Building the TotalBoat Sport Dory Episode 18: Adding a Layer of Carbon Fiber

Lou is back and like you, he’s anxious to progress on the worklist for his TotalBoat Sport Dory.  With the first false bottom attached, it’s time to sharpen Lou’s composite skills and tools, and apply a layer of carbon fiber to the bottom. This unique idea will add strength and durability to the bottom for times when the skiff might get pulled up onto a beach or boat ramp. Step back into Lou’s Open Door Boatshop and watch as he massages our 2:1 Epoxy into the black cloth that will enable this Dory to last well beyond others like it.

This is a big moment in our Dory build, as Lou has planned this lay up of the carbon fiber bottom since we started. The first thing to do is cut our 5.8 plain weave carbon fiber.  Lou will lay it out and cut it on a small table with a pair of very sharp scissors, being very careful to roll the carbon fiber out as he cuts it, careful not to pull it on the table as that can disturb the weave.   Once Lou has his carbon fiber cut, it’s time to mix up our TotalBoat 2:1 Epoxy and apply it to our Dory.

Lou spreads the glue with a plastic spreader until the surface is completely covered, leaving a little extra glue on as he wants it to soak up into the carbon fiber.  Then, with the carbon in place and rolled out to the length of the boat, Lou uses spreaders to get it to lay down flush and soak up the epoxy. He will add more epoxy until the cloth is sufficiently saturated and then pull the tape and re-tape below on the seam for the broadstrake.

Then Joe is going to mix up some thickened epoxy and spread that onto the second bottom layer and both garboard planks and bring them over into position on the boat.  Remaining nail holes from before, tell us exactly where to position the pieces.  The final step is to apply clamps with wooden blocks and little wedges all along the garboards, this will pull the planks down at the top and at the bottom and also pull down the second layer of bottom beneath them. Check in and see for yourself!

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