Working with Fiberglass?

A friend of mine wants to add thigh hooks to her small fiberglass kayak. I’ve never worked with fiberglass. In this sort of situation how would you make a mold to form layers against? Anyone have a link to a good fiberglass tutorial? Thanks.

Pariscraft or Rigidplaster

– Last Updated: Jun-29-07 1:14 PM EST –

You can make a simple mold with this guaze material that is impreginated with Plaster. It is the same material they use to use to make plaster cast for broken arms etc. You can find it at crafts stores like Michaels.

You just dip it in water, squeegee it between your fingers then drape it over the shape you want it to take. Five or more layers will be needed to build it up to the point where it will become a rigid mold. I built thighbraces for my homemade boat by sitting in it, covering my coaming and leg with a piece of Saran Wrap then just laying the Pariscraft over the Saran Wrap to create my mold to lay the glass up in.

When the Rigidplaster cures which it does in minutes, you can flip it over and line the underside of it with Saran Wrap and then lay your glass and epoxy resin against the SaranWrap as Epoxy won't stick to the SaranWrap. You will probally need four or five layers of 10 oz. glass to build a stiff enough thighbrace.

After the glass/resin has cured, epoxy it to the boat then shape and smooth it with an electric sander. It can be painted with the new spray paint in cans at Home Depot that is marketed to stick to patio resin furniture, plastics and fiberglass.

Webshots of boat I did this with:

thigh hooks
Not sure what they are, but how about lining the inside of the kayak with visqueen,saran wrap or even waxpaper and using that as the mold?

PVC pipe
Some people use pvc pipe as a mold for the inside of thigh hooks.

A rather ambitious project…
…for a first timer. If it were your boat I’d say go at it.

A female friend’s boat is almost a no win situation and could turn into a never ending, never satisfied project. In the end you may be the one that “messed up” her boat.

I would suggest that she find a new boat that feels perfect. That way you are out of the loop and still friends… Buy her flowers when she gets the new boat and your still a hero…