Fiberglassing a foam hull

I’m new to the hobby. I have a Victoria which was a kit but I would now like to get into scratch-building. I figure that with any decent set of plans I could build a hull out of foam and fiberglass it for just about any boat I desire. My questions are:

What epoxy and netting is used most for this application? Where can I find it in the USA?

Also, if the boat I am building has a wooden hull can I plank over a fiberglass hull?

Thanks, Don


I recommend using WEST System epoxy. (my personal choice - there are other brands) - don’t use the inexpensive stuff from home centers - it stays too pliable and “rubbery”.

If you leave the foam inside (hull will obviously be heavier than removing it) you can get away with a single layer of glass cloth - not much heavier than 3-4 oz. All you are doing is preventing dents. If you plan on removing the foam after cloth is laid up, then perhaps two layers of glass cloth.

You can make the cloth easily removeable by covering the foam with a layer of plastic packaging tape. The cloth, after epoxy cures, will be able to be “popped off” the foam (plug). Make sure there are no voids in the tape. Epoxy is a glue as well as a resin for fiberglass cloth.

As for plans - visit the AMYA web site and go to US1 Meter Class page. Download the PDF document on construction hints. It will give all the info you need to know to build in wood strip, glass, etc. - plus rigging, electronics, sail, etc.

Please consider joining AMYA for $25/year, as it is a welcome payback for all the free info you can get from their site. Besides, the quarterly magazine features a different class each publication, and you may find an interesting class beyond your own designs.

Don’t use polyester resin - it will “melt” the foam as you lay up the cloth. Also, if you decide to remove foam after covering with glass cloth, you can use acetone, laquer thinner, etc. to “melt” the foam. Just dispose of carefully, and stay away from open flame. The liquids are very easily ignited… do this outside ! NOT inside near a water heater or furnace.

Not sure why you would want to plank [over] a glass hull - usually glass is on outside, but I suppose you could always use CA glue to add very thin veneer (or balsa) to glass, then put a layer of 1/2 oz. glass over the balsa/veneer. Please take the time to read the US1Meter construction hints before proceeding… they are most helpful.

It’s quite a long thread and for a big 10R as well, but there’s a lot of useful stuff: