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Thread: Can I lay fiberglass in stages?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
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    Fairbanks, Alaska
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    Default Can I lay fiberglass in stages?

    Hopefully my last question on this build, I pick the glued up stock for the transom tomorrow.

    I am building a Robb White Sport Boat. I intend to start a thread in build/repair once I have all the station molds on the strong back and start stripping.

    In the meantime I am trying to get comfortable with my plan. I am also making all the little pieces I can while my shop is relatively open. Before I start stripping I'll have the inwales and outwales and inwale spacers ready to install, and etc. Probably mid Feb before I open a thread.\

    In the meantime, I have the instructions from Mr. White more or less committed to memory. I have a pretty good idea how I can put the boat together without having to run any screws through the hull after I start with glass and epoxy.

    However, my plan (half baked as it is) currently requires me to:

    1. glass and epoxy about half the inside of the hull while the station molds are still holding the strips in shape. That is glass the area between the station molds.

    2. fill coat a portion of the glass widths in the first recoat window.

    3. surface coat a smaller portion of the glass widths in the second recoat window and install futtocks simultaneously.

    4. remove the station molds.

    5. flip the hull

    6. straighten the hull using Georgia jack-leggery - it ought to be close with all the futtocks in.

    7. glass and epoxy the outside of the hull

    8. flip the hull to right side up

    9. square up the hull again

    and then, here is the question.

    10. lay widths of glass sheer to sheer to cover the bare wood where the station molds were in step one, lap those up onto the portions of the existing glass that is adhered but not filled, and then finish epoxifying the interior.

    It sounds like a lot, I know. If you own the plans what I am planning to do is avoid having to true up the hull over and over and over as described in the booklet.

    10(option 2) what about laying the last pieces of glass in so they run right up next to, but don't lap up onto the glass from step one? I don't care beans about having wrinkles on the inside of the hull. I want a strong boat, but I will spend 5-10x as much time fairing the exterior as i do the interior. Fairing the exterior gets me a more efficient, faster boat, I won't regret that. Making the interior perfect is for people with more free time than me. This is going to be a field boat for hunting and camping, not a show boat for concours d elegance.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
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    3,869

    Default Re: Can I lay fiberglass in stages?

    Not certain that I understand exactly what you're asking, but still it sounds painful.

    I would completely finish the outside then flip it and strip the forms from the inside and fair and glass inside. Glassing the outside will hold it's shape quite well when you flip it. Trueing it up will be quick and easy.

    Keep it simple, you know?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    Fort Worth, Texas, USA
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    Default Re: Can I lay fiberglass in stages?

    Edit: Gib beat me to it.

    Never built something like this, but it looks like a bad idea to me.
    Set up the station molds upside down.
    Strip
    Fair the outside by sanding.
    Glass the outside.
    Remove from the molds.
    Turn right side up.
    Brace up the hull to get it straight. It will take very little.
    Fair the inside by sanding.
    Glass the inside.
    Fit out the interior pieces.

    If you don't have the outside glass in place before you start finishing the inside glass, you are going to have a mess.
    Patching the inside with multiple layers of glass will probably leave you a horrible lumpy surface.
    If you don't overlap the first inside layups (between the molds) with glass by at least 1" you will have minimal strength on the inside.

    Fairing the exterior is easy.
    Fairing the interior is hard, don't make it harder. You are going to need to make sure there are no gaps or steps on the inside, so the cloth doesn't bridge a gap, resulting in no strength.
    Glassing the inside is easy if you do it one time. Or even once per side with an overlap at the keel line.

    Wrinkles in any glass layup cause a severe loss of strength.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Madison Wisconsin
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    Default Re: Can I lay fiberglass in stages?

    Yes, what you are proposing is nuts and extremely unrealistic compared to the normal way strippers are built. You should be following a scenario similar to what Upchurchmr just described -
    - strip it upside down
    - fair the strips on the outside
    - glass and resin-fill the outside
    - sand that glass smooth
    - flip it and remove the forms
    - a temporary thwart or two will help keep you from breaking it or it spreading too much
    - fair the strips inside
    - glass the inside and fill if desired (adds extra weight and you lose the non-skid glass texture, but it looks nice)
    - then start your trim-out process

    You really don't need to worry too much about the unfinished hull changing shape. Until the gunwales, decks and thwarts are installed, stripper hulls are pretty floppy and can be pulled in or pushed out as needed. What you do need to watch out for after taking the boat off the forms to start work on the inside is accidentally "folding" it (pick it up by just the ends and it may fold in the middle and crack). A temporary center thwart will prevent that problem.

    You are coming up with an awful lot of very strange and not very good building information from somewhere. What books are you using for reference?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    Atlanta, Georgia, USA
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    235

    Default Re: Can I lay fiberglass in stages?

    Robb White was quite a character. He built some really beautiful boats, but many of his building techniques were "interesting" to say the least. They may have made sense to him, but often they do not to anyone else. I have never looked at his sportboat plans, but talking to others, a lot of what he provides as instruction just seems like extra work for no good reason.

    The sportboat is just not that different form any other strip boat. Follow the advice from Todd and you should find the building process much more straight forward and pleasant than what you propose.

    I dealry miss Robb White and loved his writing, but tink he was off the mark here.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    Lake Champlain, Vermont
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    Default Re: Can I lay fiberglass in stages?

    follow the advice of Todd and upchurcher. Check the forum for other strip builds to see how others have done it. Keep it simple and put in that center thwart before you flip.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    Fairbanks, Alaska
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    76

    Default Re: Can I lay fiberglass in stages?

    I am sorry fellas, I wasted some of your valuable time.

    I was reading through the responses thinking why not, why not, these guys know what they are doing...

    And then I remembered Mr. White has me attaching the strips to each other with a drop of superglue "about every eight inches."

    I started a solo canoe a couple years ago planning to build that Mr. White's way. I bumped into it once with my hip, just walking by. pop-pop-pop like a zipper I heard the super glue dots letting go, and then visible gaps in between some of the strips.

    But I hadn't told you that in thread, and that is my fault. I am terribly sorry.

    If the strips are glued to each other end to end along the edges with a continuous bead of something; well, then it would make sense to pull the staples out of the forms and start fairing the exterior.

    I am going to make some test panels. I think I am going to pull a curve off the plans, the turn of the bilge at frame station six looks like a good candidate. Finished panels maybe 12 x 16 inches or so.

    If y'all would be so kind as to think of ways to test the panels to destruction that will provide useful information I would be most grateful.

    I'll do one the conventional strip canoe way, continuous glue beads between strips, glassed inside and out.

    #2 will be exactly as Mr. White describes in the plans.

    #3 will be what I think will be a lot stronger and not much heavier as I was trying to describe above.

    when finished, I am wanting to take the boat up this river:

    http://alaskaphotographics.photoshel...000tCPH0BNJDM0

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
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    Madison Wisconsin
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    Default Re: Can I lay fiberglass in stages?

    I've been on this forum for 17 years and started building strippers in 1973 or 1974. They aren't difficult to build. Anybody who can simply follow good directions can turn out a pretty decent one, and the boats which follow that first one will be even better. But I can't for the life of me figure out why so many beginners decide to re-invent the wheel because they think they have a better idea. 99% of them don't and they end up either just wasting money and materials on something that they never finish (or can't finish), or their following post is "My boat broke. How can I fix it?"

    The "method" you describe above (I guess that would be #3) is a total and poorly thought out crock. It won't make a better boat, and you will be damned lucky if it makes a boat at all. The Robb White Sport Boat is a strip adaptation of the old Grumman aluminum Sportboat, which was a pretty neat boat. It will serve you well if you can actually complete one, and the best way to do that is to closely follow the existing and proven construction methods, not to wander off on your own with no experience.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Can I lay fiberglass in stages?

    ^ There you have it matey.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Fort Worth, Texas, USA
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    Default Re: Can I lay fiberglass in stages?

    With all due respect to Mr. White, his method is poorly thought out, will make a heavy and weaker boat and take much longer.
    I've been on the forum and building strip kayaks for a lot less time than Todd Bradshaw, but every time I tried to reinvent the current "standard" method, it cost me a lot.

    I always suggest making test panels, so you have a good idea.
    But #2 panel is a waste of time - you probably need to prove it to your self. But you need to make it where you span a couple of forms, so you will get the multiple inner plies laid down however you imagine is best.

    First thing you need to do is weight each panel. Then break the panels however you want.

    Listen to Todd and Gib.

    You can even go to the kayak forum and see what they say. Several professionals there. Kayaks and canoes are made exactly the same as the Sport boat can be.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    200

    Default Re: Can I lay fiberglass in stages?

    "Can I lay fiberglass in stages?"

    Yes.

    First Stage: Do the exterior while still on the forms.
    Second Stage: Do the interior after removing the forms.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    Narragansett Bay and Approaches
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    Default Re: Can I lay fiberglass in stages?

    We layup fiberglass in stages all the time. You need to be careful to prep the laps properly, and the result may not be as "seemless" looking as the single layup job even if it is structurally just as good.
    i like gorilla glue for holding the strips in place. Fills the cracks nicely, cleans up easily, and sands as easily as the strips. Filling the gaps means that you don't get epoxy drips on the interior, which is the worst thing in strip building.
    it is never a bad idea to have a cradle to hold the boat the correct shape when roll it over.
    SHC

  13. #13
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    Jan 2008
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    Lynden, Wa
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    Default Re: Can I lay fiberglass in stages?

    Quote Originally Posted by swmn View Post
    I am sorry fellas, I wasted some of your valuable time.
    not wasted at all. Far better you ask and listen, than forge ahead and ignore solid advice!

    dont wait to start your build thread, do it now!!
    There's the plan, then there's what actually happens.

    Ben Sebens, RN

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
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    Fairbanks, Alaska
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    Default Re: Can I lay fiberglass in stages?

    test post. done with photobucket, trying imgur.




  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
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    Victoria, BC, Canada
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    Default Re: Can I lay fiberglass in stages?

    I haven't read Robb White's instructions for the Sport Boat, but the description on the website says it is sheathed entirely in fibreglass and epoxy..sounds like he built the last one in a conventional way for a modern strip/epoxy boat:

    " This is the prototype built in our shop. It is a good little boat (if I do say so myself). I painted it gray to make it look like an aluminum boat and to make it as durable. It is completely sheathed in fiberglass and epoxy and, in my experience, that makes a durable boat if you don't fool around and varnish the thing..."

    If i am not mistaken, many of his boats were similar to "glued lapstrake" construction (minus the plywood). he says this of his previous sportboat and his "old new" skiff. They were laid up lapstrake and then "epoxified" with his 130.5F and cooling method, which encapsulated the wood and also glued the lap joints together.

    Yes, his methods were seemingly unconventional, but there is no doubt he made beautiful boats...and mostly by eye from what I read. His "epoxifying" method shows that he did know how to use epoxy...Gougeon brothers book corroborates his cooling method and its benefits.

    It appears his sportboat was a bit of a departure from his typical methods.

    Having said all that, I do not know him or have any personal experience. But I have read much of his writings, and read them carefully in an attempt to learn his interesting and purportedly effective techniques.

    I hope those that are dismissing his methods at least have some personal experience with his boats on which to base their judgements.

    SWMN- I admire your efforts to be true to Mr. White's methods in this and other threads you have posted. If you ever figure them out, it would be wonderful if you can share the knowledge with the rest of us.
    Last edited by junichi; 11-05-2017 at 01:48 PM.

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