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Re: newbie boat buiding question

Hello Mulman,

Great job on the little skiff!

Here is an opinion: One of plywood’s greatest weaknesses are the edges of the panel where moisture can get into the core and begin the undoing all of your good work. It doesn’t take much bumping about to get this process started and with youngsters enjoying the boat it will begin sooner than later. I would look into fiberglass tape, maybe 6” wide 4 or 6 ounce weight. This product has ‘finished’ edges and can be wrapped around the outside chines to protect this most venerable part of the boat. You will need to sand the chine area to build out a ‘tooth’ for the epoxy to be ‘painted’ onto. Then spread on an epoxy layer about the area the tape will wrap, place the tape onto the wetted epoxy chine, add more epoxy to wet out the tape, then squeegee to ‘pull’ out any bubbles, etc. Don’t forget to read all directions on the safe use of epoxy. IF you can keep the job to some neat, I would just leave it, not sand to fair, but sand to de-blush (if needed) and cover with porch paint (from your favorite hardware store). You could also put epoxy on the gunwale edges, but not fool with the tape if you add gunwale rails.

Before painting I would buy a wood sealer (if using fir plywood this process will slow down the making of hairline cracks that fir plywood likes to generate being around water...) for the rest of the non-epoxied wood areas inside and out on the boat. Then apply the porch paint. The fiberglass tape may show a small ridge up close, but this is not a yacht, but a small vessel for youngsters to enjoy.

You can now say you made a “50 foot boat” ---- It looks good from 50 feet!

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