Here are the final photos before and after painting. Sorry for the fuzzy photos. I think there is something up with the light meter or auto focus on the camera. Prior to painting, the boat looked huge and ugly. After the first coat of FME went on, the boat started to look “sexy” and smaller. In the lower left photo in group 7 you can notice the buried front deck board and the raised rear deck board. The lower right photo in group 7 shows the raised rear deck board. I left it outside over night and there was heavy dew in the morning so it went back into the garage drying out for a few days before I could finish the paint.
For grassing it up I attached black ¼ inch bungee cord around the gunnel. You have to find a way to hold the bungee down about every 8 inches or you will spend all your time picking up the grass that falls out each time you go to put more in. You can build wooden hold downs or use zip tie cable mounts with an adhesive backing. Make sure you stick these to the epoxy surface and not the painted surface. You could use netting. You can even build a set of fold away doors. There are endless options all of which have been covered on this site at some prior time.
Problems Encountered During Construction
I ran into several minor issues while building this boat.
The first was not having a truly flat surface to build up the foam core of the hull on. No easy solution to that one for me.
Using polyurethane glue resulted in unexpected problems. I have used gorilla glue before and it was easy to deal with on wood. However, on foam it is the stronger material and when sanding it will remain behind and the foam will go much too easily. It is also hard to cut with a knife.
ACX plywood is made to be laid flat. It has enough crappy grain and gaps in it that you can never tell how it will bend until you bend it. Be prepared for kinks in the fair bends that you make. Building the bends to the amount of stress the plywood can take before breaking is a better plan than trying to make it fit a curve that it can’t. If you look closely at the third photo group you can see that there is about a ½ inch of the floor piece sticking out from under the side piece at the center of the bend. That is the difference between the plywood bending and the ash batten bending when the lines were drawn.
I have used WEST epoxy on two boats. I really like it and its predictability, and there is a local dealer in Anchorage that breaks down their bulk containers into gallon kits for retail sale. However, it is still costly. To save money I used RAKA epoxy on this boat. I saved about $80 on the amount of epoxy that I needed. However, I noticed that there are some major differences between the two materials. RAKA stays rubbery for a much longer time than WEST does. This lead to some schedule delays in getting the boat together. It was more than likely due to the lower ambient temperatures I am working with up here. RAKA is made in FL so they don’t have to deal with 60 degree days too often. My experience with WEST showed me that after about 4 to 6 hours I could come back and sand or continue some aspect of the project without worrying about affecting the previous work. With RAKA I was looking at 12 to 16 hours of cure time before I could come back and work on the boat. I also used WEST on this boat to build the gunnels. I only had enough RAKA to finish the buildup coats on the hull, so I used some left over WEST on the gunnels. It was the predictable 4 to 6 hour cure time and sped the construction process up by two days.
The edges of the foam that was power planed off on the under side of the hull had a tendency to “off gas” during glassing. It did it after wet out and during the next two coats of epoxy. Weather wise there were high and low pressure systems so I don’t know what was going on. Areas of the hull that had not been power planed didn’t off gas at all. My guess is it has something to do with the structure of the extruded foam. If air can get out, then water can get in. Something to keep my eye on as time goes by.
Epoxy and glass (RAKA and glass plus shipping to AK) $267
Paint (FME from Lock, Stock and Barrel plus shipping to AK [only half the paint was for this boat so it really should only be $72]) $125
Hardware and other misc. stuff $25
Plywood 4x8x1/4 ACX under layment $25
This does not include about $25 in materials left over from other projects.
So for about $500 I have a marsh boat. BTW the Sportsman’s Warehouse in AK sells 120 pound Stealth 2000’s for $899. My boat weighs 82 lbs. It is heavier than I expected, but not by much. It is much lighter than a built-to-plan KARA