Pygmy Coho decoration

Discussion in 'Boat and Accessory Building' started by Madmike, Jan 16, 2013.

  1. Madmike

    Madmike New Member

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    My father and I are currently building a pygmy coho together. We are looking to add some decoration to the deck but don't have the skills for a complicated inlay so we would like to add a couple of tribal turtle patterns along the deck... I know the Stand up paddleboard crowd uses fabric wetted with epoxy and then they lay the fiberglass over the top. I was thinking of doing the same thing with either cut vinyl or some sort of paint. Does anyone see a problem with using vinyl under the fiberglass layer? What about using a paint under the fiberglass/epoxy? These would be small areas, maybe 12" square or so. The first turtle in this photo would be what we are using. I have a friend with a vinyl cutter that can cut the pattern for me and I can use the vinyl or use the pattern as a negative to paint the pattern.

    [​IMG]

    thanks!
    Mike
     
  2. west_coast_russ

    west_coast_russ Paddler

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    i believe paint would not be as bad as vinyl, as the epoxy would stand a chance of bonding through the cloth to the wood. I would be cautious about how big the design is to be, you could end up with weak spot on the hull. When I build my boat, I read a tip about printing your design out on thin tracing paper, then cutting it out to apply the design. They claimed that the paper disappeared once wetted out. You could easily test that idea on some scrap. I think it would be best to use a laser printer, the toner is less likely to bleed as ink.
    I cut my design out of very thin veneer and then epoxied it to the hull, glassed over that and it was bomber tough.
    Put up some pics - be great to see how the build goes.
     
  3. JohnAbercrombie

    JohnAbercrombie Paddler

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    I agree with Russ' comments.

    I'd definitely avoid putting vinyl between the wood and epoxy/glass. You could easily put the vinyl on the outside of the boat, perhaps with a final coat of varnish over it. If you are using top-quality vinyl, it's very thin, and would look fine 'on top of' the finish. That's what most commercial glass boats have.

    If you want paper to 'disappear', you do need to use very thin 'rice paper' or similar. Getting this through a laser printer will probably require a thin line of glue around the edge, bonding to a regular sheet of printer paper. (Bjorn Thomasson describes this on his website- he provides downloadable 'Brand name' files for his designs.) For less critical labels (maker and ID label inside the cockpit), normal printer paper 'mostly' disappears in epoxy - I've done this often. One thing to consider: saturating wood with epoxy changes its colour. You want to make sure that any paper label doesn't interfere with this, or your label will definitely 'show'.

    As Russ suggests, some experiments would be a very good idea. It's only a few dollars worth of epoxy and some wood scraps, and you will be looking at that label/decoration for years.

    Paint will also interfere with the bonding of the glass to the boat. Again, there's no reason not to paint over the epoxy, just before you start to varnish.

    Please post pictures of your build progress here! Thanks!
     
  4. Tootsall

    Tootsall Paddler

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    I tried rice paper and found that, for my money, ordinary tissue paper worked better (the kind of stuff you buy in sheets to pack presents in). I've used it on two Cohos now. You need to apply it just after you put the seal coat on the hull but, ideally, before you put the fiberglass cloth on (that way the design is buried and protected under the fiberglass which allows you to refinish the boat without destroying the design). I just taped a blank piece of tissue paper to a sheet of "regular" printer paper and ran it through an inkjet printer.
     

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  5. JohnAbercrombie

    JohnAbercrombie Paddler

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    Looks great!
    Also, it's good to hear that inkjet printing works well for this.

    Thanks for the info - no need to hit the art store for 'rice paper'.

    Using a seal coat of epoxy before applying the decoration is essential, I think. (Some building methods omit the seal coat; I usually just put on glass and wet out over the sanded wood, so I'd have to add the seal coat step.)
     
  6. Madmike

    Madmike New Member

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    Thanks for the tips guys!

    Tootsall that looks great! That is just the look that we are looking for!

    Thanks again and I'll post up some pics as soon as it doesn't look like every other coho
     
  7. Jackwindow

    Jackwindow New Member

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    Just wanted to say that I love the Turtle design and the tribal look. I'd love to see it all finished if you have any pics!