Deck fiberglassed.

Fiberglassing the deck was more challenging for me than fiberglassing the outside of the hull was, and getting the cloth to lay down smoothly on the hull just past the shear seam required a lot of careful attention to detail and a bit of swearing. It came out fine, but it was an hour of focused intensity which I am happy that I don’t have to repeat anytime soon. I found this to be every bit as challenging as getting the fiberglass to lay down inside the hull. I can’t help but wonder if everyone has a bit of a struggle with this or if it’s just me! Oh well. It’s done, and I can move on to the fill coats and sanding. Then the cockpit coaming.

Fiberglass cloth smoothed over the deck.
I cut the fiberglass cloth from out of the cockpit opening before saturating with epoxy because I had some trouble when I left it whole (as per the construction manual) when fiberglassing the underside of the deck. The weight of the cloth in the cockpit opening wanted to pull the epoxy-saturated cloth away from the lip of the cockpit. My hope was that by cutting the cloth out of the cockpit opening before saturating it, I would avoid problems this time. It worked out very well.
Fiberglass cloth laminated to the deck with epoxy.
Excess fiberglass trimmed approximately 1″ below the shear seam. I did this approximately four hours after saturating the cloth. The saturated fiberglass cloth was lightly cut with a sharp utility knife, just above the masking tape. The tape was lifted as I was cutting the cloth and the excess fiberglass came up with the tape. I must have waited just the right amount of time because the fiberglass cut cleanly without lifting off of the hull, and without leaving so much as a scratch in the epoxy and fiberglass on the hull under the overlap. Next steps sanding and fill coats. I’ll trim the cockpit later this evening.
In this photo you can see how far the deck fiberglass comes down over the shear seam onto the hull. The entire outside of the kayak (and inside of the hull, and most of the inside of the deck) is now completely encased in fiberglass cloth and epoxy. Watertight. Strong. Light. Magnificent!

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