glass tape

Hi there
First time post so here we go. .
I'm making good an early 70'mirror "takwenya"for my son and I to cruise around portland harbour. I've got all the paint off,repaired the holes and am now re tapeing the seams. Now I'm not sure of the amount of tape to use. Is one layer enough or should I add multiple layers? I'm also going to resin the hull before painting.will 750ml of top lac be enough to repaint the hull? Any advise gratefully recieved

When I built my Mirror in 1983/84 I used a single layer of fiberglass tape on the seams. I am still sailing my Mirror and have not had to re-tape any of the seams.

Right o that helps allot thank you. I may put an extra layer along the bottom for a bit of abrasion resistance. Thanks again

sail_and_oar's picture

Hello danwclark

Over a period of about 12 years I've retaped about half of old Daydream. I started using polyester and found it to be very temporary. Now I epoxy all tapes, I've had adhesion failures but not many. I've always used a single layer of 2" glass tape.

Places to check;

Entire perimeter of decking. Tapes fail and water gets into the tanks when there's a lot of spray flying about. taping around the butt straps and chainplate blocks is tricky as the tape won't happily lie flat.

Cockpit well. Heavy feet and trailers play havoc on tapes

Bottom of transom - cracks in tapes

Chines amidships (somewhere near under the rowlocks). Abrasion damage where the chines touch the bottom when the boat takes the ground.

Chines about a foot back from the transom bow. For some reason these crack every 5 years or so on my boat.

Bottom of cockpit lockers. These are a real bear of a job to do properly if they start to peel off. I cleaned it up as best I could and trimmed off the ragged edges then tipped a load of thickened epoxy in and walked away. It hasn't moved since.

Skeg attachment tapes.

Obviously you can't retape the inside of the tanks without taking the deck off. I never worry any more.

This may sound alarming but all the above were of the "boat's leaking a bit (again!)" category and definitely not "we're going to die"

Also check security of the little battens which support the thwart. I've had one side break away completely and the other side needed partially regluing.

Floor battens and footrest can come unglued and leak. I've redone my footrest and replaced half of 2 floor battens. One other has wept a bit for about a year. When the ply gets wet it swells around the nails and the leak slows down.

Centreboard case bottom. Changing the case was a horrible job and took a long while. I hope you don't have to do this.

Inner gunwale where rowlock blocks attach. These can tear away and take a chunk of boat with them.

Inner gunwales above the chainplates.

I hope this doesn't sound alarming. It happened over a long period of time to a 40 year old boat which is sailed hard and sometimes put away soaking wet in sub zero temperatures. If your boat needs any repairs which you are unsure about just let us know. One or more of us can probably talk you through how we did a similar repair.

Paint, If I remember correctly 750 ml of Blakes Yacht enamel does the whole boat once and half the boat with a second coat. You might be able to add a tiny spot of thinner to make it go further. I put it on with a gloss roller then flick it over with a brush to add those authentic hand painted brush marks. Far quicker than just a brush. I'm assuming the inside is varnished.


Wow thanks for that in depth reply. I should probably have said I don't know allot of the technical jargon but I got the jist .I repaired a split in the hull just in the fore tank and also some old repairs that didn't look to good just in front of the dagger box as you suggest. The inside is varnished and the tape is pealing of in places I'm tempted to get the hull sealed and take her for a spin before it gets to cold or would I be better off concentrating on the cockpit while she is dry? Also I've heard that dulux weather shield is a good cheaper alternative to top lac would you agree with that? Thanks again for the advise

sail_and_oar's picture

Hello Danwclark,

I have come to the conclusion that once we reach October, I won't do paint, varnish and epoxy until the next spring. In order for these to stick, the wood has to be dry and a boat stored outside like mine will have to keep going through the winter in whatever state it finished the previous summer. If the boat becomes unsafe during the winter I'll have to find a warm building to do the repairs in or stop sailing it.

If you want to sail this autumn and the boat is OK why not? It's what you bought it for. It may identify other bits and pieces you want to improve and some of these may be possible during the winter.

The only reason I use yacht enamel instead of gloss house paint is the hardening time. Gloss stays soft for ages but yacht enamel, after a couple of days is hard enough to put the boat on a trailer.

A lot of the problems that crop up with Mirrors have been covered in this forum so it's worth having a look through the archives. If you can put photos of your boat work/problems onto photobucket, facebook or anything in the public domain you can put a link into a message on this forum and we can offer advice or congratulate. Some members here even have their own u tube channel and you'll see links to their videos. At the end of your message it's nice if you write your name.

I have fond memories of Portland Harbour. My girlfriend and I sail a slightly moth eaten 22 foot boat from Chichester and we always seem to be anchored in Portland when nasty weather blows through. In 2012 we spent a week near the moorings off Castle Cove while the world's finest dinghy and sailboard sailors were in training, sometimes yards from our boat. A few weeks later they competed in the Olympics and the general public were kept so far away it probably wasn't worth watching.


Thanks for the advise. 2012 was a great year to live in weymouth with the expected crowds not turning up it felt like a massive party had been laid on for the locals and the hard core of foreign sailing fans.
Think I'll get the hull painted up and get her in the water then. Thanks again for the advise. dan

PuffinInTegel's picture

I've used Toplac and it has held for years, with a bit of touching up bumps and bruises.
Where the tape doesn't fit snugly in the corners, it's better to use a fillet of thickened epoxy (glass bubbles - transparent and more expensive, or sanding dust/wood filler) rather than live with air under the tape. The latter is a weaker joint and may eventually collect water and lead to cracking if the boat is stored at sub-zero temperatures.
Enjoy the sailing. I've seen some recent pictures on Facebook that suggest that conditions in the UK are still favourable now in October. I've even been out in January here in Berlin, Germany. All you need is some suitable clothing.
Gernot H.