Fiberglass epoxy


I am pretty scared, I am at the stage of fiberglassing the hull of my kayak. And despite all the information in the manual (Pygmy), I need any advice or technique available or used by you Guys.

I just glassed the hull of my boat last night. It’s my first time, too. Things went pretty smoothly.

My kit is a Shearwater Merganser 17’. Just drape the glass over the boat with a few inches hanging off the end and trim all the way around, leaving a couple of inches hanging off the shear line. Then take a DRY brush and, beginning in the middle of the keel, gently brush the glass towards the ends of the boat and toward the edge of where the deck and hull meet. This will get most of the wrinkles out before you apply the epoxy. Then doing the same thing with the epoxy. Mix up a cup or two at a time and pour out. Use a squeegee to spread it out away from the keel and away from the middle. Don’t hold epoxy in the cup too long because it will cure too quickly. Get it on the boat, then work it. Make sure the glass get soaked up and clear with no bubbles.

The scariest part is just thinking about it, not too bad once you start. Just be patient.

Good luck.

P.S. There are a lot of builders out there with a lot more experience than me, so I apolgize in advance if I left anything out.
go there without delay,if you really want help/advice there isn’t a better resource.

for Systems3 and 75+temps mix up less than two cups if you’re unsure on the squeegeing experience. Make SURE the squeegee doesn’t have any nicks or rough edges. Run some 400 grit sandpaper of the edge.

I can only get my shop up to about 55 degrees, how screwed am I for that step? The viscousity of the resin is pretty thick. Lots of work time though.

Try to get shop a bit warmer.
Super clean surface before laying glass down / wetting out. Drape glass gently and keep it clean( off the floor or dusty table) too. Beware of the wood drawing resin out from glass… keep it juicy until at last ready to squeege final strokes… suggest doing this first ply as the day cools rather than warms … less air potential under laminate.

55* is OK
depending on your hardener. I use System Three stuff and have glassed as low as 40*

Best to heat the shop as warm as possible, then once you start spreading epoxy let the temp start to fall off. If the temp of the wood is decreasing it will help draw the resin into the wood. If you spread the resin and then increase the temp the wood will expel gasses and create air bubbles. Also check the resin for bubbles for a few hours after you are done wetting out. The air bubbles can be popped with a dry foam brush.

I pre coat my hulls before glassing, this makes it much harder to starve the glass of resin and also helps keep the air bubbles to a minimum. But there are alot that don’t bother with this step.


Cold shop, warm resin
You can warm the resin easily with a 60 watt lightbulb. Put the bare bulb upright with the resin and hardener in close proximity. Cover everything with a cardboard box. This will warm the resin, but not get it too hot. Once you dump it on your boat, the increase in surface area will keep it from kicking too soon. Squeegee away and enjoy the transformation from a white ghost to a nice wood boat. :slight_smile: (That’s the coolest part, I think)

You can also do the same thing with an old heating pad set on the middle setting.

What tools to apply fiberglass on hull and fiberglass : Pygmy says foam roller and some use brushes and squeegee.

Your experience please.

epoxy first coat
First of all, love the fear. All will turn out OK. Precoating will ensure good prenitration Use masking tape to hold the cloth in place. The roller works the best, always work from wet to dry. A brush turns into a mess quickly. Be prpared to throw away everything. Vinigar is the best solvent. Use more than you think you should. Warm the epoxy and keep it warm all the time. I keep the jugs on one of those oil radiators. The air temp just has to be in the range. Squeegee it out well. The next morning you’ll love what you’ve done.


Temperature… Sorry to complicate, but
when I epoxy glass onto wood, I like to start with the wood warm, and then let it slowly cool as the epoxy soaks in. The initial warming drives air and residual moisture out. As the wood cools, it draws the resin in. Something NOT to do is to apply resin to cool wood and then warm the result. This can result in formation of new bubbles on the surface.

I don’t quite understand the points about vinegar as a solvent. May be OK for getting resin off things where it does not belong, like your shirt sleeves. However, vinegar has water in it, and you do not want to use any water solvent on a brush or roller or squeegee and then get water in your resin. The resin may bubble up or do other nasty things.

I usually use a plastic squeegee for working resin through glass. I have only used rollers when rolling epoxy onto composite hulls, and have no experience using rollers on fiberglass over plywood. Might work. Probably a solid roller, possibly a thin foam roller like West supplies.

Agreed on squeege over roller…
guess it depends on what one is used to.

Rollers (ridged) are good for working out air in thick laminates in female molds though.

Amazing to see how the surfboard production/factory guys work the squeegee. Using the same batch for SEVERAL boards. Roller would just get in the way.

search option
Like LeeG said, check out this link and try the search option.

applying resin
I used many different types of rollers and found the minny rollers that I got at lowes to be the best.

cold wood
It doesn’t do much good to put warm resin on cold wood as it’ll cool off immediately transfering heat to the wood and reducing workability of the resin while squeegeeing. Better to crank the heat up in the garage and let it sit for an hour then start applying epoxy as the temp of the wood/shop falls.

Everything was covered
by the group. My only disagreement is to not use a squeege and use the rollers that Pygmy recommends. The risk is too high of pulling the cloth when starting out. Roller the epoxy on and then squeege out the excess. Also, DO put on a fill coat first. IMHO you get as good a wet out without using as much resin. After all, you are going to squeege the excess out anyway. I found roller heads at a fiberglass supply house on line and bought an entire box. Have the site somewhere if you need. I keep my epoxy bottles in a cardboard box lined with some sheet metal and a light bulb through a lid, 25 watt is enough. One Ocean recommends starting with a warm room and then turning off the heat to let the surface cool. Gets a better clear finish. At 55 degrees the set up time will be longer and you may not be able to work the next day.