I left off with a hull sanded smooth and ready for fiberglassing. This step has always been a bit concerning as a lot of energy and money can be wasted if done improperly. I reread my instruction book and watched every video on youtube I could find on the subject.
First, a thin strip of fiberglass is added to the bow and stern, and a sealer coat of epoxy is added to the entire hull.
The sealer coat was pretty splotchy, but it would even out with additional coats.
Next, fiberglass cloth is rolled out over the hull. Dry paint brushes are used to smooth out the cloth. Using your bare hands would distort the weave of the cloth and result in lumps and other imperfections.
Epoxy fumes are nasty.
The first coat of epoxy over the cloth basically wets it out and forms the initial bond. The weave of the cloth is filled in by subsequent coats of epoxy. I opted for Etta James et al to keep me company for the stressful three hours of the initial coat. Taking a break is not an option as it is best to work with a wet edge.
Here is the hull after the first coat.
I opted for a chemical bond between coats, so I spent the entire day either adding epoxy or waiting a few hours for the next coat. When I was about an hour from competing the final coat I realized I was short a layer of cloth at the bow and stern. This was a screw up rooted in using several different references, some of which used inner and outer stems and others did not. I opted to not use stems, so I needed an additional strip of fiberglass cloth at the ends.
I added the fiberglass, but as a result I had to do some "repairs" mid build. A couple weeks of sanding, adding epoxy, sanding, adding expoxy to the bow and stern, and I was finally ready for the final coat. Because the other coats were fully cured, I had to sand the hull in preparation for the final epoxy to give it enough "tooth" to bond. No chemical bond at this point.
Here is the partially sanded hull.
This one has blueberries. The barrel cooker would not approve.
The staple holes did not disappear as the book predicted. Don't really know what went wrong, but I'll have to live with them.
A utility knife is used to cut off the excess cloth.
I finally got to pull the hull of the forms and flip it over. For the first time it looks like a canoe.
Overall, it is certainly not perfect, but most of the flaws will never be noticed unless I point them out.
Now I have to repeat all of the sanding and fiberglassing on the inside.