Boatbuilding or fishing...
Part 3 of a boatbuilding odyssey


Bassboat: frames set up

Once all the ply was in place, it was time for encapsulation. I started by filling all screw holes, gaps etc. with epoxy mixed with silica and microspheres. BAD BAD BAD idea. Epoxy does not shrink that's true. But the wood has a tendency to suck it in. So even though I have applied it fairly thick, it still looked like it shrank. I was hoping to get this done with one thick coat and touch up here and there but I have ended up with three to four. One section that was previously sealed with epoxy was done with one coat. If I do this in the future I will reverse the process. I will apply a coat of epoxy first and then patch the holes. Seems like a small thing, but there must be a couple of thousand screws in the Bass Boat. I was hoping to be done in two days instead it took a week. Oh well.

Bassboat: Sheer installed

I was in a bit of a rush because I wanted her fiberglassed before the winter and the temperatures were already dropping. It had taken one day to do the first coat of epoxy, no surprise there. Then the time for the fabric came. I've got to say that out of the whole process of building the boat this part has caused me the most anxiety. I have never done anything like this before. The closest thing I can think of would be wall paper, which is not even close. I got some 7.5 oz cloth and started on the transom, since that's the smallest section and should be done first anyway for the proper lapping of the cloth. Well, it went better than expected. Still the sides and the bottom are bigger and I was not sure if I would have enough time to work the weave before epoxy started to set. Sides went OK and the bottom? Well I got sort of lucky. The mornings got really chilly around here by then. So I had brought the container with epoxy inside and warmed them up to make pumping and measuring easier. In the meantime, I fitted the cloth and attached it with small pieces of masking tape.

Bassboat: Chine installed

The epoxy was easy to mix and pour since it was warm, but the moment it got on the boat it would cool off giving me some nice extra time to work it in. Needless to say, I was able to do the whole side at one time, which was a lot more than I had expected. The only regret that I have at this time is that two days later it gotten bitterly cold and I had no choice but to stop construction. Right now the boat is wintering under two layers of plastic and some tarps. It's probably way overdone since the hull is quite well protected by epoxy, but better be safe.

Bassboat: Installing bottom battens

Right now I'm waiting for the holidays to be over and I think I will be ordering the kit for the trailer in the next few weeks. I would like to have it done by the end of March so that when the hull is ready to be turned over I can just drop it on the trailer rather than on the stands.