I decided that the best way to ensure the glassing was done and done well was to have Brett come down and help and advise me again. So today we got the hull glassing done. I spent some time yesterday preparing the things I would need for the job, like making the temporary glass cutting table. I don’t have the space for a permanent work bench especially a 13mt one so the next best thing was to make one from some packaging mdf as the top and the 44gallon drums as legs. It worked well and and as soon as the glass was cut we simply took the mdf off and used the drums as a scaffold base with 3mt 150mmx70mm planks to walk along whilst wetting out.
Some of the new tools I needed included a good pair of scissors. Ideally you want heavy duty dress making scissors, the good quality all metal ones which usually cost around $50. The reason for the all metal ones is that you can soak them in acetone to clean them if you have to cut wet cloth or get resin on them and not dissolve plastic handles. Unfortunately everywhere I tried to buy them didn’t have the ones I needed so I just bought a decent set of kitchen scissors. They worked well enough and were very cheap at $6 but I may eventually get a decent pair. We also bought a paint mixing bit for the drill, which worked very well and 2 roller extensions we didn’t use! We also bought a variety of different rollers and found the cheap black foam ones worked very well. I also bought 2 rubber squeegees and a roll of peel ply but didn’t end up using any of it today as I will bog it tomorrow whilst the resin is still green. I will definitely need it later, especially on the taping inside the hull.
The first step was to cut some 12.5 meter lengths off the very heavy roll of 1300mm 457g double bias glass. We then rolled them up again so that we could easily move them onto the hull, it is far easier than trying to manhandle a 12 meter length directly onto the hull even though the table was directly along side the hull.
I had plenty of help today, four of us, Brett and I and Jo and Lauren. Jo mixed up batches of slow cure resin (ADR 4:1 by weight kinetic epoxy), and after Brett and I layed out each layer of glass and trimmed it to shape, Brett, Lauren and I wet it out and then, while Lauren and I continued on with the wet out, Brett and Jo squeegeed the excess out and made sure there were no dry patches or kinks or bubbles in the wet cloth. We repeated this all day until we had all the layers of glass down. We layed them wet on wet, so we got a good chemical bond of all layers.
The method we used to wet out was simply to pour the resin straight onto the glass then using rollers we spread the resin out over the glass until it was well soaked all over whilst also repositioning the glass so as to minimize the wrinkles, then using a rubber squeegee we finished the wet out by spreading the resin into any dry area and removing any remaining bubbles, kinks or rough patches whilst also removing any excess resin. We started at the ends first just to wet out enough that it held the glass in place, then went to the middle and worked our way back to the ends.
After getting the first layer on we immediately put the second layer onto the wet first layer so that we got a full chemical bond wetting it out with more resin. Then after that was done we layed down the 150mm and 100mm tapes over the joins. We didn’t use the Wombat as we were already using rollers and the set up time would have greater than the time saved. Normally the plans call for glass to 100mm over the waterline but we decided to glass up (down on the upside-down hull) to the mid hull join. The reason was 2-fold, firstly it provides an extra layer of glass on the hull sides that might be prone to hitting piers or smaller boats if fenders drop or floating debris etc. close to the waterline, but also because it means that there is less of a step to bog that would otherwise be the case with just the join tape layers. By making the layer all the way from just above the waterline chine to the top chine removes one of those steps and makes it an easier fair. It uses a little more glass and resin but is easier to fair so that means less bog. Overall the weight change will be negligible and the extra glass layer is re-assuring.
I couldn’t get through the day without spilling some resin on myself. I actually tipped the same tub on myself twice, the first time only getting a few drops on myself but most on the ground, so I got down off the ladder to try to mop up some of the spill leaving the tub on top of the ladder, then I moved the ladder and the tub fell down with the bulk of the resin going onto my shorts giving me a good wet out! The shorts went into the bin as by tomorrow they will stand up on their own! It is a good idea to wear disposable overalls that are fairly waterproof or as I did take a spare set of cloths to change into. I am finding it is still too hot and muggy for overalls.
Finally for today we cleaned the roller frames (we threw the rollers away), mixing tool and squeegees in a bath of white vinegar. Jo and I went home feeling a little sore but very satisfied at having got the glassing done in one day and knowing the job was overseen by someone who had done this many times before so we will have piece of mind in future that it was done correctly. Thanks Brett for your help again today, and thank you also to Lauren who also had a great day, got to learn glassing from an experienced boat builder and hopefully that it helps her as she tries to get an apprenticeship as a boat builder.
Tomorrow we will put the cloth away again, and start on the bogging. I will need to go and buy a plastering trowel that I forgot to buy yesterday. The idea tomorrow will be to get a thin layer all over the hull with slightly more at the chines and to feather the layers of tape down so as to remove the steps in the glass. It would then be possible to start sanding on Sunday, although I may hold off on that until the following weekend as next week I expect to have a proper dust extractor delivered. I bought it on Ebay for $530. Its a serious heavy duty model.