As I didn't want just another wood boat on the starting line, I decided to stain the back half of the hull. After a significant amount of research as to the best stain to use that wouldn't inhibit the penetration of the epoxy matrix when applying the layer of glass to the outside of the hull, I settled on using Behlen Solar Lux Stain. This is an alcohol based stain that evaporates, leaving the surface of the wood dry, porous and oil-free. This stain is also UV stable.
My buddy David from Austin, TX came to town for a visit and was kind enough to give me a hand (or two, while they lasted). He helped me cut and stain the hull panels, and put the hull holding fixture together. Even though they came out exceptionally fair and smooth, I don't really want to show off the puzzle joint or the other bow modifications that will be apparent if left au naturale. So the front of the boat will get a coat of paint.
Here's the panels out to dry after staining. We got a bit sloppy at the front end. That stuff is really thin and got everywhere when you're trying to work quickly before it dried up on the rag. We had a couple oops moments in the area I didn't plan on staining. It's a good thing the front end is getting covered up! Thankfully after having some time to dry the blotchiness evened up.