By Rachael Geerts – GBI Composite Materials Engineer
Have you ever wondered how laminate thickness can be determined without breaking out the epoxy and reinforcement fabric? The answer is simple—use math. While some of you may have just lost interest because you think math is too difficult, I can assure you that this math requires nothing more than some basic multiplication, addition, and division. Let’s get to it.
When we purchased our 2006 Winnebago® RV, we knew we would need to complete some repairs. We never imagined the back wall would need to be removed and rebuilt from the ground up. One of the edges of the back wall was compromised which allowed water to penetrate the wall and eventually saturate a majority of the plywood within. After determining that the damage was too great to spot treat/repair, we began the process of removing the wall.
If your swim platform is experiencing water penetration, a repair or even a rebuild could be in your near future. We’ll show you how to measure the damage, and perform a successful repair that will last for years to come.
I’ve been restoring an MFG 15. The transom was made up of one very thin fiberglass hull transom sandwiched between two ¾” mahogany layers and bolted together. I chose to reinforce the fiberglass transom with 12 oz. fiberglass. I also laminated the backside of each mahogany layer piece with 6 oz. fiberglass, and the front (exposed) side with 4 oz. fiberglass.
The prospect of fiberglassing overhead when laminating the bottom of a hull can be a bit ominous. Any type of overhead work can be frustrating, but the thought of trying to hold fiberglass in place while applying epoxy can produce nightmares for some people. This is especially true if you will be working alone. Continue reading →
Cover Photos: Our special issue on building features practical and simple techniques.
Building a natural finish wood-strip or strip-plank canoe can be exciting and a bit daunting, particularly if it is your first clear finish canoe. You’ll commit time and money to the project and your expectations may run high. Most people are happy with the results of their first strip plank project, but deep down they wish some aspect of it was a bit better. Continue reading →
At the La Routa Maya canoe race in Belize, SA., we saw a natural progression from chopping canoes out of logs to fiberglassing strip-planked boats with WEST SYSTEM® Epoxy. Strip-planking may have been the first step after the dugout in the evolution of boatbuilding techniques; the way the quality of wood is going, it might be the last to survive. With our strip-planked hull faired and the outside stem attached, there are many techniques that could turn these strips into a boat. Continue reading →
The WEST SYSTEM User Manual describes the basics of fiberglass cloth application and coating for clear finishing over wood. This article is the ultimate guide to applying fiberglass over a woodstrip hull to achieve a perfect finish. Ted Moores is a master of the perfect finish, author of CanoeCraft and KayakCraft and co-owner of Bear Mountain Boats. Continue reading →
When two or more fiberglass laminators meet, the discussion always turns to resin application and hand wet out tools. In some respects, this is much like a political or religious debate. I thought it might be helpful to describe some of these tools, and identify (as I see it) the best tools for laminating. Continue reading →
The prospect of having to fiberglass the bottom of a hull can be a bit ominous. Any type of overhead work can be frustrating, but the thought of trying to hold fiberglass in place while applying epoxy can produce nightmares for some people. This is especially true if you will be working alone. Continue reading →