The laminate coat went something like this:
First I glassed the bottom of the platform with 38" wide 6 oz E glass. There is also a strip of 3" wide 8 oz fiberglass tape hidden in the radius between the platform and pontoons for re-inforcement. This was the first time I ever laid down any glass and it was a learning experience. It turned out that I shouldn't have tried to laminate up the sides of the pontoons at the same time as the platform. The section where the platform curves into the pontoons is really really hard to get the glass to lay down tight, particularly if you are pulling on it from two directions. A better option would have been to trim the glass to stop partway up the radius between the platform and pontoons and then overlap that with the laminate on the pontoons. Nevertheless it came out OK. Just OK, but I am cool with just OK if it doesn't fall apart the first time it gets within 10 feet of water.
I am adding white pigment to the epoxy so that the final board doesn't heat up and de-laminate in the sun. OK, maybe appearances does count a little, because it is also so that I am not floating around my local carp lake on a pink boat. I got street cred to maintain after all.
The next step was to laminate the bottom of the pontoons with a layer of 4oz under a layer of 6oz. The learning continued. The middle of the pontoons was hard enough since I was not glassing a flat horizontal surface. Trying to glass the middle of the pontoons at the same time as the complex curves at either end was just silly. I ended up using at least twice as much epoxy as I should have needed and also had to cut out quite a bit of jacked up glass out of both tips.
After I cut out the bad glass I had to find some way to smooth things out if I was going to be able to cover the mistake with another layer of glass. After some research I used some DAP spackling to fill. I had some laying around that is pink until it dries, then it turns white. It is easy to shape and sand, but unfortunately it is not water-proof like the rest of the extruded polystyrene foam I am using so I am going to have to make extre sure that these sections are fully sealed.
After filling and re-shaping I added a new layer of glass over the aft tips in two overlapping halves. That made it ALLOT easier to get the glass to flex to fit the rounded shape and it came out awesome. I wish I would have known what I know now the first time - it would have saved allot of work!
The repairs on the forward tip were similar in nature in that it involved several smaller overlapping pieces of fiberglass.
After that it was time to glass the top. I started by sanding down all the "laps" (short for overlap I suspect) which is the edges of the existing layers of fiberglass. The fiberglass on the top section is going to overlap these edges and you have to feather them out so that the new glass lays down smoothly over them.
While sanding I decided that I needed to clean up the front and back of the platform. When I glassed the bottom I did a pretty crummy job dealing with the curved nature of these "rails" and I wasn't going to be able to get the glass on the top to over-wrap it cleanly without some filler. A little more DAP spackling and it was good to go.
For the top laminate coat I started with one layer of 6oz on the front and back of the pontoons.
By this time I was getting much much much better at this. The top of the pontoons came out pretty good. Which is too say I didn't botch anything, didn't use twice as much epoxy as I needed and managed to lay down glass on the more complex curves at the tips without any major catastrophes.
Next I laminated the top of the platform with a layer of 6oz glass over a layer of 4oz. This was my best showing of the whole laminate coat. It came out as close to perfect as a first time glasser can expect. At least I hope it did. For all I know the whole damn thing is going to blow up the first time I stand on it. Nah - just kidding. I am pretty damn sure it is going to work and work well.
Next I will:
- Add a couple of 3" fiberglass tape re-inforcements.
- Sand all the laps flat and sand out a couple of the more blatant blemishes.
- Clean up some small bubbles in the laminate I missed the first time.
- Add a thin fill coat of epoxy.
- Figure out what the heck I am going to do about a deck traction pad.
- Figure out what the heck I am going to do about a paddle, push pole, car rack etc. etc. etc.
- Figure out what (if anything) I am going to do to add a logo.
- Hit the water.