Fiberglassing question

I have my wood canoe glassed , but on the sides of the outer hull , you can see and feel the weave of the cloth.I have roller coated it with epoxy 3 times.

Is there anything to gain by filling the weave completely? The bottom of the boat, inside and out, is filled completely and looks like glass.

Glassing Link
Here’s a great link for information about fiberglassing and filling the weave. He uses four coats, basically starting with a puddle and rolling it to fill the weave. It’s probably the same technique you are using. Most of the other material I’ve read mentions using three coats.

For filling the sides, I wonder if it would help to have the boat on its side to let gravity work for you? Just a thought. To me, the benefits of completely filling the weave are mostly aesthetic. If you have applied three coats already, the boat should be plenty strong.

Wish I had more information for you, but just finished planking on Friday. Today the sanding starts. Am probably at least a week away from starting the glassing. I’d be interested to hear what your final solution ends up being.

Good luck.


Three fill coats
You should be good to go. The epoxy doesn’t level like paint or varnish does, it sticks to the high spots. Use 150 grit sandpaper to knock down the highs. Sand until you just hit the top of the glass. If you go too far, don’t worry, just put on a thin coat of epoxy on the spots where the weave is showing.

It’s best to wait until the epoxy has cured before sanding. If you sand when it’s still green the heat from the sanding will smear the epoxy dust into the glass. This never goes away without sanding more after the goo has cured. Cabinet scrapers are my tool of choice for quick leveling. They are quiet and don’t kick up any dust. You get thin ribbons of epoxy that clean up nicely. It’s much easier on the outside of the hull since the corners don’t have anything to dig into.

I ended up with 5 or 6 coats on the hull of my Tern 14, because it never got smooth. The boat was a tad heavy (excess epoxy is the easiest way to add weight). When it came time to revarnish, I sanded about 2 lbs off the hull. I could tell the difference when loading. :smiley:

You should be able to sand it smooth after three coats maybe four. There is no advantage other than cosmetics to the fill coats. You will only be adding weight, but if it is on the bottom you want it smooth.

always thought those kit instructions
were designed to have builders hating their boats before they were done.

If you were planning on painting the boat skip the fill coats altogether and use a lightweight filler such as West Sytems 410 … if going to clear, let glass cure then lightly sand BEFORE rolling on all those coats… This will knock down the very peaks of the glass that force you to fill over and over.