Canoe 001

the Hull


After sanding, the hull is wet (photo above) to raise the grain and sanded again.

The Epoxy/Fiberglass Process

It's good to have at least 2 or 3 uninterrupted hours each, on 4 consecutive days, to do the fiberglass work. In 24 hours the epoxy is cured enough to sand but not yet fully cured. This partially cured epoxy is best for adhesion of the next epoxy application.

The process goes like this:

  • Sealer coat of epoxy to seal the bare wood and provide a base for adhesion of the next layer
  • Fiberglass wetted with epoxy to bond the fiberglass to the wood
  • Apply an epoxy layer to fill the weave of the fiberglass
  • Apply an epoxy layer to bury the weave of the fiberglass. After this, the fiberglass is virtually invisible.

Epoxy sealer coat sanded


Laying the Fiberglass on the Hull Inside


Blackwater River Guitars

Strip Built Cedar Canoe (#001):
Page 3: Fiberglassing the Hull

Glue clean-up and Sanding

In preparation for fiberglassing, the glue drips on the hull are cleaned up (scraped, chiseled, sanded) and the hull is sanded smooth.

Then the hull is wet to raise the grain and sanded smooth again.

Any low spots, holes, dings, etc. are then filled with epoxy resin. When the epoxy resin has cured it is sanded smooth. The hull must be smooth and fair before fiberglassing. If the fiberglass does not lay flat, it's structural integrity is compromised.

Clean-up Clean-up

Epoxy Sealer Coat

Before putting on the fiberglass, I applied a sealer coat of epoxy.

I used System 3 Laminating Epoxy and a plastic squeegee from an auto body repair kit to spread it around.

You can get the epoxy with a fast or slow hardener - I got the slow stuff to give me more working time. The added working time was really useful when wetting out the fiberglass.

Epoxy Epoxy

Fiberglass and Epoxy - Hull Outside

The sequence below shows the laying of the fiberglass on the outside of the hull and wetting it out with epoxy.

Epoxy Epoxy

Epoxy Epoxy

Fiberglass and Epoxy - Inside

The photos below and in the left column show the scraped and sanded hull inside, the laying of the fiberglass, wetting it out, and the weave of the fiberglass showing through the epoxy.

Epoxy Epoxy

Epoxy Epoxy

Next Page: Gunwales