Building Logs

Glassing the starboard mast base

Posted by Paul

Laying the 4 layers of mast base glass is a difficult or rather a tricky job. The problem lies with access. Being in the pointy end of one of the hull there is nowhere to stand in order to lay the wet glass without standing on wet glass. Last time (port hull) I laid the first layer then let it go off and keyed it for the next layer. I then found a way to lay the rest of the layers in one working session so I employed that method this time around.

The way I did this was to pre wet out 2 layers of glass and roll them up (like rolling a wet towel up) and carried them to the job, I then rolled out half the first layer before starting the second layer, this allowed me to stand (or kneel) on the bare sole giving me enough freedom of movement to get the bubble out of both layers of glass. I then finished rolling out the first layer and got the bubbles out (with a consolidating roller) then rolled out the second layer and got the bubbles out of that. Prior to laying the first layer (in the 2 halves) I had painted resin onto the duflex to aid in getting a full wet down of the glass.

I then broke for lunch in order to let these layers tack off a bit. This is speeding up now as the weather turns to summer like. After lunch I started the wet out on the plastic sheet of the next 2 layers. I needed to turn the plastic sheet over as the resin on the other side was too tacky to get the next layer of glass off again, and as the shed had heated, even though these next 2 layers of glass were smaller than the first 2, I really had to hustle as the heat of the day was going to have these layers tack off much faster and a layer of glass rolled up (for moving it onto the job) will go exothermic and heat up and go off much faster than a layer left open.

The glass down in the hull already, although tacky was still too wet to just stand on, so I again used planks covered in clear sticky tape to stand on, same process, 2 layers of glass down by only half rolling out each layer, then move back 500mm at a time carefully restoring the glass (taking the bubbles out) as I retreat. Once back on the unglassed section of sole I could reach in and finish the last of the layers.

sb mast base glassedsb mast base glassed 1

It was tricky and hot work but a relief to have this structural work done. I had the added complication of needing to cut each layer out for the plumbing through sole fittings, but with a pair of scissors it was not too much of an imposition. I had pre coved the joins and sanded them so there was no wet on wet cove work to do. The last task to finish this day was to run tape the the rest of the sole to hull joins. I still have a section of sole to glue and glass down in the area but I still have sump work to complete on it yet so this will be done at some later time.

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