carbon fiber 8 feet inflatable

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by Agaponi, Feb 26, 2007.

  1. Agaponi
    Joined: Jan 2007
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    Location: Venezuela

    Agaponi Junior Member

    Is it posible to make a 8 feet hull for an inflatable boat in cabon fiber?
    to make the boat more lighter, carbon fiber looks and save some extra layers by using a more stronger material.
    I know carbon fiber is about 10x expensier than fiberglass... but at least use only 1 layer of carbon fiber for looks, and save some fiberglass layer by adding the stronger one.

    Do i have to use some kind of clear gelcoat so i can leave the carbon fiber look for the exterior?

  2. bilgeboy
    Joined: Dec 2005
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    Location: Boston

    bilgeboy Senior Member

    A couple of thoughts…that say don’t do it.

    If you are going strictly CF to save weight, can afford it, and that’s what you want, fine. But to compromise with some glass and some CF kind of ruins the whole plan.

    You can’t leave the CF exposed to sunlight. Not only because you’ll cook your *** when you sit on that black surface, but the epoxy resin degrades when exposed to UV. I saw a CF hood on a race car a few months ago, and the resin was very yellowed after just a year in the light up here in New England. The guy was pretty disappointed, was going to get around to painting it one day, but initially thought the look was pretty cool. I’m sure it was.

    I love the stuff in theory, too. I just haven’t gotten around to finding a practical application myself!

    Take care,

  3. Agaponi
    Joined: Jan 2007
    Posts: 18
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    Location: Venezuela

    Agaponi Junior Member

    i know what your saying... this is a proyect i was thinking about... making one ultralight Aux. boat for a yacht or something... also the cosmetic look would be awsome! i also know the CF make a lot of noise, and more if its the hull...
    But maybe someone can give me some tips, and if its posible to do, or its just going to fail this proyect... i want to safe time and money before doing it... and this forum is great for ideas and to put you back on earth ;)


  4. mattotoole
    Joined: Nov 2004
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    Location: Potomac MD, USA

    mattotoole Senior Member

    I've thought about this, and I'm not sure it makes sense. Aluminum bottomed inflatables are already pretty light, with the majority of their weight in the rubber part. So making the bottom out of carbon fiber vs. aluminum won't save much weight overall.

    The aluminum-bottomed 10 footer I've been using weighs 68 LB. Making it lighter wouldn't make it any easier to handle. The problem getting it over the side, etc., is bulk.

    Originally I was thinking about carbon-thermoplastic for dinghies.

    I still think carbon hard dinghies could be good.
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