more than one way to skin a cat (with apologies to the animal folks - I have 3
of the critters, and wouldn't think of.....). There are also about as many
ways to build a boat as there are boat builders. This web page is not
intended to be a "how to" lesson, but rather a "I did it this way" show and
tell. But besides presenting a few pictures together with explanations as I
progress through the various phases and problems in building yet another
boat, I include for each section a discussion about what I
have learned by actually doing it this time. I've read almost all of the
currently popular books and know how to do it, but until I have actually done
it myself, I haven't learned anything. But doing it once only demonstrates
how to do it; doing it over corrects the angle of the blade, the turn of the
hand, the placement of a clamp - how it all should have been done. In the
hope that I can be of some help to other builders, I offer my experiences and
suggestions to myself about how I should have done it or how I will do it next
have built more boats since this article was originally written, and have
continued to learn. If I have changed a particular operation, I will note it
in the text.) Author
* * *
* * * *
Shaping the laminated spruce stems.
The stem is
nailed to the form with 11/2" finishing
nails, with the heads just protruding. The stems were pre-drilled to make sure
everything went straight. There will be a 1/8" flat
along the centre of the stem. I hogged off the lower part of the stem with a
spoke shave, then fine tuned the angle with 60 grit sandpaper glued on to a
long flat piece of 1/4" plywood,
seen leaning against the stem form. I held the back end against the last form
and sanded against the stem until I reached the line defining the 1/8" wide
flat. Worked great. Don't put the duct tape
on the last form until the stem is shaped. It gets real ragged and is a mess
to replace. Consider packaging tape instead of duct tape. Also, use a
narrower sanding strip. I would try making up a few ash sanding strips the
same size as the strips to be put on the boat. The wide sanding strip I used
here was not that good where there was a lot of twist, like after the turn of
The first few mahogany strips.
staples. The sheer strips were not coved, only beaded for laying strips bead
edge up. Nails through small cedar blocks into the form held the sheer strips
in place. Excess glue was wiped off with a wet sponge, or allowed to dry to
the rubbery stage and scraped off with a putty knife. The accent stripe was
made from Peruvian walnut and short pieces of red/white cedar strips, glued
flat and then sliced off. It was built up from three such strips, each planed
to 3/16" to
match the mahogany, and then the edges cut with the router bead and cove.
Even though all of the strips are 3/16" thick,
the bead and cove was cut with 1/4" bits.
They seem to fit better than if I had used 3/16" cutters,
which are not readily available anyway. Cut the strips a frog's
hair too thick, then plane them all at the same planer setting for consistent
thickness. PRECISELY cut the bead and cove edges, using a chip breaker on the
router set up. I had a lot of tear out due to wild grain in the mahogany,
requiring numerous scarf joints to repair. A chip breaker similar to a zero
clearance insert plate on a table saw would have saved a lot of extra work. I
will certainly work on this before cutting my next batch of strips.
Since I built this boat, I have switched to back routing, also known as climb
cutting, for routing the bead and cove edges for strips. No chip breaker
wedge, cut from a coved piece of mahogany strip, pushes the strip down tight
on to the previous one, while the other wedge keeps it snug against the form.
The jig body is cut from scrap 1/2" plywood,
left over from cutting the forms.
It works great for the most part, but there is still some creative clamping
required when the bends get tougher. Use the wedges, but
also use web clamps or bungees between the forms, from the sheer to the turn
of the bilge. It is imperative that the strips are clamped evenly and fit
perfectly. If not, look forward to a lot of cracks between strips requiring
filling, which then requires more work fairing, sanding, and the possibility
of looking less than perfect. Air pockets can be left between strips that
will ultimately manifest themselves as bubbles under the fibreglass. I found
that after a strip had been glued and wedged, if I could manually push the
strip down between stations and got some glue squeeze out, I would add a web
clamp. I also had nailed a batten along the keel line to keep the forms
aligned, especially early in the stripping. When I had stripped to the turn
of the bilge, I used scrap pieces of strip wedged from the batten to the new
strip to push it against the previous strip, again checking for squeeze out.
Many strips that were wedge clamped and looked good got tighter with the
wedged pieces pushing down between the wedge clamps. Web clamps were used
exclusively in the bow and stern areas where the strips were vertical nearly
all the way to the keel. The problem at the stems was not clamping, but
dried glue squeeze out (and possibly mushy duct tape) that prevented a good
tight fit. I will try shaving off a little of the inside cove edge where it
contacts the stem to try and get a better and tighter fit.
Shaping the recurved hull.
has a recurved or concave section near the bow and stern. Strips just
naturally tend to pull away from the forms in these areas, and if not built
correctly, the hull shape will not be as the designer intended. When I built
my first canoe, the staples I used did not do the job. I didn't know any
better and let it go. The result was not exactly as designed. For the Wee
Lassie II, I built a framework out of 1 x 4's and screwed them to the forms in
the problem areas. Then I clamped some 1 x 2's to the vertical pieces after
pushing the hull sides against the forms. It worked well until I got above
the bilge turn area. Then I had to drive a nail or two here and there to keep
the strips tight.
Depending on the boat, use more push sticks. I disliked punching nail holes
in the stapeless hull, even though they were very thin. The problem to be
solved is having the last glued strip lying dead on the forms in the proper
position before the next strip is glued on, and then have the glued strip lie
true while the glue sets.
best efforts, I had a lot of gaps in this area, attributable to some
imprecisely cut strips and dried glue squeeze out along the top of the stem. Next
time: Cut and edge the strips as described previously, and get even more
creative with the clamping. Whatever it takes to get the strips to fit
tight. This could (should) include dry fitting and clamping the entire strip
for fit before any glue is applied.
Closing the Bottom
side of the bottom closed. The ends of all the strips cross the centre
line. Note the cross piece on the pusher frame, allowing the push sticks
to get a better angle. Note also the small blocks of cedar where nails
are used to hold the glued strips to the frames. Use more push stick
frames and eliminate the use of nails. This could be a pain, but what ever it
The outside stems
stems were covered with the strips, with the strips extending beyond the
stems. As the strips were placed, one was cut to the angle of the inner stem
bevel, and the opposite strip glued to it and trimmed. The result was a
leading edge of solid strip material about 1/4" wide,
with the inner stem completely covered. A belt sander was used to carefully
smooth the curve, and a recess was cut into the keel area about 1/4" deep.
Two pieces of 1/8" thick
by 3/8" wide
ash were cut and soaked, then bent and clamped to dry directly on the hull.
When all was dried, the two pieces of ash were laminated together with
thickened epoxy. Mixed epoxy was painted onto the leading edges (end grain)
of the hull strips until no more soaked in. The remaining epoxy was
thickened, and the now cured lamination glued on. Clamping was creative, but
effective. The ash was then faired into the lines of the hull. After
fibreglassing the hull, a 3" wide strip of bias cut fibreglass cloth was
wrapped around the stems. I liked the way these outer stems turned out, both mechanically and
aesthetically. The only thing to watch for next time is the bubbles that
formed under the bias cloth. These were small, but noticeable on close
fairing was done with an assortment of scrapers. The mahogany had some wild
grain in it, sometimes changing direction in a single strip. The tear out I
got when using a block plane was going to be a problem, so I stopped using
it. Being harder than cedar, the mahogany responded beautifully to the
scrapers. Even with the scrapers, I had to be careful with the grain
reversing. Scraping was followed by random orbit sanding with 80 grit
paper. The sander had a dust collection hose attached to my shop vac, and
airborne dust was minimal. I never used the long board, although if the
strips were thicker, I might have. Better lay-up would reduce the need for hull shape corrections
during fairing. This requires highly accurate beads and coves, tight gluing
the entire length of the strip, and close contact with the forms at all
points. With these improvements, fairing should be reduced to smoothing the
joints between strips.
Filling the Gaps
hull had the usual cracks and gaps between strips, especially around the
stems, and a few holes from the nails. I used epoxy thickened with colloidal
silica and flavoured with wood flour, which I collected in a clean belt sander
dust bag (120 grit) using some scrap mahogany as a source. I applied the
filler with a home made putty knife. This was a 3/4" wide
stainless steel cake decorating spatula that I carefully ground straight
across the end. After applying all of the filler, I went around and
removed the excess with a squeegee. The next day the fills were not yet
rock hard, and responded well to the cabinet scraper. I went
around and filled three times, scraping and sanding the fills after they
hardened. I then sanded the entire hull with 120 grit on the RO sander. More of the same. Again, better lay-up would reduce the number of
Laying Out the Fiberglass
and the sanded hull, with 6 oz. fibreglass cloth ready for wet out. The entire
hull had been dampened with a clean sponge and water. The next day I sanded
with 220 grit. Then I vacuumed the hull, but some fine dust remained. I used
a Swiffer electrostatic dusting cloth (supermarket) to remove the residual
dust, and then hung the fibreglass. The cloth was 60" wide, so I draped it
more to one side in order to save as much excess as possible for later use for
cutting bias strips. I wore surgeons gloves while handling and working the
cloth to prevent pulls as much as possible. The longitudinal strands were
oriented parallel with the keel line, and the transverse strands were kept at
right angles to it. Smoothing was done with a new wide plastic squeegee, then
a wallpaper brush, which seemed to work better. The one pull I did have was
eliminated by lightly brushing it rapidly back and forth with the tip of a dry
Nothing particularly different. I hope to significantly reduce the need for
filling, but scraping, sanding, and draping the cloth went well.
The Wet Out
I used MAS
epoxy exclusively with the slow hardener, and did not pre-coat. The kerosene
forced hot air heater got the shop nice and toasty warm, then it was secured
and the wet out began. I used a brush to apply the epoxy, which is a lot
slower than a squeegee or roller, but it forced my attention to detail. I
squeeged the excess off when the epoxy got a little stiff, using a low angle
on the squeegee to allow a firm pressure without starving the cloth. It is
important to get the cloth tight to the hull with enough epoxy to fully
saturate the glass and soak into the wood, while not leaving any "dry" spots.
This is difficult to do if the wood is pre-coated. The excess epoxy was
discarded - it was milky looking due to tiny air bubbles, which rendered it
useless for coating. I did not get any of the ripples along the sheer that
had plagued me on past boats, likely because of the way I had evenly and
squarely laid out the cloth. (Note: I have since found out from MAS that
the milky epoxy need not be discarded. I now spread it around, and the
bubbles dissipate before the epoxy kicks off to the gel stage. Be aware that
I know this works with MAS slow hardener - other epoxies may not be as
I also had
no problems with bubbles. I believe bubbles under fibreglass are not so much
an effect of expanding air in the wood pores (mahogany has zillions of open
pores), but hidden gaps between bead/cove joints due to insufficient glue or
not quite perfect fits, especially on the inside where the curves are mostly
concave. There could be hidden air spaces between strips, which will produce
a much larger localized bubble than the tiny ones one would expect if they
were due entirely to air in wood pores. Cedar has a lot fewer visible pores
than mahogany, yet I have seen dime sized bubbles here and there in my other
boats which would have been impossible to generate from pore air. This IS the next time, having learned with my previous two boats.
Careful layout and handling of the cloth using surgeons gloves to reduce the
possibility of pulls and ripples, smoothing with a wallpaper brush, and firm
but gentle squeegeeing just when the epoxy gets a little stiff all contributed
to a near perfect wet out.
Fill coating and sanding.
filling, I cut two 3" wide strips of bias cloth from the leftovers, and
wrapped them over the stems. Between the ends of the bias strips I laid a 3"
strip of straight cut cloth, so that I had an extra layer of fibreglass strip
the entire length of the boat from stem to stem along the keel line, and
ending at the tops of the stems. Wet out was with brushed on MAS resin with
slow hardener, but I did not squeegee it. This later proved to be a minor
mistake that was easily corrected. After the epoxy hardened, I feathered the
edges using 80 grit paper on the RO sander, being careful to just taper the
For the fill
coats I mixed MAS slow hardener with 25 to 30% fast hardener, with the final
mix at the required 2:1 ratio. This gave a reasonable pot life, with initial
set just after I got each of the 6 oz. batches on. Blush was non-existent.
When the epoxy got a little stiff, I dragged the drools up the hull with a
squeegee, keeping more of the epoxy on the boat rather than on the cardboard
protecting the floor. I did get some dripping, though, and there were a few
runs here and there.
four fill coats, put on at the rate of one coat on each of four successive
days. I let each coat harden over night, then attacked the runs and drool
with cabinet scrapers. The epoxy was green, and yielded nicely to the
scrapers. If I had let the runs stay until I sanded following the hardening
of the final coat, I would have cut through to the cloth on the thin sides of
the runs while taking the runs down fair. Believe me, this happens. By
scraping off the runs each day, I was able to get four reasonably smooth coats
on with NO cutting through to the cloth anywhere on the boat when I sanded,
with but one exception. Recall that I did not squeegee the stem and keel
strips. This left the cloth "floating" here and there, and I did expose the
weave of the cloth in spots while sanding. I fixed this by brushing on a coat
of resin mixed with 100% fast hardener. I got blush, but it washed off with a
little ammoniated water and a sponge. I then scraped it fair, and sanded to
80 grit to match the sanding of the rest of the hull. Incidentally, scraping
fully cured epoxy is much too difficult. It is best to scrape the runs after
each coat while the epoxy is still green. The final coats will be a lot
smoother, requiring much less aggressive final sanding.
I will be sure to squeegee any additional reinforcing strips when they are wet
out. This is the first time I had scraped green runs, and it worked
great. Also, brushing on the epoxy seemed to work well for me,
especially when mixed with up to 30% fast hardener. Dragging the wet
drool up the sides was only somewhat effective, but I feel it was worth the
Fibreglassing the inside.
inside was done once again with scrapers. There were a lot of gaps between
strips, which were filled with thickened epoxy and mahogany wood flour.
Initial sanding was with 80 grit on the RO sander, followed by 120 grit after
scraping the fills. I didn't wet the hull with water, since there was little
if any effect when I did the outside of the hull.
I mixed up a
rather thick batch of coloured epoxy and laid a fillet along the keel, from the
end of one inner stem to the other. The fillet flattened out before it
hardened due to my using the slow hardener. The next day I cut 3" bias strips
and laid them from the tip of the stem, all along the keel, and up to the tip
of the other stem. After wet out and squeegeeing, I let it set up overnight.
The next day I scraped and sanded the edges of the strips, feathering them
into the surrounding wood. Then I flipped the hull over and draped cloth over
it once again, using it as a pattern for cutting the inside cloth to shape. I
trimmed it a few inches below the sheer, but short around the stems. Then I
split it along the stems, back to about where the inside stem ended. Then it
was rolled up on a cardboard tube, the hull righted, and the glass unrolled
into the boat. I did not pre-coat. After smoothing with the wallpaper brush,
I had a near perfect fit with no further trimming or fitting required inside.
This was extremely helpful at wet out time, since I had no glass fuzzies or
sticky scissors to contend with.
Wet out was
with MAS slow. I started with a brush, but it was going extremely slow so I
switched to a squeegee for the large open areas. The brush was indispensable
in the ends where the squeegee wouldn't fit. The main 'glass overlapped the
edges of the bias strips along the inner stem. This is the first boat I have
built where the inside stem area came out this nice. After scraping the
overlap with a specially sharpened paint scraper, there were no lumps or bumps
to speak of. I am still learning. (Note: I now don't cover the inside stems
with cloth. They get covered with epoxy, effectively sealing the wood, and
there is little or no structural effect from not using cloth.)
fill coats were uneventful, with no blush using 25% fast hardener. I had run
out of epoxy after the first fill coat, and had to sand it before putting on
the second a few days later. On each coat I dragged the drool up from the
keel to the sheer with a brush, the same as done on the outside of the boat.
There were no problems.
Using the overturned hull for a cutting
pattern was very helpful. I should have done this before taking the hull off
the forms. I had done the outside 'glass, then took the hull off, removed the
forms, and screwed the slings on to the strongback. In order to make it
easier and more accurate in cutting the inside 'glass, I removed the slings
and replaced a few forms to support the overturned hull. This extra work
could have been avoided if I had cut the inside 'glass before taking down the mould.
books say to use a piece of PVC or brass pipe for a through hull painter
hole. I dislike these, being non-wood. I could have used a piece of drilled
dowel rod, but that would leave end grain showing on the hull surface. Using
a hole saw, I cut three plugs of 3/4" ash
and epoxied them in a stack, using the 1/4" centre
hole and a waxed dowel rod for alignment. When the glue had cured, I ran a
bolt through the stack, tightened it with a nut, and chucked it into the drill
press. Using a file and sandpaper, I turned the plug down to fit the 1" hole
I had drilled in the hull, again with a hole saw. The mounting hole had been
carefully laid out so that the plug would just touch the back side of the
I used a 1"
Forstner bit to drill a shallow counter bore in a piece of plywood clamped to
the drill press table. The bit was changed to a 1/2" Forstner
without disturbing the alignment of the counter bore. The ash plug was
inserted into the counter bore, thereby aligning its centre with the centre of
the 1/2" bit.
The hole was then drilled out.
epoxy was used to set the plug into the hull, with a liberal application of
the glue all around the inside surfaces. Once the glue had cured, the plug
was trimmed flush with the hull, and the hole rounded over with a rat tail
file and sandpaper. The wood surfaces were slathered with epoxy to seal
only used a single painter hole in the bow. In retrospect, I should have put
one in the stern also. One thing they both could have been used for is
hanging the hull while waiting for varnish to dry later on. I suspect that if
the varnished surface was facing downward, dust settling would be minimal.
The seat is
one designed by Martin Step at Green Valley Boats. It is built from ash, and
was fitted lower in the boat than shown here. Mac McCarthy, the boat
designer, recommends mounting the seat at a height of 11/2""
above the bilge. At that height, the mounting "ears" would be completely cut
off. I wanted to use the sculpted seat, but also wanted to have it mounted
low as designed. I decided to use two seats - the original sculpted one
shown, and another smaller plain vanilla seat that would mount at the design
height. In order to accomplish this, I epoxied a 11/2" riser
in place with another spacer riser 1" high loosely on top of the main one.
The bottom riser has brass threaded inserts to accept brass flat head bolts
through the seat frame, the 1 inch spacer, and into the main riser. If I want
to use a lower seat, I will remove the mounting bolts, sculpted seat, and
spacer, and screw in the auxiliary seat at the lower height.
Thwart and gunwales.
the inwales by cutting a strip of ash 3/8" wide
and 3/4" high.
Then I cut some dark red cedar the same size, and cut scupper blocks 31/4" long
using a 3/8"Forstner
bit in the drill press. This gave me the rounded ends in the scuppers. I
epoxied these blocks to the ash strips at the 31/4" spacing
I used on the accent strip, and cut mortises to accept the tenons to be cut on
the ends of the thwart.
is ash, with tenons cut to fit the mortises in the inwales. Shaping the band
sawn blank was very easy, using a spoke shave, block plane, rasps, and the RO
sander. The cured inwales were then clamped to the inside of the sheer, and
screwed on from the outside. The round head screws were only temporary, and
were driven off center through the sheer and into the the scupper blocks. All
the screws were put in dry and then removed. This defined the screw holes,
making it easy to put the screws back in when the epoxy was applied.
were removed and the thwart glued in. I also glued on carlins to hold the
ends of the inwales together. I then had an assembly outside of the boat
consisting of the two inwales with the thwart between them, and the ends of
the inwales connected by the carlins. Though seemingly unwieldy, it was
round overs on the bottom of the inner edges of the inwales was next, using a 1/4" round
over bit in the table mounted router. This was somewhat clumsy, but the
wheeled table saw served as a mobile support. I continued the routing onto
the thwart a few inches, and later blended the round edges with the sculpted
thwart once the assembly was mounted in the hull.
assembly into the hull was surprisingly easy, due to the fact that the screw
holes were already in place. I then turned to the outwales. These were also
ash strips cut 3/8" wide
and 3/4" high.
They were clamped in place and screw holes marked, this time centred on the
scupper blocks. I unclamped them and drilled 3/8" counter
bores 3/16" deep
at each screw hole location, then clearance holes for the screws. The edges
were rounded on the router table. The outwales were then epoxied on, again
using screws to hold it for a few days. Once cured, the screws were replaced
by cherry plugs, later trimmed and sanded flush. Finally, each scupper edge
was rounded over with a brass piloted 1/8" bit
in a hand held router. Not much different. I like the sculpted thwart flowing into the inwales and the rounded over scuppers. I will probably use darker plugs than
the cherry for more contrast. The cherry may darken with age, though. We
were made from red cedar (centre stripe), spruce cut from a Home Depot 2 x 6,
Peruvian walnut left over from the accent stripe, and some birds eye maple.
The design was chosen to complement the colours and woods in the accent
stripe. All pieces were planed to 1/4"+
and edge glued with Titebond into a rather odd shaped blank. After scraping
off the excess dried glue, another run through the planer brought the blanks
to 1/4" and
removed the rest of the glue squeeze out. The blanks were held over the bow
and stern, and a tracing drawn from underneath to define the rough shapes.
Then the blanks were cut out to rough oversize. The curved inboard edge was
made to be continuous with the inwales, and cut oversize over the carlins.
strips of ash were epoxied onto the inside of the hull about a quarter inch
below the sheer line, between the carlins and stems. Cross pieces were also
glued between the strips just touching the back edge of the carlins. The deck
blanks were then fitted, and the undersides fibreglassed using only a wet out
coat of epoxy. When they had cured, I trimmed the cloth and epoxied them in.
butterfly picture on the forward deck was first ink jet printed on tissue
paper, a piece of which was scotch taped to a standard sheet of printer
paper. Some of the ink bled through, but it was of no consequence. The
picture was then cut out fairly close with an Exacto knife. A brush full of
epoxy was put on the deck and the picture placed in it, followed by brushing
it down with more epoxy. The pre-cut 6 oz. cloth was immediately put down and
wet out with MAS slow. The next day the cloth was trimmed flush at the
outwales and feathered. I used a router with a flush trim bit to refine the
curved edges with the carlins, then a brass piloted 1/8" round
over bit for the final edge treatment to make the deck continuous with the
inwales. The undersides of the carlins were rounded with a rasp. Four fill
coats were then applied. (Two of these epoxy coats were also applied to all
of the gunwales and thwart.) After the decks had hardened, they were scraped
and sanded to 120, ready for varnish. At this point, I signed the bow deck
with a new fine point Sharpie marking pen. Subsequent varnish did not affect
The decks went well. I like flush decks, and the butterfly will probably
remain. I may try a sculpted solid walnut or mahogany deck, and have
fantasies of learning to relief carve a jumping trout on a light coloured
deck. I hate to take time out from building to learn relief carving, though.
last coat of epoxy had hardened for about a week, I scraped off the high spots
so that almost all of the shiny (low) spots were gone, but not quite all.
Then it was the 120 grit on the RO sander that got it all smooth. A lot of
hand sanding was done on the gunwales and tight spots that the RO sander would
not reach. The hull was vacuumed with the shop vac and wiped with the Swiffer
was no hope of getting a flawless finish with a brush or spray without
building a dedicated dust free facility, I opted to lay on four coats of
varnish with Scotchbrite scuffing between coats, and resigned myself to having
to rub out the final coat. I put on a few coats of Z-Spar Captain's varnish
with a foam brush, but then switched to the badger hair brush. I noticed no
difference. In fact, since rubbing out was to be the final operation, I could
have rolled on the varnish coats and tipped off with a dry brush. How the
film is built doesn't seem to make any difference, as long as the dust nibs
and cat hair are removed between coats.
outside done, I flipped the hull over and did the same to the inside, applying
one coat each day. This gave the outside time to completely set up, ready for
the rub out.
the rub out sequence by first scrubbing with the Scotchbrite pad to remove the
dust and other debris, using the RO sander for power. I then wet sanded with
1000 grit wet or dry paper wrapped around a foam sanding block, paying
particular attention to defects remaining after the Scotchbrite treatment.
This was followed by 1500 and 2000 grit. These last two grits went a lot
faster than the 1000, since I only had to remove the scratches from the
previous sanding, and not any bumps. I then used a power buffer with
Meguiar's #2 liquid polish, which began to bring out the gloss. This was
followed with Meguiar's #9 Swirl remover, using a lamb's wool pad cushioned by
a 3/4" foam
pad on the RO sander. The gloss got higher. Finally, I waxed it with
Meguiar's paste wax.
finish was not quite mirror gloss, but extremely smooth and perfectly
acceptable. The boat won first in class at the Northeastern Woodworkers
Association annual show. It was judged against all sorts of woodworking
projects, including two other strip built boats. Pay more attention to the rub out. First, don't get any runs. If
I do, make sure they are completely removed with the first wet sanding. A
scraper is no good here, since residual scratches remain after the wet
sanding. The runs seemed to disappear with the Scotchbrite scuffing, but
showed up at the compounding. Also get rid of the big Milwaukee
grinder/buffer. It is quite powerful and did the job well, but its heavy
weight and trying to manipulate it inside the hull left some serious marks
where the hard edge of the rubber disk supporting the lamb's wool put too much
pressure in difficult spots. I would also start with Meguiar's #1 to start
the gloss, followed by the #2 and #9. This would be an extra step, but would
only add another couple of days. Also, I would probably start with 800 grit
wet or dry to take down the dust hills and other defects before going to
1000. (Note: Rubbing out a finish is a lot of work that will not stand up
when the boat gets its first exposure to hot summer sun due to thermal curing
and print through. It is entirely possible to get a brilliant finish using
a foam brush or spray to apply varnish.