Steve’s Boat Building An amateur’s attempt to build a strip plank dinghy

Fibre-glassing the outside of the hull

Applying fibre-glass fabric is completely new to me, so I was very grateful to West Systems in Romsey for their excellent course in the use of their epoxy. I had the help of my son-in-law James when applying the fibre-glass, which was fortunate, because the whole process took 12 hours, with each of us doing one side of the boat.

I decided on the ‘wet’ method of application. The process involved cutting the glass fabric to size, mixing and applying the epoxy to the timber, (covering an area of one strip of fabric at a time) and then applying the fabric over the epoxy. The cloth was then smoothed with a squeegee, which took out wrinkles, and forced the epoxy into the cloth. The process was repeated, in my case, from transom to bow. This meant that the overlap in the material was always pointing towards the stern. About two centimetres of the edge of the glass is tapered, so the finish remained smooth at the joints. When all the fabric was  satisfactorily laid, we applied a second coat of epoxy to fill the weave, and then smoothed peel-ply over the entire boat.

Fibreglass fabric cut to size

Sheathing compete, with peel ply over