Lots of progress this weekend (finally). Deck fittings have been given 2 coats of epoxy inside and out and are ready to be installed. The mahogany soaked up the epoxy like a sponge. Initially I only added epoxy to the inside, but after a couple hours it appeared on the outside (both along and across the grain). The holes in the deck had easing added to the edges to minimize wear on rigging.
The entire hull was sanded and a final coat of epoxy was added. I’d call it a skim coat when doing plaster work, but as is clear in the photos, it’s not nearly as smooth as it needs to be (or as good as I can get with plaster). Most of the sanding was getting rid of drips. I’ll be firing the epoxy guy just as soon as I find a replacement. I’ve given up any hope of achieving a mirror finish, but since I’m well aware of my painting skills, I never really had any illusions about that. There’s a very detailed post over at the Blue Heron forums covering how to do that if you’ve got the patience for that sort of thing.
It’s not clear from the photos, but the sacrificial tape on the keel wanders a lot (honestly, no bourbon was involved in laying it). Personally, I don’t like the glass tape at all, mostly due to the selvedge which requires lots of sanding to get rid of, although I understand the need for it. I’m pretty sure that without it the tape would just fall apart under normal handling. When it comes time to replace it (or the next boat) I’m going to adopt the tape and knife technique used on the deck join and use scraps of leftover cloth. Since it’s only for wear, not strength, there’s no need to overlap and I should just be able to butt them together. I should also be able to cut on the bias for the curved ends, which will also make it much easier to make the bends without puckering. I wish this idea had occurred to me when I was doing it in the first place.