Flats Stalker 18

13. Fairing Slurry

Bill of Materials
1. The Strongback
2. The Pencil
3. Wood Butchering
4. Transom
5. Joining Panels
6. Round Chine Option
7. Jig Assembly
8. Stitching it all together
9. Tabbing & Filleting
10. Fiberglassing the Seams
11. Glassing the Hull Bottom
12. Fiberglassing the Sides
13. Fairing Slurry
14. Fairing - A Strategy
15. Fairing the Outside (Cont'd)
16. Skeg
17: Rubrails
18. Primer
19. Hull Flip
20. Inside Taping
21. Inside Cloth
22. Stringers & Knees
23. Installing Frames
24. Sole
25. Rod Holders
Photo Album
Contact Me

Fairing Slurry(~3 hrs - one person)

Now that the entire outside of the hull had all the fiberglass applied, it was time to start the fairing process. Fairing is probably the most hated, but the most rewarding step. This is where the hull really takes on a new look. Also, this is where the boat will either take on a "work boat" or "production" boat finish. The attention to detail when fairing the hull has a direct result on the final appearance of the boat. This is also the step where I have the least amount of talent -I suck at fairing! If anyone as experience doing car body work or boat repairs, be sure to invite them over to show you how to do this. If they are any good, they will save you countless hours and you'll have a factory smooth hull as a result. Unfortunately I don't know anyone with experience in this area so all of my knowledge is from what I've read about and tried on a couple of other projects.

I began by trying to copy the fairing technique of Joel Shine at Bateau2.com. He recently built a "Fast Skiff 12" design and documented the process and took lots of pictures. You can read and see Joel's account on buildinng this skiff here: Fast Skiff 12 and the photo gallery here: FS12 Photos .

I removed the peel ply off the hull sides and did some quick and dirty orbital sanding to knock down the large threads used to stitch the fiberglass cloth. These really stand high off of the glass surface and removing them now will help with the fairing process and reduce the amount of fairing compund I have to apply. After sanding I vacuumed the entrie hull with a shop vac.

I began the fairing by adding a "slurry" mix of epoxy, phenolic microballoons, and silica. The slurry consistency (close to ketchup) was runny enough to fill the weave of the cloth and allow air to escape from the small voids with the intent of reducing pinholes left after sanding. This worked well on the horizontal hull bottom, but the slurry sagged quite a bit on the vertical sides. If I had to do this again I would have mixed a thicker consistency to apply to the side panels. Anyway, the intention of this coat is simply to fill the cloth weave and to apply some compund to the obvious low spots along the taped seams and other areas where there was a transition from several layers of fiberglass down to a single layer. I applied the slurry using a 6" wide spreader out of shallow, plastic tubs. Here's some shots after I removed the peel ply and added the fairing compund.

I did the whole boat with the first "fill coat". Next step sanding!!!