Step 4: Body work...
Now that my fins were out of the way, it was time for the "easy" part...fiberglassing the hull. The flat faces of the hull did make for a lot less frustrating laying, even though I didn't yet know about pre-taping the seams (see learning moment-step 3).
After a good cure overnight, it's time to smooth everything out with some mild bondo, to even up the surface and prepare for the paint job.
Bondo can be mixed either "mild" or "hot" by varying the amount of hardening cream. Hot bondo hardens faster and sets stiffer than mild bondo. I choose to coat the boat in a milder mixture so that it would retain some flexibility and avoid cracking under stress.
A 12" drywall knife sufficed to even out some of the high ridges in the boat hull. This is more important for the bottom, as ridges will add drag and impede performance, but I did the top too, so I'd have a better looking ship.
To make my sanding easier, I used an electric palm sander. It helped, but went a bit too far in some spots, which had to be redone with hot bondo and hand sanded again.
Adding the bondo to the hull also should provide some ballast, since the top will be saddled with a large, heavy engine and rigging. Bondo, however, is pretty heavy, so try not to add too much, so your boat doesn't become an anchor.
After your body work is done and dry, apply some primer and whatever paint scheme suits your fancy. Your base coat of primer will probably reveal imperfections that you should address along the way...mine sure did, and hot bondo came in handy again and again...xD