After a long lapse in posts and work, we’ve reached the point of gel coating. This is one coat on the underside of the hull. Two coats should cover opaquely. The white (a generous additional epoxy gift from my friend Daryl) is just intended as a base coat to determine coverage and surface quality. The thing needs lots more sanding, but that is much easier to see in one light color. There is a lot to do yet…
Much of the past moth was consumed by holidays and travel. We did also make some significant progress on the interior of the boat before flipping it for a gel coat.
This is a photograph of my team–Jonny and Philip. The interior of the boat has three coats of epoxy over taped seams and filleted corners (Silver Tip E-Z Fillet). There are modifications to the Michalak Jonsboat plans evident in this picture. The additional box at the stern is to hold one more cubic foot of flotation foam as close to the rear as possible. Between the two middle seats is a box — that’s the frame for the window to the fish. It is sealed with epoxy and fillet material and should be water tight. Even if the widow leaks, the hull won’t fill with water. It will be covered akin to the seats when not in use.
The outer edges of the seat thwarts are capped with a spacer. The seat tops will be hardwood/plywood with a lip sealed with foam or hinged and latched for storage. Along the gunwales there are two blocks on each side for oar locks. These are beveled to provide an optimal 11 degree angle with just enough thickness to keep the oars off of the gunwale rails. Why two? Notice there are two boys in the photo…it does allow for two sets of oars and instead of arguing over who gets to row, they can learn to row in sync when the motor quits or they go out alone.
Philip hates the smell of epoxy, so his participation has been limited in this stage. However, even he couldn’t resist helping with the white just to see that next step. It’s about time to order the topcoat colors–orange and white with apparently a blue bottom. Unusual choice of color, but an orange and white boat should be easy to spot half a mile away on the water and the blue bottom could just be anti-fouling paint. That, however, opens up another can of worms. Will Philip repaint the bottom of his boat every year or two?
For those who are keeping score: 6 gallons of epoxy, 36′ of fiberglass fabric (60″ width), 1 roll of seam tape, 1 1/2 quarts of Gorilla Glue, 1# of stainless steel screws in 1 1/2″, 1 1/4″, and 3/4″ sizes. I also relied upon stainless steel nails in a 16g nail gun to frequently tack things in place. The epoxy coverage on the exterior is about one quart per coat using chip brushes and a small (1″) diameter roller.
At this rate we will get this project in the water by summer. Great! Except that we went to the Chicago Boat, RV, and sailing show this weekend. Philip got on a sailboat and turned around with a look of glee…