Depends on your hull.
If it's all plywood, like some go-fast models, resin alone can do the job.
If planked, the planks WILL expand and shrink across the grain with humidity, no matter how well "sealed" (all plastics can "breathe" enough moisture to cause seasonal changes).
The shrinking planks will pull apart and crack the microns-thick layer of resin, opening seams and sinking your boat.
Glass cloth is pretty cheap. Resin can add up... epoxy fiberglassing resin is most expensive, but is great for working with indoors (no odor).
Look for West Systems in boating supply houses, or Z-Poxy in smaller qty's at the hobby shop.
Polyester resin (the stuff than takes a few a drops of MEK hardener) is big time stinky, but more affordable. It's the stuff you're most likely to find in auto parts stores and Home Depot.
Easy? Nothing worthwhile comes easy!
But read Pat Tritle's article here... and of course, for a painted hull, all the steps for a perfect glass-clear coating aren't required.
Joined Aug 2006
HELLO all this is intresting on what all is being said.
I am out of building any more when it comes to ships .
Some of you will remember me. Though my years of RC scale ship building I Did both.. DID not like working with glass but there were times when I had to do it.
What I usely did myself for sealing I would use a Finishing resion. IT allways work for me but then I again I did my hulls a little different then others. I would use bass wood for planking usely 1/8th then I would use small HO model rail road nails and glue and nail my planks to rib hulls.
THEN sand then seal my hulls with my resion . BUT there were times when I did need the cloth . THEN I would use the thin cloth . I never ran into a problem with any of my hulls.
But for the most part unless something seem weak I would use my resion but do keep an eye on shelf life.
From what I had learn if you could pore out the resion with out any problmes you were ok . But it was the hardner you have to keep an eye on .. IF it was more then 6 months old depending on how it was stored and I learn this the hard way . It will go weak and sometimes wont work. JUST check into it Thing may have change in the last year with that one but do look in to it .
So After what happen to me I Lost a hull when it did not seal for I had a bad and weak hardner and I did not know it at that or this information. Something I learn later and at the time I did not know it.
I was told if I would have mix up another batch of resion with new hardner and pored into the resion I had use on the hull it would have dryed and I would have been able to use the hull. After about 2 weeks of hand building a USCG hull It became fire wood .;-((
That is when I learn about weak hardners That only took one time. .After that I all ways use new hardner that was the end of my problmes.
When ever I would do a hull I would look at the date on the hardnew I keap records on and would dump it after about 6 months. Hardner is cheap . IT is not worth taking a chance . I allways keap dates on my supplys that would usely keap my out of problems ,
So what your asking about how to seal a hull it all depends on what you use for wood and how you build it and what material you use.
So it can go both ways Depending ?
. I had over 22 years of RCship building under me when I had to stop .
But all of the answers and informatin your seeing are good.
All of what I am saying is from Personal experence though my years of building..
GOOD luck and besure to keep things clean and wear gloves and safty glasses .have fun DON THE Portland Rustbucket,
One short note I did not like sanding fiberglass no fun and if you do besure to have plenty of air around you and a good fan.OR do it out in the open a ligh wind would be nice.
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