this weekend. I was going to today, but after I changed a power stearing hose, got the ribs smoking, change the oil in the lawn tractor, cut & weedeat the grass, put up a section of fence and clean the carport, I am worn out. So I'm going to be lazy the rest of the day, that is after I fix supper.
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