If/when to remove tie wraps for stitch and glue

Sail Boats 15' and up. Please include the boat type in your question.
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If/when to remove tie wraps for stitch and glue

Post by opti_builder »

Hi all,

I'm building the Optimist club racer kit with my son, and there is one thing I haven't been able to figure out from the various tutorials on the Boat Builder Central web site. We've stitched the panels together with plastic tie wraps and are getting ready to join the seams with putty fillets/fiberglass tape. However, it's not clear to me whether I remove the tie wraps after the fillets and tape are in, or just leave them in place. It seems like they are going to be very hard or impossible to remove once epoxied over. Do I just leave them in? If so, do I want the free ends of the tie wrap on the inside or outside of the boat? Should I cut the free ends as short as possible before doing fillet/tape?


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Re: If/when to remove tie wraps for stitch and glue

Post by narfi »

With the zip ties in place you can 'glue' the panels together with thickened epoxy between the zip ties. Once the epoxy cures you can then remove the zip ties and finish gluing the seams where they were. I use duct tape on the other side of the seam to keep the glue from making a mess on the other side. Once that is cured you can sand it all smooth with a nice radius at the seams. Then apply your fiberglass tapes etc....

I have seen YouTube videos of people leaving the ties in, buy imo it isn't as clean and tidy.

You can browse through the build threads in my signature for the fs17 and HC14 to see how I did it. They are not the same boats as you are building but that process should be the same.

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Re: If/when to remove tie wraps for stitch and glue

Post by OneWayTraffic »

Absolutely take them out. Do not make the mistake I made the first time of trying for fillets before you remove the cable ties. Just think little spots or strips between the ties. Small enough that you can bury them later without excessive sanding. Then leave for 24 hours. Any more you will need to sand more to get a better bond. Less and the epoxy may not be cured enough to hold the panels.
Then aim to lightly sand the spots, fillet over and tape in one session. Lay the tape while the fillet is still wet, but gelled.

I built a D5 dinghy similar to that optimist. It was my first build. Read my thread below; I documented everything I did, good and bad. The boat is still solid.

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Re: If/when to remove tie wraps for stitch and glue

Post by VT_Jeff »

+1 on what Narfi said: weld between the ties, let it cure, remove the ties, complete the weld.

I used a block plane instead of sanding to get my radius, much more fun.
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Re: If/when to remove tie wraps for stitch and glue

Post by TomW1 »

+2 keep the fiberglass away from the ties about an 1" and the next day cut them and pull them them out. Fill with small pieces of tape and epoxy.
Restored Mirror Dinghy, Bought OD18 built by CL, Westlawn School of Yacht Design courses. LT US Navy 1970-1978

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Re: If/when to remove tie wraps for stitch and glue

Post by Evan_Gatehouse »

I leave in the zip ties and put up with the ugly lumps under the tape :)
designer: FB11/GV10,11,13/ HMD18/

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