Sunday, April 8, 2012

Black Pearl Project - Glassing the Coaming and Deck

So here's the week in review. In my last post, I had the coaming roughed in. The next step was to trim it down to the right height - 3/4" -  and sand it down. In the pictures below you will see the deck sanded as well.

Coaming trimmed and sanded.

From the aft - showing Bomar deck plate.

I decided to go with a full glass cockpit riser and lip using the wood as a base. I used 1/2" polystyrene foam  Home Depot as the mold.

Foam tacked in place with hot melt glue.
 To make the first layer of glass easy to fit, I went with short pieces run vertically.

Vertical glass!

 I used pigmented epoxy on the coaming.

Glass wetted out.

After the first layer of glass epoxy. Excess not trimmed.

After three layers, the excess was trimmed. A light sanding as well.

After 10 layers of glass and epoxy, I determined the whole unit was stiff enough. I feel compelled to point out that in the middle of this job there was a potentially "fatal" hiccup to the whole thing but it all worked out in the end. (Thank gawd that golden horsehoe is still firmly in place) In a nutshell I wanted to round the coaming but decided to do so AFTER I had three layers of glass down. A careful rounding using a rasp would have been more prudent but in my haste, I took a saw and proceeded to hack away - rather crudely, I must add!!. It was looking pretty grim for a while but it actually worked out very nice!!  I now have a nicely shaped, i.e., rounded, lip on my cockpit rim!!

Between the jigs and reels, the coaming took me from Sunday to Thursday to complete. With the coaming done, I did the final sanding on the deck in anticipation of glassing.

I almost had second thoughts about the Black Pearl being All-Black Pearl at this point. Seeing the deck all sanded and contrasting so nicely against the black hull, I almost decided to leave the deck "au natural". Discussions with Cheryl ensued. Cheryl loves the look of the wood and suggested that if I left the deck unpainted, at least people would know that the boat was a stripper!! I was not entirely convinced. Read on to see the verdict . . .

Cockpit coaming with foam removed.

Foredeck sanded.

Sanded deck ready for glass.

Good Friday was the day for glassing the deck. I laid the glass on the deck and the Shroud of Turin immediately sprang to mind. If I lifted the glass would the image of my boat be forever seen on it??  I waited for the lightening bolt to strike me dead!!

The Shroud of Paradise

The Shroud of Paradise - foredeck!

I made my final decision and the images below show the outcome. The Black Pearl will be just that -a full-on   black boat!!

The "Oreo" boat!!!

The All-Black Pearl!!

I've now got three coats of pigmented epoxy on and after one more will determine whether the boat is ready for sanding.

Thanks for dropping by,



  1. Nice stuff! I have a "sea pearl" being shipped in in aprilish. Be nice to compare.

  2. Awesome work Sean, boat is looking great! how long did you stare it, before painting it black??

  3. Thanks Guys!!

    Lee: I'd not heard of the SeaPearl until now. Should be interesting. What prompted you to go with it?

    Robert: Not long. The intent was always to go all-black. It was only a momentary lapse when I thought of leaving the deck unpainted.

  4. It was shiny Sean!

    In all seriousness I just wanted a greenlandish fiberglass option to add to the fleet...and I just can't find time to build right now!

  5. Shiny is always good!!! Isn't the Ellesmere recognized as being Greenland-inspired, though?

  6. Yah I'm back to paddling the ellesmere again now. However the cockpit is way too big for my liking. I want to get a good tight greenland boat to hopefully spend the summer during non paddling days at the pond near my house just rolling.