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Old 12-10-2005
LDH LDH is offline
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Fiberglass tabbing

I want to strengthen the bulkhead tabbing on my boat and do some minor repair.
I have some System Three epoxy and some six ounce cloth left over from a kayak I built. Will three or four layers of the six ounce cloth be sufficient?
Or should I go with 12 or 24 ounce non-woven biaxial backed with an epoxy compatible mat? It seems I read something about using mat instead of cloth on bulkheads.

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Old 12-11-2005
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Fiberglass tabbing

Using mat might help bulk up the joint and provide a physical "bump" on the inside of the hull to help keep the bulkhead in place, but I would think the cloth would be better for actually joining the two (bulkhead & hull) together. Using mat in the narrower first layers might also help to fill in the angle, making the bend softer for the subsequent wider layers of tabbing you''re applying, so that they stick better. This can also be achieved by simply using epoxy and microballoons for a fillet along the joint, though.

One thing you might want to do with the repair, which you probably didn''t have to do in building the kayak, is to wash down the cleaned and sanded area with a MEK-type solvent before applying the epoxy. Oil deposits - from crankcase to cooking - or other mystery muck could mess up the bond, and you don''t want to have to do this repair any more times than necessary. Also don''t forget you''ll need to paint over any epoxy (especially if it''s visible) to protect it from UV degradataion. Our tabbing repair was on the bilge stringers, so we didn''t bother to paint it last spring. Even under the floorboards, the epoxy is now starting to turn visibly browner.
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Old 12-11-2005
LDH LDH is offline
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Fiberglass tabbing

Thanks for the input. It sounds like I can use the cloth I have and make a radius in the corner with thickened epoxy. Now I need a little warmer weather as it has been in the teens.
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