Instructions on How to Fiberglass a Wooden Boat

Written by colette mccormick
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Instructions on How to Fiberglass a Wooden Boat
Wood will rot when exposed to water. (Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Wood has been used to build boats for thousands of years; however, it has a basic design fault in that wood rots, especially if it is subjected to moisture for any length of time. Covering the hull of a wooden boat with fibreglass resin will prevent the wood from rotting, meaning that it will last much longer. Adding fibreglass to a wooden boat is a process that almost anyone can do.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Fibreglass cloth
  • Epoxy resin
  • Epoxy hardener
  • Sandpaper
  • Masking tape
  • Fibreglass roller
  • 3 Sponges
  • Scissors

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Check that the boat is sound and repair any damage that you find. There should be no gaps in the seams of the boat and the surface must be smooth; remove any chips or loose paint before you start the fibreglass process.

  2. 2

    Mix the epoxy resin and the hardener according to the instructions on the packet; apply a thin layer to the entire hull of the boat. Allow it to dry completely.

  3. 3

    Cut the fibreglass cloth into smaller, more manageable pieces and stick them to the hull of the boat. Use the masking tape to keep it in position. To ensure that the whole of the hull is covered, overlap the pieces of fibreglass cloth.

  4. 4

    Use the roller to apply another layer of resin over the top of the fibreglass cloth. Work your way gradually over the surface removing the masking tape that had been holding the cloth in position as you go. When the cloth has been thoroughly coated, use the sponge to flatten out any air bubbles. Allow the resin to dry completely.

  5. 5

    Rub the surface of the hull with the sandpaper to smooth off the resin. Take care not to damage the fibreglass cloth.

  6. 6

    Repeat the process twice more.

  7. 7

    Paint the hull of the boat in a colour of your choice.

Tips and warnings

  • Work in a well ventilated area.
  • Work in a covered area to protect the boat from the elements.
  • Do not work in direct sunlight as this will affect the way that the resin drys.

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