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Glassing the Decks

With the decking and coaming completed it was time to sheath the deck with fiberglass and epoxy. The materials and method of sheathing used was the same as that covered in the "Fiberglassing the Hull" section. Please refer there for more details on the specifics of applying cloth and epoxy.

A total of three pieces of cloth were needed. Two for the port and starboard decking, and a small piece for the center of the front deck.

There are several routes one can take when it comes to sheathing the deck. Some people cloth up to the coaming and some cloth over the coaming. I chose the latter. By covering the coaming it will resist dents and scrapes and stand up to more wear and tear, not to mention increasing the strength of its attachment. The picture below shows the areas I covered with cloth and epoxy. That being from the bottom of the clamp up and over the deck, up and over the coaming, and back down underneath the deck below the coaming.

To prepare for sheathing masking tape was applied along the sides of the boat adjacent to the clamp. This prevented excess cloth from bonding. The first step was to paint the clamp with pure epoxy. The idea here is to let it cure to a tacky stage while working on the rest of the deck. When the time came to cover the clamp it was easy because the clamp was sticky and the cloth adhered to it.

The fiberglass was wetted starting at the base of the coaming and epoxy was worked into the cloth moving towards the clamp with an autobody squeegee. Once reaching the clamp I went back to the coaming and wet it out with a chip brush and rolled the excess epoxy out with a foam roller. I then used a 1/2" diameter toothed aluminum roller to roll the cloth onto the clamp and into the groove. After it adhered sufficiently I went back with a chip brush and fully wet out the cloth. Several hours later I used a utility knife to trim away the excess cloth that was on the masking tape. If you catch it at the right time, before the epoxy has cured but is no longer tacky, the cloth is very easy to trim. After the epoxy cured I lightly sanded the deck, coaming and clamp. Two more coats of epoxy were applied and lightly sanded.