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.

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.

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 […]
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 – Fibreglassing method 3 – Method for large areas

Fiberglassing larger areas is done differently from small. Large areas require that the glass be draped dry over the surface then the epoxy is applied over the glass and worked through the surface. The example here is glassing a centreboard but the principle is the same for much bigger areas like the bottoms, sides and […]

Q&A Are Screws and Fasteners Required in Epoxy/Wood construction?

One of the great leaps forward available to us when using epoxy is being able to eliminate fastenings (screws,nails, bolts etc) from the structure. Many builders now only use fasteners to temporarily hold things together while the glue sets up.The temporary fasteners are removed and can be re-used many times. Eliminating fastenings also speeds up […]

Q&A – Fast boat repairs with no fasteners.

Hole in Boat and More Fasteners in traditional construction are the ONLY way to go – whether metal or trunnel. But once moving over to glued construction there are certain advantages in eliminating the fasteners as far as possible. We’ve made a bit of a career of it over the last 20 years or so […]

Q&A Epoxy Resin vs Polyester Resin for Wood

Should one fibreglass using epoxy or polyester resin over wood.  In this case it was to join the plywood panels of a stitch and glue boat. First, Woven fabric will give a smoother finish than chopped strand matt and is much stronger for the same weight.  It also requires less filling of the weave to […]

Kirribilli – historic 5.5 metre yacht starts restoration.

Duckflat have started work on Kirribilli for a consortium of owners. Keel is off – boat is upside down – hull is half stripped and half splined – starboard side. I’m assisting with the technical side. If the end result is as nice as the work Duck Flat and I did on our last keelboat […]

Using Fibreglass and Epoxy – the fiberglassing method

Howdy, I have just updated my FAQ with some “How To” sections on different methods of using fiberglass. Storerboatplans FAQ It covers the different methods for small areas and large areas and also a method for getting glass to lie flat over complex curved surfaces. There are good photos for some of the sections to […]

Back from the Duck Flat Summer School

I was asked by the people at Duck Flat Wooden Boats whether I would be interested in teaching at their Spring School. It is their first one for a few years and has the purpose of “getting people excited about boatbuilding”. I must admit that was pretty well how it went. 12 different projects and […]