Glassing the shell in one step vs. two

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    The manual recommends fiberglassing the shell in one step only for experienced glassers, which definitely leaves me out; however, in the class, everyone seemed to use the one step approach. Have any home builders used the one step method without prior glassing experience? How were your results?


    I have “glassed” a lot of things over the years.  We did the one step and while it worked ok, doing it in two or better yet three steps will yield a better product IMHO.

    Now let me back that up with why I think so…

    Do the top first.  Let it cure overnight.

    Pick a side then rest it on half the mold.  Save pieces and create two sides as halves.

    Once that side is done, 180 it after an overnight cure and do the other side.

    Why?  One word – gravity.  Epoxy tends to self level.  By placing the working surface more horizontal you get less runs.  More so you can also work with the glass in sections and that makes a HUGE improvement.  When we did the bottom and transom it came out far better.

    Here is an extra hint – use tape to define the edges of the glass, bring the fabric just over the edge and then cut after it starts to cure and remove the tape, then wipe with denatured alcohol and a toss away rag.  the overall finish will look more pro and be a LOT easier when it comes time to sand nad varnish.


    Thanks, Nest. The three step approach makes a lot of sense, I’ll definitely tape the cloth around the edge. Strands of cloth are a pain.


    We did it in 3 steps and had 2 very small bubbles, both of which are  not going to be seen and were easily patched. We should have glassed the bottom in 2 steps with the over lap, it would have saved us so much time. We had everything laid out, etc. but the fiberglass cloth moves and shifts and of course it did and that left a bunch of air bubbles near the butt block. I can not stress enough that glassing this in 2 steps for people who are new to glassing would make it much easier. We would have epoxied the first part in the morning, and then in the evening we would have added the second piece of fabric (as long as the area was not tacky) and epoxied. We spent 2 extra days sanding and fixing patches when we could have been moving on to other things.

    • This reply was modified 6 years, 10 months ago by catcamper.

    I watched the clc youtube video of their build class. Seems like they did a single layer over the whole shell in one step with three sheets of glass, then added a second center layer with a single sheet later. Has anyone tried that?

    I just stuck with the three step process center then side then side. Worked out fine.


    I applied two layers to the top last weekend and was satisfied with the result. After starting, I realized that small batches of epoxy (15 squirts for me) permitted me to saturate the layers without rushing. I needed hours to finish anyway, and I suspect that applying a single layer would have been easier, so if I had it to do over, I’d try the approach they use in the class.

    I had one small bubble along the edge that I could have avoided easily if I had noticed it. I may sand it, but I could also fill it with epoxy when glassing the bottom later. I’m out of town this week and next, so I’ll finish glassing the shell next weekend. My build is proceeding very slowly, but it’s proceeding. I originally hoped to finish in September, but October seems more realistic now.

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