I will be replacing the entire plywood interior and deck of a 38 foot
fiberglass sloop starting this summer. I plan to use coosa composite panels
epoxied to the fiberglass hull. I am planning a few minor changes, I may
extend the cockpit aft to the transom and I would like to install pipe
berths. This sailboat will be used mostly offshore, 15 years of Newport to
Bermuda races, then I plan on a solo circumnavigation. I know that most of
you are shaking your heads ruefully thinking "another future failure" and I
have to acknowledge that that is a possibility. Let me give you my resume.
As a teenager, I built an 8 foot hydroplane. In my twenties I built a SCCA
race car and my house. In my thirties and forties I built a couple of
businesses and a small airplane. During the last 5 years I doubled the size
of my house. Also, my father built this boat during the 1980's.
I have a million questions for you all let me start with these:
Should I have an intimate fit between the bulkheads and hull or would a gap
for epoxy be preferable? Or maybe the center of the panel should in contact
with a wedge shaped space fore and aft of the joint for epoxy.
The deck was bolted down with bedding compound. Why can't this be a epoxied
joint? Or even West's G-flex?
I have never done vacuum bagging. Looks complicated, should I find someone
to help me with it the first time? Any recommendations for help in the
Also, I use a refrigerator type vacuum pump in my business. Would this be
I have some old kevlar sails around, can I cut strips of them and use these
for the tabbing?
Thanks in advance