Glass floating ?

Submitted byRonPW onSun, 03/24/2019 - 17:22

I just did the wet out phase,, I must have had too much epoxy. I did a sealer coat, It is now just tacky to the touch but I can feel a lot of areas were it feels like the glass mat is raised up, almost like it is a crease. It doesn't feel like there is air under the mat, it just won"t push down, feels solid. How do I proceed? Do I put on the next coat to fill the weave? or do I have to sand it all off?

Very Bummed


Mon, 03/25/2019 - 01:27

It's quite easy to have the glass float up on areas where there's excess epoxy.

Aside from the unnecessary weight, the main problem is that you will have 'lumps' where the glass is sitting on top of epoxy.

You were using glass cloth or mat?

Which method/instructions were you following when you did your glass application?


Mon, 03/25/2019 - 08:11

Sorry to hear about your dilemma. Redfish kayaks was the first to publish the need to squeege the epoxy when you wet it out years ago, recognizing the floating epoxy problem that can occur. You have to make a decision about how un-flat the glass is. If its really bothering you, you can rip it off and re-glass. or just live with it and continue on. If you do pull it off, re-sand smooth and squeege your glass once its wet out which gives it close contact with the surface under it. You might find videos showing that. There's a little art in squeeging it smooth and flat and not starving the glass.


Mon, 03/25/2019 - 18:43

Jay said:

 Redfish kayaks was the first to publish the need to squeege the epoxy when you wet it out years ago, recognizing the floating epoxy problem that can occur.

This may be correct; I don't know when Redfish (Joe Greenley) first published this information. Redfish kayaks was established in 1992.

I don't see any information about building techniques at the Redfish website ("Kayak plans include full size station templates and instructions that are clear and concise"). Has Redfish actually 'published' building instructions? (in book form or on the web)?

A bit of history from ancient times:

Ted Moores published Canoecraft in 1983, and he clearly explained the need to 'squeegee' excess epoxy from the cloth in that book. 

David Hazen may have mentioned something similar in his 1972 book 'The Strippers Guide to Canoe Building'; my copy has gone astray. Hazen used polyester resin.

The Gougeon Brothers (WEST epoxy) credit Ted Moores with perfecting the method for glassing for a transparent finish in their Boatbuilding Manual.

Nick Schade published 'The Strip-Built Sea Kayak' in 1997 and in it, he has a topic on 'Removing Excess Resin' using a method similar to Moores' (but without the frozen juice can with the 'V' slot for cleaning the squeegee).

Moores published Kayakcraft in 1999, and the technique section on glassing is very similar to the method in Canoecraft.

Thanks for the help

I am using cloth, I did a sealer coat but was so worried of poor wet-out that I really laid on that first filler coat too heavy, I tried to squeegee but I also didn't want to start taking the excess off too early, again thinking I might affect the wetting process. Hence the coat was starting to set up, it was becoming a little stiff and I think I was moving the cloth around creating it to bunch a little (didn't see it till almost set up) Its a prospector canoe and was doing the epoxy by myself. Found it very difficult to work both sides and then work my way down and then come back & start squeeging. Should have used a setup like Ted Moore's (orange juice can with a notch)  so my squeegee was a mess and transferring to the boat.

Oh well, live & learn.



Mon, 03/25/2019 - 22:39

It's not easy working on your own, glassing for the first time.

So don't feel bad - I think most of us have had similar problems.

Having a helper to mix epoxy for you helps.

As you get more familiar with the epoxy type you are using you'll have a better idea of how much time you have to work.

And you'll develop the 'right touch' with experience.

If worse comes to worse, you can always paint the hull!


One of the sharpest-looking canoes I ever saw was a Ted Moores boat with gloss black or dark green hull with just one wood strip revealed, a few inches below the gunwale.

I guess the inside is next?

When I'm glassing the inside of a hull, I use clothespins or spring clamps to hold the fabric to the upper edge of the hull, to prevent it from sagging into the hull and causing wrinkles. You don't have gravity helping when doing the inside. Make sure the cloth is perfectly draped (use a dry paint brush to smooth the cloth in place) before you start adding epoxy. If you have the Canoecraft book, follow along and you'll be OK. I built  a few canoes from that book in the 80s.

I am thinking that maybe you had two things that contributed to the problem, cold epoxy and bad lighting.  Warm epoxy wets out much easier and faster and you are much less likely to get extra epoxy on or under the glass.  With good lighting you see the issues as you are putting it on so you can correct it then.  Another possibility is you made a large batch of epoxy and it started to cure when you will still putting it on.  I will also disagree with the squeege comments.  I think a squeege is much more likely to make piles of excess epoxy under the glass.  I most often use a roller and tip it off with a foam brush.  I get less air in the epoxy, I move the glass around less, and I get more control over the thickness of the coat.  I use a squeege sometimes also but prefer rollers if I have them.  My opinion is that squeege is not  better but it is less expensive than buying those little rollers.


You're right it was Ted Moores in his book Canoecraft which came out before Kayakcraft. Its interesting the different methods by masterful craftsmen (or persons), He applies epoxy with a brush. Using a squeegee,  flattening out the glass helped me since i once ran into the floating glass thing before some of this info was out there.