Construction and Design Journal – 14ft Dory for Rowing and Sailing – Part 13

by Roy Heberger - Boise, Idaho - USA


While I’d been toying with the idea of turning the boat over and beginning work on the inside and cabins, I realized all along that the best way to go would be to glass the bottom before turning it over.  Having never applied fiberglass fabric or tape to a surface, I’m hesitant.  I was avoiding that which has to get done.  So today I ordered the fabric (6 oz) and tape (9 oz). I ordered enough tape to cover all seams, inside and out, and enough fiberglass cloth to cover the entire hull.  While on the phone with West Marine I also ordered more West System resin and hardener, having calculated my needs for the fiber glassing using the formula:

Resin & Hardener Volume (gallons) = A[(Wf X 0.000085) + 0.0075]


A is the surface area of glass fabric needed

Wf is the weight of the fiberglass fabric oz/square yard

I needed another container of the stuff (resin and hardener), so at this point that doubles the cost of resin/hardener.  I will summarize costs at the end of this document.

Presently, I’m fairing the scarfs on the outside of the hull and filling the countersunk screw holes with an epoxy/wood flour mixture.  Sanding is next.


Wow, I’ve some catching up to do on this journal.  I put boat work aside in late June for a trip with friends and again in mid July for an ICL Board meeting and a back packing trip in the Big Horn Crags, but I’ve gotten a lot done since the last entry in May.   Outside of the hull I added fiberglass tape to the chines (bottom and side), bow stem, and both sides of the transom, then put a single layer of fiberglass fabric on the outside of the bottom and planks.  The fiberglass fabric just soaks up the resin and hardener mixture, so I had to order a third set from West Marine in anticipation of glassing the cabins.

Once the fabric work was done, I washed the boat several times with warm water and scrubbed it with an Ocello pad.  I sanded it completely with a random orbit sander I acquired.  (Wish I’d have bought one year’s ago.  It works great.)  I bought a 1”x 4”x 10’ white oak plank and used it for the keel board, which I fastened with epoxy and brass screws on the outside of the bottom just opposite the keelson on the inside.  On each side of the keel board I fastened a runner of RBC using the same approach.  I did not glass over the keel board or the runners, but I applied several coats of epoxy to each.  This boat has a sturdy backbone!

FALSE STEM – August 17, continued

I added a false stem of RBC.  It took three attempts.  The RBC I’d steamed and bent earlier turned out to be twisted and curved sideways.  I had not noticed that until I got it fastened.  So off it came and I steamed and pre-bent another piece of RBC.  While using a C-clamp ever so slowly it cracked about a foot from the keel board.  It just startled the living shit out of me when it went! So, on my third attempt I decided to apply a still steaming piece of RBC to the stem directly.  That seems to have worked.  I chose stainless steel screws for this work for their added strength over brass.  Once I was confident the stem would not crack and that it was sufficiently dry, I painted epoxy into the seam between the false stem and the stem and used wood flour to the thicken epoxy.  I forced the mixture into the seam between the stem and false stem to make fillets on each side of the false stem and side planks.

PAINT – August 17, continued

It is time to order paint.  This was a challenge.  I was concerned about compatibility of the paint on top of my fiberglass and resin, so I called the technical-service folks at West Marine and they put me on to the technical-service folks at Interlux.  It helped.

I ended up ordering Interlux Barrier-Kote (a two-part epoxy) paint for the base coat and Interlux Bright Side finish coat to be used on the outside of the hull, the inside of the cockpit, and topsides.  This was all based on recommendations I received from the people at Interlux.[1]

Presently, I have the first coat of base coat on the outside of the bottom, garboards and knuckles.

Today it is raining and feels muggy.  The base coat is epoxy, so I decided not to apply the second coat.

LOOKING AHEAD – August 23, 2004

I made a list of “To-Dos.”  It is included in the Appendices.

BARRIER KOTE IS SANDED – August 25, 2004

Yesterday I hand sanded the whole boat – whew!  I was concerned that the power sanders would remove too much material too fast.  On the bottom I used a relatively coarse grit (80) as was recommended, but on the sides I used 100 on the garboard and 120 on the sheerboard.

While a vacuumed the whole boat to get rid of the sanding residue, it is still chalky to the touch, so today I will use a damp cloth to basically wash the boat.

I have ordered thinner for the Brightside finish coat.  I don’t expect it to arrive until next week.  Whenever it does arrive I will begin work immediately.  I will put two coats on the bottom and garboard.  Let it harden for a time and then recruit friends and neighbors to help flip the boat upright.  I’m really looking forward to the next phase of construction – the inside of the boat – as it will again get creative.

FINISH COAT OF PAINT – September 2, 2004

A week ago Monday I had ordered thinner to compliment the Interlux Brightside finish coats of paint.  I had expected it to arrive on Monday.  It didn’t arrive Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday.  So I called West Marine this morning to learn that FED EX damaged the carton and was shipping it back to West Marine.  A new shipment from West Marine was in the works when I hung up.  So, between not knowing I needed two kinds of thinner for the two kinds of paint and the damaged goods I learned about today, I’ve spent some time waiting on this paint job.

[1]Barrier Kote is a two part epoxy base-coat paint that requires thinning from 20 to 25 percent.  It also requires a special thinner, so I suggested that the Interlux folks should make that more clear to first time purchasers by saying it is a “three-part” system.  I don’t think they agreed.  The stuff is not usable without the thinner.

Part 1 – Part 2 – Part 3 – Part 4 – Part 5 – Part 6 – Part 7 – Part 8 – Part 9 – Part 10

Part 11 – Part 12 – Part 13 – Part 14 – Part 15 – Part 16 – Part 17 – Part 18 – Part 19


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