My Backyard Boats:

The Quark

Adventures in fiberglass tape

    15 April 03: It is always an adventure when I apply fiberglass tape to a chine joint. Puckers, ripples, and runs, with dribbles and blobs thrown in for variation, are the order of the day. Last night was no exception, though I felt that I may someday approach this task with fiberglass tape on curved surfaces with something an least mocking, if not approaching, confidence. The holdout is the vertical surface that is tape-covered. The puckers and inadequate filling of the fiberglass weave continue to elude my efforts.

    That said, I am pleased with the results. This afternoon I followed up with cutting out and epoxying on the skeg. (Go here to see several pix and detailed text about how I did the skeg for Moby Dink.) I used a piece of fiberglass tape (I don't have any problems on level surfaces with the tape) to even out the skeg joint with the bottom of the boat and to erase the proud edge of the tape that I applied last night. That edge was throwing off the skeg joint by almost an eighth of an inch. I followed up with a fillet along the skeg edges made with wood flour-thickened epoxy.

    Next task is to turn the boat over and shape the gunwales, thwarts, stem, and transom to final finish and to decide what, if anything, to do to the inside joints. I may used a bead of thickened epoxy to add some strength, since I like this boat and hope it will serve as a spur-of-the-moment fun thing for years to come. After these jobs are done, I'll put the first of many coats of a 50-50 mixture of turpentine and linseed oil on the interior.

    Then I'll flip the boat again and sand the epoxy, touch up the fill on the fiberglass tape, and then put on some construction yellow Interlux Brightside paint I have left over from painting the trim on the Harmonica.

    Time spend so far: Add three hours of fiberglass tape work and two hours to install the skeg, for a total so far of 30 hours.

    Cost so far: Going into today the coast was $143.12 Add $10 for epoxy and $3 for fiberglass tape, for a total so far of $156.12.

Ready to go on the fiberglass tape application to the chine joints. Note the glue line of the plywood, which is your guide to an accurate radiusing of the edge. The dark dots are what's left of boat nail heads after the fairing was done.

It's late, and dark, but the job of taping the chine joints was done, and well-done, too.

In the light of the next day, after the epoxy was finally set up enough to stop running and rippling, I surveyed the damage. It wasn't bad. I was more disappointed by the puckering of the fiberglass tape on the chine, as shown in the top portion of this pic. I figure that I'll grind to a smooth surface and reapply epoxy. I'll be careful to leave the chine jont edge alone, though.
Rough-cut skeg, made from a piece of clear 1x4 poplar, sits on fiberglass tape, ready for epoxy filling of the fiberglass weave and application of a bead of wood-flour thickened epoxy along the edges of the skeg.
All done for today. Looks good!

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