I am working on my second wooden skiff and would love some input from those of you who have more experience in these matters.
This flat-bottom skiff was built locally (Coden, AL) by a reputable builder, Floyd Bosarge of Bosarge Boatworks, before he passed away - rest his soul.
It was used by a couple of 'pirate' gill-netting brothers until one of them was locked up by the Dept of Conservation. The other brother sold it to me ($400) to get him out of jail. It was not well taken care of, and I bought it just as they had been using it - dried out, full of mullet scales, with all the rigging for their nets attached, and the transom chainsawed to accomodate the 25hrs outboard they'd been using, etc...
I launched her once before beginning my newly found project, just cause... I used a 25 hrs motor, a camp chair, and a buddy. She planed out fine, we had a good trip, and she seemed really sturdy. There was minimal water intrusion and it didn't come in via any seams, rather THROUGH the plywood, cause it was so dry and cracked and the paint worn off I suppose???
It's all plywood construction (all 3/4") never glassed.
On the test drive, The port side floor near the stern seemed to flex more than I would like: Should glass strengthen this significantly or should I try more structural reinforcement before glassing? Will the flexing adversely affect the glass if allowed to continue after she's done? I would hate for it to work the bond loose...
The bottom (from the splash rail down) had been painted 3 times over the course of her life and the rest of the boat (including the interior) had been coated with Netdip, a product the commercial guys use to preserve their nets. I know little of this product but it was a bear to sand off and seems to have significantly penetrated the surface of the wood.
So far I have pressure washed her; scraped/sanded inside and out; flipped; cut out and replaced the top half of the transom and the 12x12 that spanned the stern; taped the chines; added a couple of 2x2's to the bottom (where I will attach my Center Console); and last night my wife and I coated the entire bottom with epoxy/high-density filler to seal the wood and fill any screw holes, gashes, nicks, and cracks. Up 'til now I've been using West System products that I had on hand from a previous project. A while back I ordered (from Bateau) enough cloth and Marine Epoxy to glass the entire bottom (from the splash rail down).
Question: Will there be an issue laying the Marine Epoxy over the West System product?
My goal is to cut down the foremost bulkhead and convert it into a 12-14" bench and build a Center Console just aft of the bench. I plan on powering it with an old 40 hrs Mercury for which I have controls, etc...
My initial thought was to tape the keel and chines, then do the 'wide open spaces' on the bottom and between the chines and splash rail. I feel like I need more hands for cloth that size. Is it advisable to cut it down into smaller, more manageable segments or do you sacrifice too much strength, at the same time creating overlaps, etc...???
Many Thanks to any suggestions!
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