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Skinning Problems


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I'm building a Mess About 15, and have started with the covering. I'm using 8 oz. Polyester Fabric..


I used pushpins down the keel, turned it over am ready to sew. I had a hard time handling the fabric, so I used pushpins on the gunnels to make the fabric cover the bottom smoothly. That seems to work well. However, the fabric between the gunnel and the center of the deck doesn't want to lay flat. I realize that the boat is not flat, and something has to give. To help figure where to place the fabric, I used pushpins along the center stringer of the deck. I'm working with only the aft deck. There is some bunching up of the fabric along the center stringer, but I think it will tighten up when I apply heat.


Now the chore is to sew the fabric and have it stay in place where it is pinned. As I sew, the fabric wants to slide aft, where the boat is narrower. This of course makes it bunch up. I've only sewed about 30% of the way from the cockpit toward the stern, but I don't expect to be able to continue.


Having covered many model airplanes over the years, I would love to try using dope and staples, at least to attach the fabric to the frame. Then I could use heat to shrink the fabric, and enamel to make it waterproof.


Frustrated in Wake Forest


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Remove the gunwales staples. Your dealing with a very loose weave fabric and need to be able to pull it around and adjust it as you sew. I pull the fabric back toward the rear of the boat as I sew, the loose weave allows you adjust it and as you go.  It is hard to explain but you may want to watch the video on my web site. And don't be afraid to remove the stitching and start over!!



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I wanted the fabric held in place as tight as possible as I was sewing.so it was easier to pull tight while keeping everything in place.  I bought a bunch of the large metal binder clips, pulled everything into place and clipped it every 3-5 inches.  Then I could just pull tight the section I was working on and remove them one at a time as I moved down. After sewing a couple of feet, I did re-adjust the once that were left to tighten things back up.  I found this made the process pretty easy.

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