Recessed Deck Boardlam Relief Cut Strategy

Laying a boardlam graphic down on this Paddleboard with a 13” x 13” x 1” recessed square on the deck for a live well. Not sure how to go about the relief cuts here. I know the graphic will get jacked up a bit which is fine. More concerned with the glass job. 

Pics attached of my current strategy. 

disclaimer: I’m not an expert, and this is just an opinion.

But if it were me I would probably go with a relief cut pattern as shown below, for the fabric.

For the fiberglass, due to the looser weave, you might get away without the relief cuts.  But you will have another problem, I learned from glassing concave decks and thumb channels: when you pull your glass taut, it will want to lift up at the concave.  So what I learned to do is to mix up a small amount of resin, and coat the concave area, then when it starts to get sticky, I lay the fiberglass down, and work the glass into the concave area first, and then mix up your lamination resin - the tacky resin helps hold it in place as you work the rest of the surface.  But even then you just can’t pull it as taut as you normally would without the concave.  If you are doing fabric and glass at the same time, it gets even trickier, cuz the tacky resin might hold the fabric in place, but likely not the fiberglass cloth on top of the fabric.

I don’t really know what to tell you, other than be prepared for it to be a real tricky lam, maybe have a friend working with you.  Maybe use some sewing pins to help hold the concave down as you glass.

Ideally, you could just pull everything taut, let it set up, cut out the concave, and glass the concave separately.  But there are other obvious drawbacks to doing that.

Sorry, wish I could be more helpful.  Like I say, to me this looks like a real tricky glass job to pull off, especially with the fabric inlay.  Maybe somebody else has some ideas.

Good advice from Huck.  And;  you always have to go back at the very last second with your finger and press it down.

Will there be EVA traction in the well? That could simplify the cut to 4 diagonals through the corners and remove the inside square.

Thanks Huck! You nailed it. I didn’t make the 2 longer cuts parallel to the rails and wasnt able to keep the bottom corners of the bevel to stay down. Ended up takin a razor blade along there at the last minute (aka “Gorilla Panic Time” as we call it). I’ll post pics as I progess. 

If it were me I would simply glass that well by itself as a separate process before glassing the rest of the deck.  Then just do a cutlap within the well when you glass the full deck.  Easy Peazy.  If you really don’t want to mess with the graphic vac bag it.

I vaguely recall use of spray contact adhesive to hold cloth in place? I think I did it on bamboo veneers a long time ago.

No good for EPS.