Wooden Duck Boat
The most time-consuming part of a boat, at least in terms of having a block of time to work on it, is putting the cloth and epoxy on the bottom of the boat. The combination of the cloth and epoxy reinforces and stiffens the bottom. It’s good to have 12 hours or so to dedicate to this as you have to keep building up the layers of epoxy and it works best if those layers don’t dry in between applications. If they do dry you have to sand it down before you add the next layer. Sanding would double the time needed for this project not to mention it’s almost impossible to sand it down and not destroy the cloth fibers.
To apply the cloth, you first prepare the bottom and make sure the flat surfaces and the edges are sanded down. You then apply epoxy and get the area you will lay the cloth on wet. This helps the cloth to stay in place and makes it easier to saturate the cloth with epoxy later. Once the cloth is laid you then apply more epoxy. This first go takes a lot of epoxy to completely saturate the cloth. You have to get the epoxy into every fiber of the cloth. Its best to pour the epoxy out on top of the cloth and uses a squeegee of some kind to spread the epoxy evenly. Its work getting the glue into every fiber of the cloth. Once that is done and the cloth is smoothed over the edges and corners you let the epoxy set up a bit. After it is set up you apply more epoxy. I also took this time to add more cloth in the corners to reinforce those areas and also make the cloth lay a little more cleanly. The best finishing piece seems to be a small round piece of cloth. After these are applied it takes about 3 to 4 more layers of epoxy to get it so that you can’t see any texture from the cloth fibers. After the last layer was applied I also put down a keel to make it little easier to track in the water as you paddle. Once all that’s dry you cut the extra parts off the keel stick and then begin to sand, and sand, and sand. Solid epoxy with no wood flour added to it is extremely hard and takes forever to sand even with a very aggressive grit.
Once the bottom is done I flipped it over and added two boards to the top of the walls. This will reinforce that thin edge and hopefully will also help as a place to connect the cover to the boat. I also worked on adding boards to the yoke and ends that I’ll allow me to connect the doors for the cover. With those pieces added I think that’s it for gluing. I might need to fill cracks here and there but from here on out its just sanding and painting. I will add handles after its painted but that will be simple. Also with these last pieces added it will allow me to add the brackets for the doors and help me measure for the cover.