Boatbuilding experience with Epoxy vs other Glues – a 30 year review

I’ve been in and around wooden race and recreational boats for a few decades now. As a designer who sells plans I can really only direct people towards the most tried and true methods that work just about anywhere. This article explains a large part of experience that leads to my approach.

How much fiberglass will prevent most damage to my ply or timber canoe or sailing dinghy?

How much fibreglass is really necessary to prevent damage to a plywood boat for most users? For a long time I’ve been suspicious that both designers and builders are in a never ending spiral of more and more heavier fibreglass. I argue, with data from the Turner designed Jarcat, that the weights of glass are clearly excessive for most uses and users of small boats.

The Canon – Tools for thinking about sailing and boat design – Books and Articles

One of the most important things as a designer or sailor is to keep an open mind, but also to be able to analyze things in light of real experience and prior knowledge. This article, after a bit of a spiel, goes on to give some great resources that “opened my eyes” at different times in my life. They focus on areas of structural design, sailing, sail aerodynamics and touch on a bit more.

The two plywood canoes in my range – How to choose.

This page compares the two plywood canoes in my range. Both have detailed plans and are simple to build. The page is to explain the differences and to help potential builders see if one of the boats suits their needs. Lots of links to pictures, build articles and even videos. The cla

Minimal repairs to keep an old Mirror plywood sailing dinghy going

Melanie in the UK wrote to me. She has just bought an old Mirror dinghy and started sailing for the first time. Problem is that the boat leaks and she doesn’t want to stop using the boat until the end of the season. I have a philosophy of keeping older boats on the water and not pulling them off for months on end until you have the time to do the job. So the article here is useful to see what can be done with an old leaky plywood sailing dinghy to keep it going. It is perfect sailing weather at the moment in the UK and it is better she is out there learning but with the worst of the leaks gone. With a disciplined approach she should be able to get all of this done in a week or so. The general leaks fixed permanently and the rotted area reinforced so that the boat won’t break.

Podcast Online – Wooden Boat Construction by Michael Storer – 2 of 3

This is the second of my talks in the USA. It focuses a bit more on construction and some of the methods that can be used to keep a boat light and simple, but very strong and stiff. It also discusses how there is a “creep” in boatbuilding and design that increases the weight of boats way over what is really needed for a strong structure.

Q&A – gluing endgrain – including Plywood and Scarfs

Gluing Endgrain Gluing timber end grain with epoxySee drawing of endgrain right.. The basic problem is that end grain is highly absorbent so it can steal the resin from the join leaving insufficient for good bonding.  The trick … is to feed the end grain some mixed resin before the glue mix is put on […]

Q&A – Keep epoxy warm for good handling – Lightbox

There are huge advantages in keeping the epoxy at a slightly raised temperature. * It flows out better onto the work * It mixes easier * The curing kicks off faster in cold weather (and the box can easily only be turned on when needed. There are huge advantages in keeping the epoxy at a […]

Q&A – Should I use coarse sandpaper on timber or ply to make the epoxy stick.

There  was the suggestion that very coarse sandpaper was the best to use on a timber surface to ensure good bonding when gluing or fiberglassing the surface. This is not recommended – the following explains why. There  was the suggestion that very coarse sandpaper was the best to use on a timber surface to ensure […]

Q&A Why hasn’t the epoxy cured – coating gluing glue

This is a problem most of use come up against at least once. However it is unlikely to happen a second time. Richard wrote to me asking why his epoxy was still soft 3 days later.  He suggested it might be because of one of: 1. The immediate guess is that it’s been too cold […]

Teak Decks and Sikaflex, 5200 etc

There are two tricks to sikaflexing between strips. Use the Sika Primer – it improves the bond strength to the timber for a permanent job. You can get away without it often, but it changes the situation from a fairly strong bond to a hugely strong bond (you’ll know this if you have ever removed […]
Goat Island Skiff Plan - simple building and very fast

Q&A – Painting and Varnishing Epoxy

Paint vs Varnish Paint is more durable and will protect the epoxy and timber the best. Varnish hides a rough surface better.  If you have done a rough job the timber grain will hide it.  Make sure the varnish contains ultra-violet filters.  It is a photo from the Goat Island Skiff Calendar put together by […]

Q&A – Reducing labor and waste when using epoxy

There are a number of labour and materials saving techniques that are applicable when using epoxy. Contents of this section Wet-on-Wet Coating and Dewaxing Cured Epoxy. Building strong lightweight boats – a note on the use of epoxy One Hit coating and gluing Wet-on-Wet Coating and Dewaxing Cured Epoxy. As epoxy cures some of the […]