How much fairing filler on small boats?

Boats up to 15' for oars, power or sail. Please include the boat type in your question.
warmwaterbarrels
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How much fairing filler on small boats?

Post by warmwaterbarrels » Mon Mar 13, 2017 5:13 am

Hi all, I finally got to get plans to build a GV10! I will be making it hard for myself though, I plan to build it on one of the outer islands in Fiji where I can use a friends shed, but won't be able to get any more supplies without a 2 days sail each way. So I need to have it all sorted before I go there.

Does anyone remember how much they used or have an idea how much micro balloons would be needed for fairing a boat around 10ft?
How much extra epoxy is this likely to use? The plans didn't really go into the fairing side of things, but from looking at a few of the build threads, it seems this could be at least half of the work!
I am planning to put glass over the whole thing as this will be for a tender and will get plenty of hard use, I read that 1 layer of glass is recommended and 2 is not really adding any more advantages, is this generally regarded as being correct?

I know over the next little while I will have plenty more questions as I try to plan everything I will need to order and scrounge together...
Thanks
Slade



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Re: How much fairing filler on small boats?

Post by terrulian » Mon Mar 13, 2017 8:37 am

Welcome, Slade.
The higher-ups here will provide better answers on quantity than I could but some things that are easy to underestimate are here with my crude guesses:
masking tape (5 large rolls 2"), plastic sheeting, chip brushes (50), paint rollers (I used 4" foam but your choice, 50), mixing sticks (I used tongue depressors and they were also one of my go-to fairing/filleting tools, I'd say 150 but they're cheap, why not 200), mixing pots (I used medicine cups, at least 100), spreaders (1 wide, 10 about 3-4"), gloves (2-3 boxes), acetone or lacquer thinner (1/2 gallon), alcohol or some folks use vinegar (1/2 gallon), some sponges to clean the hull with water, a couple of bags of rags, and sandpaper (best to buy this in bulk...I have quite a bit left over and it still cost me less than buying it sheet by sheet). Others may disagree, but I don't think those numbers are overkill.

What Island are you on? I sailed around Fiji in 2001 but we were only at Malolo Lailai, Savu Savu, Nadi, and Suva. I'd like to look it up. I have fond memories.
Tony
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Re: How much fairing filler on small boats?

Post by warmwaterbarrels » Mon Mar 13, 2017 9:18 pm

Hi Tony thanks for the reply, I am in Suva at the moment, but will be heading back to Nadi area in a few weeks to meet up with some family, then my family (wife and 2 kids) will fly back to Australia while I surf and fish for 3 weeks. When they get back its a visa run to Wallis or Futuna Is. for me and then provision for the Southern Lau group where I plan to build the dinghy on Falaga where we have been before and there is 2 relatively empty sheds right near the anchorage. By this time it will be end of June early July. I just have to hope I can get all the stuff here, most of it I will get shipped in as it is cheaper and better stuff. If all fails and I can't get enough of the important stuff shipped for reasonable rates I might just have to wait another year and build it when we get the boat back to Australia. (I am too impatient though if I think I can do it here!)

When it comes to choice between 4" foam rollers and say either microfibre or mohair (for epoxy coating and rolling out epoxy and glass) is there much difference/pros and cons between them all or is it more personal choice?
Cheers
Slade

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Re: How much fairing filler on small boats?

Post by terrulian » Mon Mar 13, 2017 10:04 pm

I tried a bunch of different things including a couple of expensive ones and settled on cheap foam ones from Orchard Supply. Thing is, you can't re-use them so you don't want anything pricey. But more importantly, whatever brand I found here may be unavailable. The only problem you'll have is if they shed so try one at a time and see if it works. I used them for epoxy, primer, and paint.
Tony
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Re: How much fairing filler on small boats?

Post by seaslug » Mon Mar 13, 2017 11:05 pm

With my builds of the FS18 and the FS11 LS I used less than half what Terrulian listed, and they are both larger boats. As far as mixing cups, I don't buy any, I use any straight sided container, such as soup cans etc. and mark a mixing stick with a tape measure if mixing by volume. If mixing by weight, just use a cheap scale that reads in ounces. Depends on which epoxy you're using.....I find the foam rollers to be useless for rolling out fiberglass cloth, and use them mostly for applying primer and paint. For glass work I use a 4" fuzzy roller with a 1/4" nap. the diameter of the roller is only about 1/2"-3/4", perfect for pushing the cloth into the corners and fillets, and as long as you keep working and mixing new resin they can be used all day and never fall apart. If you apply pressure with the foam rollers to push resin and cloth around they just come apart. I try to always work wet on wet, and doubt that I used more than a dozen of these rollers on each build. I probably used 2 dozen foam rollers for the priming and painting. Good idea to have 100 pair of nitrile gloves and a couple dozen throw away brushes. For taping off while painting I use both 'Edge Lock' blue masking tape and the yellow 'Frog' tape in 3/4"-1" wide. They both leave a clean sharp edge, and the narrow tape is easier to work around curves. Mike

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Re: How much fairing filler on small boats?

Post by warmwaterbarrels » Tue Mar 14, 2017 4:54 am

Hi guys, thanks for the replies, its always good to get some varied opinions. Although this will be my first build, I have had a bit of experience with epoxying osmosis every time the boat comes out of the water, so have come past the initial shock stage of how many extras there are to be thrown away covered in resin and paint! trying to get the most out of each brush before it becomes unusable... I haven't used the foam/hair rollers before although it would have been a lot easier last time when I was trying to repair some of the larger sections under the hull, frantically trying to wet out cloth with a paintbrush before the resin goes off...
Does anyone remember roughly how much fairing filler they used, even on different sized builds? I think in the USA it is generally sold by weight and around here sizes seem to be by volume - even the same brands... for some reason...
Slade

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Re: How much fairing filler on small boats?

Post by Jaysen » Tue Mar 14, 2017 7:50 am

That question is a bit like asking "how much ketchup do you use on french fries?" It depends on so many factors, one of which is the personal preference for finish, the there isn't a hard rule. One of the huge complications to fairing is how well you lay the glass. A pro will have very little fairing compared to a noob. That said, as a new builder, I'm already double all the planned usage of epoxy (full glass coverage on v12 bottom), on my 3 set of wood flour and into my second back of fairing mix and I haven't even started the final fairing yet.

This isn't because I'm looking for a perfect finish, but because I'm learning as I go. That or I'm incompetent as a boat builder. It's a 50/50 bet right now.

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Re: How much fairing filler on small boats?

Post by terrulian » Tue Mar 14, 2017 11:16 am

Slade,
Yes, good to different answers. There you go.

To clarify, I never used the rollers for rolling epoxy on to glass. Like Seaslug said, this creates a mess. But unlike him, I was a new builder and wanted to get a pretty good finish. I put three coats of primer on the inside and the outside, maybe more with sanding, so that by itself is six rollers. Then another 5-6 for varnish and about 8 for paint, both inside and out. You can't paint both at the same time so you have to change rollers. So we're already over two dozen and I haven't counted rolling out coats of resin both inside and out. You can't reuse them. Unlike him, I had no problem with the rollers falling apart although others have reported it. I think it's down to the brand.

I like his mixing routine, but this is the way I've always done it and medicine cups and mixing sticks are very cheap--although not as cheap as his method.

I was being pretty conservative, based on the fact that you will not have an opportunity to re-supply from the Lau group and it will be very frustrating to get stuck for materials. Most of the things I've listed are at the least expensive end of the spectrum in regard to your boat. The wood and epoxy will cost the most. So it won't break the bank to be on the cautious side.

Jacques will be the best to give you quantities of epoxy and fillers. For each boat they give a recommended amount of epoxy. These are just slightly on the conservative side. Jacques correctly points out that if he recommended the quantities that would be used by someone doing more glass than specified, then the more experienced and/or minimalist builders would complain they'd been sold too much. For my V10 3 gallons is recommended (as it is for your boat), and I could have gotten away with that even with the extra glass had I not made a mistake. But it's not that unusual to make a mistake. 1 lb. of wood flour was more than enough. For the most part I mixed my own fillers, using four ingredients--wood flour, microballoons, colloidal silica, and milled glass. I think I used one Tap Plastics container of the last three and had some left over. Since everyone raved about it, I also bought a 1.5 qt. Quick Fair kit, which was plenty since I used the other fillers also. But these are just my amounts and as I said, 1/2 of this ended up on the shop floor after sanding.

Isn't the Lau group off limits for us foreigners? I heard I'd have to pay for a $1000 permit to go there.
Tony
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Re: How much fairing filler on small boats?

Post by warmwaterbarrels » Tue Mar 14, 2017 5:33 pm

Hi guys, Yes the Lau did require a permit until about 3 - 5 years ago, we paid a $50 FJD anchoring fee (for as long as you stay) in Falaga, some places it's free (most) and we did hear of another island asking for a fee of around $200. Falaga has probably been our favourite place in Fiji as a family (even though it didn't really have any surf!)

Yes I know it's one of those questions where people roll their eyes because there are so many variables, but I need to start somewhere. When looking through build threads, I haven't seen much in the way of people mentioning how they used, only that they had run out of things etc. I am assuming for the initial building stages I will be fine to use the bill of materials from the plans, then add cloth (relatively easy), use resin calculator on site to work out extra resin needed for the cloth, I am hoping that about 2 pounds of fairing filler with extra epoxy again will be enough to do the outside at least.

Tony, what mistake did you make, where you needed to get more epoxy? My last annoying one was when a rain squall came over about 20mins after I layed a sheet of cloth about 1m square over an area which has some delamination. The next morning I had to grind it off again! I even saw it coming but (in Vuda marina) there had been clouds like that all day coming through with nothing and I wanted to get as much glass on a s I could that day!

Slade

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Re: How much fairing filler on small boats?

Post by terrulian » Tue Mar 14, 2017 8:49 pm

It would be disingenuous to leave you with the impression that I made "one" mistake. But the one that caused a re-order of epoxy was a doozy. I had a fairly full 1/2 gallon jug of resin and was pouring the hardener for it in a mixing cup, but I poured too much. I went to pour it back into the hardener jug but...it wasn't the hardener jug, it was the resin. 8O I cogitated on it and thought, well, it is going to kick right there in a blob if I don't touch it so I waited a few hours and then fished out the blob. This is what I dug out:
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I asked Jacques about whether, since the epoxy only kicked in a small area, the rest of the resin could still be used. He advised against it so I ordered more. But I kept the epoxy anyway, and even though I didn't want to risk it on the boat, I've used it since with no problem.

Do you feel smarter now?
Tony
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