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I am building a Melanesia. This week I am doing the stitch and glue so the hull will be ready soon. I am now thinking of the finishing and painting.

I have coated with three layers of epoxi the interior surfaces.

As far as I know, I should coat the exterior parts of the Melanesia as well, and after that apply some paint or varnish. Do you recommend fibreglassing the exterior as well? I was thinking it would give the hull some resistance, in case it hits a rock on the beach or something, especially since I am using 5mm plywood instead of 6mm.

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Glassing and fairing will add years to your craft. I would do it for sure.

 I agree with Paul, a layer of glass cloth really makes a big improvement on the longevity & durability of the exterior.

 Just food for thought, there is a type of cloth made from polyester called Xynole. It is extremely abrasion and puncture resistant and has one of the best peel strengths. Raka Epoxies, raka.com carries it in 4 oz weight. The only downside of Xynole is it takes up a good bit bit of resin, so will be comparable to 10 oz fiberglass cloth when finished. 

 But there is such a small amount needed to cover the Melanesia, the weight would be minimal, and would some pretty nice benefits for the slight added weight, plus itʻs not a bad price at $8.75 per yard by 68" wide.

 One other option is S Glass, its more expensive than E Glass, but you would need such a small amount the price difference wouldʻnt be much. With S Glass for the same weight you get roughly 40% increase in strength and abrasion resistance. Raka usually carries 6 oz S Glass but are out at the moment. If you shop around some places have better prices for S Glass than others.

 If it were me I would definitely cover the exterior with cloth, either Xynole or S Glass. I really think think the improvement in durability and longevity is worth it.

  Cheers, Allen 

Thanks Paul and Allen! 

I am definitely going to glass it :-)

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