June 7, 2015 Hours spent building to date: 1,095
With all the cookie sheets, broiler liners and pasta pans I’ve been hauling into the shop, my neighbors must think I’ve turned the Tardis Project into a catering establishment. But they are simply tools in my quest to find a fast, smooth way to create the 134 “coved and taped” joints that hold the boat together.
There’s a lot on the Internet on taping fiberglass boats, but not many people (sometimes I think not ANY people) are building plywood 28-footers. And my books just said, “wet out the wood, squeeze a thick fillet, put on the glass tape, wet it out.” But when I did that, getting a four-inch strip of 12 oz biaxial tape topped by a six-inch strip of woven tape to wet out (weave filled with epoxy) was taking forever. Dipping my little chip brush over and over again into the epoxy and trying to force it down through the tape wasn’t just slow, I was dripping goo all over.
So I decided to wet out the glass the way you do with a horizontal surface, simply pouring it on and letting is soak through. Hence my trip to the housewares department for a surface to work on. I think this method works, so I had John take pictures of the whole process. There are two bonuses to the “pour on” method aside from easy wetout: 1) The wet biax is so pliable that you don’t need to form a perfect fillet before applying (if you do, the tape messes it up anyway). You can make a pretty decent cove just smoothing the thickened epoxy into the joint with a small, stiff brush, then forming a cove by pushing through the tape with the brush and your fingers. 2) The epoxy in the biax soaks through the top layer of woven tape pretty quickly. Just let it sit about a minute and brush out any dry spots.
My favorite pan for soaking the biax with epoxy is a 24-inch aluminum pasta pan from Walmart. I’m using a 1-inch chip brush to smooth out the thickened epoxy to make the cove, and a two-inch for wetout. I have never really seen a picture what one of these tabs are supposed to look like, but I think I must be close.
In other news, the area under the berths has been painted with a tie-coat to avoid paint adhesion problems, then I put on a coat of “Bilge Coat,” the world’s smelliest (also toughest) coating for areas that are prone to moisture