Sheathe, to

To cover a hull or deck, usually a wooden one,

with an impervious layer. The technique which appeals to many DIY-ers is to

sheathe the boat with glass cloth (or chopped strand mat) and polyester resin.

Unfortunately, polyester does not always bond very well to the timber – epoxy

resin would better, but it is harder to work with and more expensive. There are

proprietary types of sheathing, some based on rubbery compounds, others using

reinforced plastics. All require that the wood beneath be sound, free from rot,

and free from paint, oil, or large gaps and cracks. Copper sheathing was

formerly much used to protect wooden hulls against Teredo in tropical waters.

Although copper sheet is very expensive, the initial capital cost is offset by

the saving of the annual anti-fouling paint which would otherwise be necessary,

so in the long term sheathing may prove cheaper as well as more convenient.