Finishing Modern Wood Boats
I typically provide clients with hull plans and let you decide how you want to finish your boat.
For canoes and kayaks, finishing typically describes the stage where the hull is assembled and fully glassed inside and out. I'm providing a few notes about glass selection. Below I've highlighted several books for you to consider finding before starting your canoe or kayak building project.
For canoes were are primarily concerned with adding gun wales deck ends and seating. On sea kayaks we're interested in the deck structure and cockpit arrangements.
The choice of fiberglass selected for glassing is a consideration for balancing intended use, desired weight and structural strength.
Fiberglass cloth used for sheathing is manufactured in different weights. I primarily choose fiberglass cloth in 6 oz./sq. yard and 4 oz./sq. yard weight. Lighter and heavier weight cloth is available.
A lighter cloth will "hold" less epoxy when wetting out the cloth, resulting in a lighter boat. A heavier cloth with increase your boats ability to absorb abuse.
Canoecraft Ted Moores
This is my "Go To" book for all canoe finishing. This book focuses on wood strip construction, and includes all aspects of glassing, installing gunwales and decks. Topics are exhaustively covered with an eye toward quality and detail.
Kayaks You Can Build Ted Moores & Greg Rössel
This book is the crown jewel of stitch and glue kayak building and finishing. If you can only afford one book on building a stitch and glue kayak, this is the one to find.
End Note on Finishing
It's your Boat
The books above describe a process I choose to use myself in the quality of work I enjoy creating. There is a whole variety of ways you can complete your task from utilitarian to top end. It truly is the joy of building, you can create exactly what you have in mind. Don't limit yourself and feel free to explore alternatives. There are no hard and fast rules.