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Jessy 15’ build log - Philadelphia, PA

Justin C

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Looking good. Pre-coating the parts is the way to go. I try to think about if the surface is going to be painted or not. 


If i'm not going to paint it like say in a locker then I coat with 1 coat and then sand the whole thing and then install it. This way when I come back and do my final 2nd and 3rd coats (hot coating) on that surface after all the glass taping is done it is nice and glossy smooth. I prefer to do it this way so that I get a continuous final coat after the glass taping is done. 


If I am going to paint it, then I coat it with 3 coats (hot coating) and then sand it before installing it. Then after glass taping is done these surfaces are ready for primer. 


If you sand the plywood with 150 grit first and vacuum it clean then it cuts down on the rough grain after the first coat which makes it easier to sand layer. Easier to sand plywood than epoxy. 


I don't think you will have any issues bending the center frame into place. The epoxy layer is pretty thin and i've never seen it crack in the way you're thinking. 

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2 hours ago, Alan Stewart said:

If you sand the plywood with 150 grit first and vacuum it clean then it cuts down on the rough grain after the first coat which makes it easier to sand layer. Easier to sand plywood than epoxy. 


I don't think you will have any issues bending the center frame into place. The epoxy layer is pretty thin and i've never seen it crack in the way you're thinking. 

All great info but above, in particular. I should have known it would be easier to sand ply than epoxy by now. All the sections I mentioned will be 3 coats of epoxy before paint. I’ll rough up the perimeters where I will apply the glass tape before install. 

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The bulkheads, longitudinals, seat tops and fore deck have received 3 coats of epoxy.  I applied the first coat, then sanded.  As Alan mentioned, sanding with 150 first would have been smarter, but, I'm learning.  I mixed up about 2 cups worth of epoxy and poured it into a disposable paint tray.  I was fortunate when I purchased them I left 3 nested in place that I would later realized would be smart.  I used a 1/8" nap foam roller and got an even coat applied in no time.  I remembered a heat gun I had would come in hand to knock down the air bubbled the foam roller incorporated into the epoxy coat.  4-5 hours later, when the epoxy was still tacky, I applied another coat.  All the pieces got flipped, then the same process took place for the other side. I realized why leaving 3 disposable paint trays nested in place would prove to be smart - I left the used roller in the tray to dry up a bit before I removed it.  I waited a bit too long and since the trays are made with very thin plastic, I cracked and removed some of the tray when trying to remove the roller with partially cured epoxy. The two trays underneath it are the backups - lesson learned. 



I preparation for installing the fore deck, I also removed a section of fillet from the top inside of the stem to allow the fore deck to fit. 


I have also decided on topside paint: AWL GRIP 2 part epoxy primer and AWLCRAFT 2000 topcoat.  I plan on testing this out in the forward compartments and also under the seat tops, where the insulation will go.  These areas will not be seen and it will allow me to become comfortable using the paint/primer/reducer. 


Next step is to install the center frame bulkhead and the longitudinals bulkheads, sand down the areas that will be filleted then get the fiberglass tape into place. 

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545 is really easy to paint on and has a hot recoat window long enough for most to do several coats without sanding.  But make sure you sand it immediately after you are done applying it.  It gets really hard in a few days.  I sprayed the outside of my Spindrift with Awlgrip, great stuff when it can be done safely.  No way I would stick my head into a Spindrift to paint unless I had supplied air.  I used a one part poly inside and non-skid on the sole/in the bilge.

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8 minutes ago, Hirilonde said:

545 is really easy to paint on and has a hot recoat window long enough for most to do several coats without sanding.  But make sure you sand it immediately after you are done applying it.  It gets really hard in a few days.  I sprayed the outside of my Spindrift with Awlgrip, great stuff when it can be done safely.  No way I would stick my head into a Spindrift to paint unless I had supplied air.  I used a one part poly inside and non-skid on the sole/in the bilge.

That's good to hear and in-line with other advice I received.  I really don't have a place to spray and would rather not atomize the paint, so brushing it will be.  


To be specific, this is what I plan on using:

AWL-D8001 545 epoxy primer

AWL-D3001 545 epoxy primer converter

AWL-T0031 topcoat brushing reducer


The 545 epoxy primer and converter will be mixed 1:1, then reduced 10% for brushing. 


AWL-F8215 AWLCRAFT 2000 in cloud white

AWL-H3002 AWLCAT #3 topcoat brushing converter


The topcoat will be mixed 2:1 (base/H3002) then reduced with T0031.


Since this stuff is expensive, and I'd like to be clean, do we use syringes to measure? Or just pour into calibrated mixing containers? 

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I usually just measure it into a cup carefully the ratio has a window of about 5-10 percent in my experience (I've never had any issues with paint mix ratio). 


I don't usually thin the 545 at all but it does start to thicken up in the cup after about an hour so I would mix a small batch, roll it on and then mix some more. It flashes off quickly and you can add another coat in about 30 min. You'll just about be able to start at one end and when you get to the other end you can go back to the beginning for the next coat. If you DO put in some reducer I would give it a couple of hours to come out of the primer before the next coat. 545 is a high build primer so it's good at this (building up a decent thickness).


I don't usually bother priming anywhere i'm going to nonskid. This is nice on a bigger boat that you have to stand in while painting the cockpit because you can keep the sole unpainted (primed) while you work everywhere else then carefully jump out. Or better yet, paint the boat while on it's side for better access and also you won't have to worry about dripping condensation from your respirator into the paint or sweat if it's hot or dust/dirt. 


Unless you want a very high level finish I probably wouldn't even bother using 545 in the cockpit at all just so you don't have to sand it all smooth which takes a long time but priming is necessary if you're not ok with seeing a pinhole here or there. The primer will reveal a lot of imperfections you just can't see in the epoxied surface. 


I find the best tools for the 545 are a brush for corners and an 1/8" foam roller for surfaces. Here are some links for what we use



For topcoat i would go with either the "hot dog" rollers or the same 1/8" foam rollers. The best advise I can give would be to sand the primer until you're happy with leaving it looking like that because the only thing that's going to change when you paint it is the color and gloss, any imperfections will still show as the topcoat is very thin. I've found that thinning topcoat too much for rolling and tipping is frustrating because I want to be done with 2 coats. If you thin too much you'll be putting 4 or 5 coats and no one has time for that plus you don't want to be sitting there with it for that long. I like to thin it minimally when rolling and tipping. Just enough that it will still level out after I roll it on and tip it with a foam brush. I would do some test pieces. Less thinner means it will flash off faster though so you have to do it like you would varnish. Do an area with roller, tip it then move on with your wet edge. DONT GO BACK. If you thin it more then you can go back to it over and over but you might have to do 3 or even 4 coats. If you thin it like almost water as some do be sure to put it on ULTRA thin for no runs and plan to do at least 3 coats It will usually flash off pretty fast though as long as you put it on thin. For the best finish (like on the topsides) you want to start at one end and finish at the other. You can't go back and add a bit to just one spot without creating a "patch" with edges etc that only you will be able to see. 


When I painted the inside of the Core sound 17 I did it mostly with just a brush because i put it on heavy and could just about get away with one coat. It flashed off fast and you couldn't go back but it was quick and I was happy with the finish. I didn't care about a few brush strokes here and there. It is a home made boat after all and I no longer aspire to a gel-coat production boat finish in the cockpit. Topsides are easier to be picky, cockpits i've become much more tolerant of imperfections after having done a few. When I say imperfections I mean glass tape edges, low and high spots and the occasional brush stroke or run not pinholes, cracks, crevices or anything that would collect dirt or prevent it from being wiped clean those I care about. 

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Alan, thanks for all this information. I’ll check out the store for supplies. I have the whole interior and most large pieces coated with three layers of epoxy. I sanded in between one of the coats and hot coated the other two. It actually went very fast and I’m close to the stage of actually assembling the insides. Would priming everything I epoxied (boat interior and most large pieces) now make sense? I would still need to grind down areas that would be assembled - bottoms, corners, etc for filleting and taping. 







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I second that. I think it's great to have all the parts pre coated and will make less work later. I don't usually prime or paint "inside" anything like cockpit lockers but you certainly can. I think your next step is to sand inside the boat and glass all that structure in there. Then you can decide what needs painting etc. I talk about paint in my latest update video for our 20mk3. I don't bother with primer with 2 part poly paints over epoxy as long as it's just white and I'm not worried about a "yacht" finish for example in a locker i would just sand smooth the epoxy coats and check for crevices/pinholes then coat with 2 part poly if a painted surface is desired. I'll have the video uploaded tonight or tomorrow. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Ok, I have still been working, albeit slowly. The temps have been getting to the 50s the last few weeks and it certainly extends the set up time for the epoxy. I have 3 full coats on the whole interior of the boat and all the large pieces (and some of the small pieces too). I sanded areas that would be joined to the interior before installing. I used drywall screws to position the longitudinals as well as the centerframe. I sunk the screws an 1/8” into the inside hull to properly position the pieces then filleted thickened epoxy into the joints. It worked nicely.




I’m having a bit of difficulty installing bulkhead 2 (the forward bulkhead). I clamped some sacrificial strips of wood to the interior hull above where this bulkhead is to be installed. I then pounded in a 2x4 to widen the hull to allow the piece to fit. I can’t exactly get a good fit and the piece is installed in there under a lot of pressure.


I have a few options: 

1. “Modify” the bulkhead to make it fit.

2. Continue to further widen the hull laterally to allow it to sit properly.

3. A combination of 1. & 2.


The casting platform will be installed on top of this and I’m not sure what will take the flex out of the bulkhead unless I do something like above.


Any and all advice is welcomed.


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It looks like the hull squeezed in a bit without all the bulkheads in place while you glassed the chine. It looks close. I would keep pushing the hull out. You could drop in the upper forward bulkhead (the one that goes on top of the platform) just to help push it out. Clamp some 1x2 across the top and bottom of it to keep it from buckling or just use some 2x4 cut to the same length as a place holder. I saw you had it in place when you glued on the gunwales with is good. 


I would cut a piece of 2x4 about an inch wider than the fwd bulkhead and fit it between the side stringers just behind the bulkhead then you can tap it forward gradually which will push the sides out and take the pressure off your forward bulkhead so it can be glassed. I would also get that beam on the fwd bulkhead at the same time to stiffen it up. 

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I was able to get the forward bulkhead into its proper place. It’s still sitting a bit elevated, which I attribute to the rounding of the inside keel when thickened epoxy and two strips of fiberglass were installed. I think I will dremel out a small amount of material to allow the bulkhead to sit better. 

I also have a few questions about the drain channel hardwood supports for the box in the forward casting platform.

Will a butt joint with thickened epoxy work to properly join these pieces? 


With regard to the athwartship hardwood piece mentioned above, this looks like it will run flush with the inboard hull stringers?


Does the set back of the athwartship piece meet the hull stringers the distance back from the vertical bulkhead #2? If so, I have a 1/2” on either side where I have to widen the hull.


See here:




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Justin, you definitely will need to take some material off the bottom of the bulkhead to allow for the keel glass thickness. I would scribe it with a pencil held flat against the hull and then grab a block plane to trim it or just a sanding block with some 60 or 80 grit paper. Likewise it looks like a gap on the sides just below the side stringers. The cutout (notch) in the top corners of the bulkhead for the side stringers should be widened/opened up if needed to allow the sides of the bulkhead to meed the side of the hull. Take material off the bottom of the bulkhead until the top edge of the bulkhead is flush with the tops of the side stringers. This goes for the forward lower bulkhead as well. Take material off the bottom of it as needed so that the top edge is flush with the tops of the side stringers. You can also round over the chine corners of the bulkheads to allow for the chine glassing/radius. Gaps are no problem if you take off too much material they will just be filled in with thickened epoxy when you glass the bulkheads in but again you want the top edges of the bulkheads flush with the tops of the side stringers and the sides of the bulkheads (ideally) sitting against the inside of the hull sides. That will set the width of the hull there as designed. You shouldn't need to take any material off the sides of the bulkheads. 


The transverse drainage channel piece (#28) is cut to the width of the inside faces of the stringers so technically the designed hull shape would have you push the hull out to let it drop down between them.  However every piece of wood bends differently so  what i would recommend is that once you get the forward lower BH and BH2 in place Just trim the ends of that piece to fit between the side stringers. The hull shape will be set by the bulkheads (1, 2, and the center frame) and the side stringer will keep the hull side fair so in this case pushing the hull out at to make the piece fit I think might make the hull less fair. You could always bend a batten (like a 3/4" x 3/4" square piece of clear wood) around the outside of the hull to see how fair it is. If there is a low spot between BH1 and BH2 then you could try pushing it out there to let piece 28 in but I don't think there will be. 


Piece #8A is a little square of plywood that is designed to go underneath the butt joint where the drain channel turns 90 degrees. It is shown in the side view of the interior construction plan. That piece strengthens the butt joint by sandwiching it between plywood. You could also put a piece of glass tape under (or all around for that matter) the joint. I would be sure to round-over all of the lower edges of the drainage channel pieces at least a 1/4". Piece #22 and #23 are supports for the center of the casting platform. Even if you're not planning to install a seat on the casting deck I would still recommend installing them to help support the casting deck. 


Hope that helps! It's looking good. 

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  • 2 weeks later...


All good pieces of advice I incorporated into the recent work. Here's a quick update:

  • The forward bulkheads 1 and 2 have been installed.  I scribed them as Alan has suggested and this took a few back and forth installs/sandings to get it just right. I only filleted them to the hull bottom and left the sides open.  The reason I did this was to set their vertical positions and it will allow the hull sides to come back into positions when I remove the 2x4 spreader currently installed.  
  • I epoxied the forward box hardwood support drainage channels and clampled the pieces together.  I also rounded over the inside bottom edge of these pieces with a trim router.  Presumably, this is done to remove a sharp edge where you would later 'reach into' the box.  Good forethought!  After the epoxy set up, I cleaned up the squeeze out, sanded the underside of the butted joint, then glued the small butt piece with thickened epoxy to further strengthen the joint. 




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It was a rainy weekend up here and with the kid's sports being cancelled it left me with some free time.  I removed the temporary 2x4 spreader that I had installed to widen the hull sides forward to allow the 2 forward bulkheads to be installed properly.  I also removed the rest of the temporary screws I had holding the bulkheads in place and filleted the rest of the gaps. Once the epoxy fillets cured, I sanded them smooth.  



I have a small overhang (1/2") over the forward bulkhead where the hatch goes.  From looking at the plans, this seems about right. Once I had this overhang measured, I clamped a level from once side to the other to get a consistent set back for the hatch hardwood drainage pieces. This will allow me to place the transverse drainage piece properly.  




I also spent time dry fitting the casting platform. I did round off the forward point of the casting platform where it meets the stem to allow it to fit nicely with the bead of thickened epoxy already up there. 


Next up is to rough up the epoxy on the interior pieces in preparation for taping all the seams.  



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Thanks Alan.


The temps got into the low 30s over night this past weekend but would warm to the 60s during the day. I did coat a few pieces but the set up time was nearly 12hrs. 

I brought some smaller pieces and epoxy inside and did some coating.


I also cut out a small section of each side stringer to accept the transverse hardwood piece. I could not get that piece in between the side stringers any other way. I’ll update with a picture when I can. The hull looks fair and I did bend a batten to check for flat spots and bulges.

I am going to continue to glass all interior joints. I have interior primer and paint chosen but have not purchased. I also need to get board foam for the forward and two aft seat compartments. 

I’m also considering flipping the boat to trim the gears and lay out the glass fabric.

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