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Welcome to my blog on the building and sailing of a Goat Island Skiff (GIS). Join us on the Michael Storer Wooden Boat Plans forum or on Facebook, where the community of Storer Boat builders, owners, and admirers share their ideas, experiences, and watery hi-jinx.

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Thursday, July 7, 2011

Fun with 'glass

Prior to making the pilgrimage to Mystic, I took my first crack at fiberglass.  Once again, I'm using my spars as a testbed to figure out how to do something that I'll need to do again later on the hull.

I purchased fiberglass cloth as well as tape as required for the build overall.  The plans describe using 2" tape to wrap the ends of the spars to prevent splitting.  I'm more comfortable with 'glassing a larger portion of the end so that all holes and fittings are supported by the 'glass.  The plans also mention 'glassing the boom and the mast where they meet to reduce chafing damage.  I plan to leather those areas as well, but having the extra protection seems wise.

Quilting tools make short work of measuring and cutting
Clew end of the boom
Forward end of boom to protect the tack mounting and mast contact areas

I learned that it's hard to estimate how much epoxy is required for the task at hand.   I had two spars on hand, about three feet of length on four sides each.  In the end, I had to grab my mast as well and cover it too or risk wasting a fair amount of epoxy.  However, I wasn't prepared for that task so I was cutting 'glass and arranging the work while the epoxy was already mixed.  The last bit of coating was like smearing Jell-O.  It all came out OK, but I was a little panicky that things would be horribly screwed up.  So I also learned not to stress over things as they go awry because there's a good chance that it's not as bad as it seems at the moment.

What I was trying to do

What I was trying to avoid doing
And I learned that a good sharp razor can help recover from some ugly results.

Ugly results

Recovering from ugly results
Once cured I sanded these ends down.  I don't have pics to post yet, but I can still take some and add to this post later...

I have some hardware ready for these ends which was another reason for tackling this step so soon.  I'll post up my plan for bending on the sails and the hardware I've chosen.

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