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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
This thread will be a build log of my center guide box that I am building and installing in a IPB 14 (Skimmer Skiff). In this first post I will be sharing my plans for the finished product and my method/materials of choice.

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Method/Materials: Please feel free to add constructive criticism and if I should be doing something different or using another material speak up ;)
  • Construct center box (frame with 3/8" plywood, 3/4" plywood on top for grab rail mounting)
  • Using polyester resin (since the boat is constructed with poly and I plan on redoing the gelcoat on all topsides)
    • coat the wooden box/lid with resin and fiberglass (1708 cloth on top of 1.5oz chop strand)
    • All polyester resin coats to be finished with a coat with wax added
  • Attach the center box by glassing it in from the inside
    • Position the box, mark the inside
    • Remove gelcoat to reveal fiberglass on boat bottom
    • Fillet and glass box to hull on the inside
    • Fillet the outside joint where box meets hull.
  • Prepare for gelcoat by scuffing the existing out layer with a wire wheel and cleaning with acetone
  • Apply Matterhorn White Gelcoat (https://www.jamestowndistributors.com/userportal/show_product.do?pid=1522)
  • Finishing the topsides with the "splatter" technique (possibly with black gelcoat?)
  • Install a short grab bar on top
Progress So Far

What I started with (after removing trolling motor from bow and other deck decor)
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Checking the size.....
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In place!
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I'm working on a lot for different things for this skiff, I have already replaced the leaf springs and bunk brackets. I have plans and materials for the following:
  • Rewire (bilge pump and nav lights)
  • Install OnTheFlyJackPlate (a manual jackplate you can quickly adjust "On The Fly" - https://www.ontheflyjackplates.com/)
  • Wet Sand/Buff/Polish/Wax the outside of the hull
  • Clean the aluminum trailer
  • Possibly add gunnels to the sides
 

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Looking forward to seeing the "on the fly" jack plate.
 
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Ok, so I see 3 things that I’d do different!
other than that, your plan is sound and the box looks great so far!

(1) why add wax to your resin? Not needed and you’ll be much better off without it. Coat the wood with two coats unwaxed resin then put your glass on it as soon as second coat kicks!
(2) why the 1 1/2 mat? Again, not needed and will only add a significant amount of weight to your box. The 1708 has a layer of 3/4 oz csm attached and you could get away with 1208 for that box if you wanted.
(3) A wire wheel isn’t gonna cut it for prepping the glass for gelcoat! Use 60grit grinding disk and cut some bite into the surface so your gelcoat don’t pop!

I would wet out my wood with the two coats of resin the night before layup. The following morning, lay up the “pre cut” cloth. As soon as the cloth kicks, hit it with some fairing compound and use a big flat surface like a drywall knife to put it on with. After the fairing kicks, sand with 60 grit to shape/smooth. Roll/spray your waxed gelcoat on up to 25 mils wait 5 minutes and hit it with your black webbing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you for the great post Boatbrains, just what I was looking for.

1)While doing my research on polyester, I found a few sources that said wax needed to be added to the last coat of polyester so that it would cure? Is this not true? I kind of found that weird but I've only had experience with epoxy in the past.

2)I'm not sure why, I guess I thought I needed to have two layers? I know I watched a video o making a lid and he was layering chop strand and 1708.... Today while doing some research I have found that the chop strand doesn't add strength so I guess I could leave it out?

3)My preferred method for prepping the gelcoat would be sanding with 60 grit. However the finish on the boat is far from smooth (my guess is they just gelcoated over the chop strand). So my thinking is that with an orbital sander I would only be hitting the high spots. I guess I could maybe hand sand it? I do have some stiff coarse wire wheels that I thought would work.

Fairing compound, that's something I didn't consider. I will order some, thank you for that suggestion and your explanation of the process is super valuable. I'll get some webbing as well.

I truly appreciate your post... Thank you for your time!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I'm looking around at different methods of applying the webbing. Trying to avoid spraying (although I do have a gun/compressor).

I was hoping to utilize the "hitting the brush on the hand" method. If I went that route wouldn't I be able to use just a contrasting color of gelcoat with wax and not need the "webbing solution"?
 
G

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I'm looking around at different methods of applying the webbing. Trying to avoid spraying (although I do have a gun/compressor).

I was hoping to utilize the "hitting the brush on the hand" method. If I went that route wouldn't I be able to use just a contrasting color of gelcoat with wax and not need the "webbing solution"?
Thank you for the great post Boatbrains, just what I was looking for.

1)While doing my research on polyester, I found a few sources that said wax needed to be added to the last coat of polyester so that it would cure? Is this not true? I kind of found that weird but I've only had experience with epoxy in the past.

2)I'm not sure why, I guess I thought I needed to have two layers? I know I watched a video o making a lid and he was layering chop strand and 1708.... Today while doing some research I have found that the chop strand doesn't add strength so I guess I could leave it out?

3)My preferred method for prepping the gelcoat would be sanding with 60 grit. However the finish on the boat is far from smooth (my guess is they just gelcoated over the chop strand). So my thinking is that with an orbital sander I would only be hitting the high spots. I guess I could maybe hand sand it? I do have some stiff coarse wire wheels that I thought would work.

Fairing compound, that's something I didn't consider. I will order some, thank you for that suggestion and your explanation of the process is super valuable. I'll get some webbing as well.

I truly appreciate your post... Thank you for your time!
You can use a grinder and hold it flat to knock down and prep the surface.
1708 has a layer of 3/4oz csm stitched to it already.
Most off the shelf poly is a gp resin and will have wax already. Laminating resin “all I use” has no wax. By doing the way I recommended, the only layer that needs wax added is the final coat of gelcoat amd you will have a chemical bond throughout the entire laminate. Just have to commit to the project for a day. Remember, 2coats resin on wood, glass, fairing, sand, gelcoat, gelcoat with wax, webbing 5ish minutes later.

Csm Does add strength! Just not in the manner people think of as “strength”. It adds bulk which in turn adds puncture and abrasion resistance. Neither of which are needed for your project. You could get away with a single layer of 1208 or a layer of 3/4oz and a layer of 8oz cloth give the fact you are using wood and the glass is really just a sealer. Heck, you would probably be fine with all csm on the wood!

Roll on your gelcoat then spray the webbing! You only need about a half pint of black gelcoat to do your webbing. Webbing solution can be added up to about 25%. The more solution you add, the bigger splatter it makes. Add wax to this mix also.
Warning, spraying webbing is fun and can be addictive! :D I get creative with it on my projects doing triple tone webbing jobs with different patterns! Hope this all came out coherent, not running on much sleep today!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Made some progress today
  • Removed front hatch and fishing rod "pass-throughs" preparing to sand
  • Used a grinder to remove gelcoat and expose the fiberglass and polyester resin
Next up on the decks is to sand it down but it started raining and I will not be sanding in my shop.....

So tomorrow I will tackle installing the OnTheFlyJackPlate and maybe some wet sanding/compounding the hull:)
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Progress Update

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To prep for gelcoat and glassing in the center box I sanded the entire topside with 80 grit and then went over the entire thing again with the wire wheel. With the non skid texture and contours of the boat, a good bit of the surface was untouched by the sander.
20200212_105325.jpg

My next step was to seal up the guide box with poly resin, apply fiberglass to the exterior and to inside corners on the inside of the box.
20200212_105348.jpg

This next photo you can see where I did my best fillet to create a decent look in this tight spot.
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Once the box was fiber glassed with laminating resin I finished it off with a coat of waxed poly resin and a good sanding. The fiber glassing step took me some time and the corners were challenging but I got it. Learned a few little tweaks that can make this easier along the way
since this is my first time fiber glassing in 12 years or so.
20200224_140115.jpg
Next was to use thickened poly resin to fillet the inside and outside of the box where it glasses to the boat. My plan is to only have fiberglass tabbing on the inside to try to give it as clean of look as possible with the existing non skid on the floor.
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Then it was time to prep for my first intimidating coat of gel coat..... This consisted of a final hand sand of some spots with 60 grit paper, taping a few things off, blowing/vacuuming out particles and a final acetone wipe.
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