Paul Gartside 18' Racing Gaff Cutter • Cabinversion designed by Dominik Gschwind


Week 6 - Fairing / Sheating

It took us 9 days to plank the whole hull with cedarstrips. To give the running off strips along the sheer a good support we noggled in a strong enough batten into the mouldes in which we could skrev the ends of the strips (see screws with washers on photo).

One night after the last strip beeing glued we started preparing the hull for sheating with epoxy and glass. This part involved all kind of trimming and fairing. First we planed the hog flat where later on the keelparts will be fitted. Then we took the gluerests off the whole hullsurface mainly with the smoother plane.

At the transom the strips could be sawn with the jigsaw and then planed flat.
Now when all sides where trimmed the hullsurface had to become fair before sheating. The process to do so is called scuffing off.
It's all done with different planes which are moved with diagonal strokes over the strips.
The convex part of the hull  was treated with a Nr. 4 smoothing plane and the concave areas at the skeg and bow were scuffed off with a spokeshave.
It is a great pleasure to feel the smooth and fair shape of Glóey's hull... she is really curvy and I am very pleased with the result of the planking.

Now let's go to the next step... sheating.
We use 2 layers of biaxial glass cloth of 300 g/m2 on the outside of the hull. Each layers has to overlap the former layer by about 3". The clothpanels ar layed loose atwartships and the for and aft position of each is marked on top to remember when laminating.

It is really worth to prepare the sheating very prudent specially when temperatures are high like now and the potlife of the mixed epoxy is limited.
All clothpanels are ready and stored on the table.

We were a team of 10 guys for that work meaning that there were 2 persons who permanently mixed epoxy, 2 who were closing all holes and gaps with filler and 4-6 guys who did the laminationwork with rollers.
At the stem it was necessary to cut the glass and fashion overlapping to either side.

After a cup of tea it took another 1.5 hours to apply a rel. thick coat of epoxy mixed with sanding bubbles. This white material is layed up wet in wet which gives a very good primary bond (chemical bond). And it is softer to sand than pure epoxy.

All together it took us a whole afternoon to do the sheating (without cutting the cloth) and it ended with a white hull... somehow looking a little bit like a plastic boat but the decorativ pattern of the nice western red cedar strips will be varnished bright inside the cabin later which will give a warm wooden atmosphere...