Stiffeners glassed in

Posted by Paul

Today all I did was remove the peel ply from the stiffeners that I glassed yesterday. I had hoped to be a little further advanced, perhaps with the fairing already done. That step is next and the glassing in of the stiffeners only happened yesterday. I only managed an hour today because of a social occasion, Warren sets off cruising tomorrow. Whilst it is sad to see him go, it is inspiring at the same time. Warren is who introduced me to Dennis and James and also arranged for the move of my hulls on the outrigger trailer and also designed and helped me build the dinghies and just generally advised me on aspects of boat building besides being a really nice guy.

I coved the stiffeners during the week, I managed 2 on Tuesday and 2 on Wednesday. I had business on Thursday and Friday. James helped me with some of the coving on Wednesday so I can finally say that a boat-builder that worked on boats for the likes of Greg Norman and Frank Lowy also worked on my boat. I decided that there was no way I would be able to cove, wet out uni and glass with double bias in one go (wet on wet) so I did all of the coving first. Then on Friday afternoon I sanded each of the coves ready for glassing on Saturday. The sanding was fairly easy. I had cleaned the coves fairly well so there was only some rough spots here and there and a light run over to key. I used an 1/3 sheet orbital using the flat sheet on the flat sections and in the curved cove I used the front edge of the sander where the sheet curves over into the sheet holder.

I had the uni and double bias and peel ply already cut to length and width and rolled up ready to apply. With the double bias I had marked out the length of 4 stirps and marked with a felt pen at each length but did not cut them leaving it in one continuous length to be cut out once it had passed through the wombat. The problem with pre cutting is you have to re feed the next glass through the wombat which may mean you spill resin out. Its much easier to cut the glass after it had passed through just below the wet out bag even though you have to cut wet glass. You then just cut the wet section off the next length if it has gone off before you get to use it, refill the bag and go again. In my case I got to 3 of them whilst still usable but had to fit an new bag for the last one as the resin had gone off before I got to it, due to a small accident, more on that later.

I used a 50mm roller to wet out the uni. It was easier for me to wet out the uni as I went rather then wetting out on a table then rolling it up and laying it out. As I wet out I straitened the stray strands along the edges and kept the threads as straight as I could. Once the uni was down I ran the double bias through the wombat to wet it, then rolled out the wet glass onto the stiffener. Then to finish I rolled on the peel ply. This turned out to be the most time consuming of the 3 layers. You have to get the air bubbles out as much as you can but once the peel ply is wet and you find bubbles they are difficult to get out, not impossible but time consuming. I use a glassing roller to get right into the curve and ensure the tape is adhered without bubbles I also use it to get the peel ply down.

Each uni, double bias and peel ply took an hour to get down, except the last one, which took me about an hour an a half. I was moving to the back of the boat under the bulkheads but when I got to the last bulkhead I misjudged how far I had gone and stood up a split second too early and walked smack into the last bulkhead. That stung a little. I have lost count of the times I have bumped my head on them but this one was the first time I had drawn blood! Its official, i would have to be the clumsiest boat builder. Anyway, that slowed me down some and the delay meant that the resin in the wombat was too off to use so I had to change the bag.

Today I removed the peel ply and am quite happy with the job. Next I have to feather out the glass edges and the glue lines of the z joints and generally clean the panel before applying a thin layer of bog if needed or just go straight to the highbuild. If I go straight to highbuild I will probably need to resin coat first.

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