Category Archives: Fairing

Fairing Basics

By Jeff Wright

The goal of fairing is to create a surface without bumps or hollows.

Fairing Compound should be of a consistency that can be troweled onto a surface without sagging. Add 407 Low Density or 410 Microlight filler to mixed epoxy, checking the consistency as you stir in the filler to determine if the mixture has the correct viscosity for your application.

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Bottom Fairing Adagio

By Greg Bull

Most seasoned sailors would agree that a clean bottom leads to faster sailing. Sometimes it may be necessary to do more than scrub away the algae and zebra mussels, though. In the case of Adagio, 44 years of sailing was starting to ripple the bottom of the boat. Simply put, it was time to fair the bottom. While fairing the bottom of your boat may seem beyond your reach, it is a project that novices and experienced boaters alike can accomplish with a few simple tools and a love of a little manual labor. Continue reading

Sanding

Sanding Tricks of the Trade

BY DAMIAN MCLAUGHLIN

All of the boat builders that I know have little tricks that make a job go faster or do it better. Fairing a 40′ custom-built hull is an arduous task which is often accomplished with two-man teams and fairing boards. We do 90% of the work with a grinding device. Almost everyone in the business will agree that a grinder will remove a substantial amount of material quickly. The trick is controlling that removal. Continue reading

Project X Fairing Technique

By John M. Thomas

Almost 40 years ago Meade and Jan Gougeon opened their doors to a fastener-less method of boat construction using epoxy and various clamping methods. Jan’s newest boat is in the home stretch to completion, and he is addressing the fine tweaks of coaming and fairing. Continue reading

Comparing Surface Preparation Techniques for Paints and Primers

By Joe Parker

Before you begin a project, it is a good idea to consider all of your options. Information about products or methods you may want to use is often available on product labels, from manufacturers, or your own experience. However, many times the information you need to make good choices is just not available. Then your best option is to test. In our most recent renovation, we had to figure out what to test for and how to do it. Continue reading

Wet Sanding Epoxy

By Captain James R. Watson

Wet sanding with waterproof sandpaper is often the best approach to sanding cured epoxy. Wet sanding removes amine blush while you sand, reduces clogging of the sandpaper, and reduces dust and exposure to partially cured epoxy. It lets your sandpaper go farther and provides a visual clue that everything is properly sanded. However, if you have bare wood or wood that cannot get wet, you will need to dry sand. Continue reading

Sandpaper Tricks for Random Orbital Sanders

By Tom Pawlak

I recently ran out of sandpaper for my 5″ diameter random orbital sander, and needed only a few more sanding disks to finish the project. While my sander is equipped for the hook-and-loop style sanding disks, I had only PSA (pressure sensitive adhesive) style sanding disks. These did not stick well to the pad on the sander, and within a minute or two they would fly off, leaving me frustrated. I finished my project by gluing the PSA disks to worn out hook-and-loop disks with contact cement. This actually worked quite well. Continue reading

fairing a beach cat's bottom

Fairing a Fiberglass Beach Cat’s Bottom

By Captain James R. Watson

Dragging your catamaran over sandy beaches can abrade away material on the bottom of the hull, thereby flattening the sectional shape. Usually this area will extend 4 or 5 feet each way of the hull’s mid-section. You need to fix it so it doesn’t wear through, and to maintain optimum design performance. Continue reading

Specialty Tools for Fairing

By Tom Pawlak

The Fairing File

My son Matt and I recently built a small stitch-and-glue boat. While fairing the bottom we discovered that hacksaw blades can be modified and used for fairing.

The buildup of fiberglass tape along the chine and keel had caused a low spot in the hull all along the edge of the fiberglass buildup. Filling the low spot with low-density filler was easy, but sanding the cured epoxy with sanding boards was slow work. Experimenting with a new hacksaw blade, we found it easily cut through the low-density filler and occasional high spots in the fiberglass. Continue reading