Extreme Cold Fiberglass Cracks

Discussion in 'Boatbuilding' started by fiberunlimited, Aug 21, 2007.

  1. fiberunlimited
    Joined: Aug 2007
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    fiberunlimited Junior Member

    Has anybody ever had problems with fiberglass cracking in extreme cold temperatures?
     
  2. the1much
    Joined: Jul 2007
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    the1much hippie dreams

    i used to live in maine,,fished pretty far offshore round gorges bank and up to canada,,seen it really cold, but never seen it cold enough to crack fiberglass, even the boats in storage see 20 below and dont crack. the only time ive seen fiberglass crack is from stress,air pockets, and delaminating
     
  3. KnottyBuoyz
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    KnottyBuoyz Provocateur & Raconteur

    I can remember standing (early '80's) on the aft deck of an icebreaker in Georgian Bay one evening when it was -42 C and a wind chill making it more like -65. I was taking pictures of the sunset over the ice when I heard a loud "Snap". It was the fiberglass case on one of the liferafts splitting right along the edge near one of the exploding bolts. The piece, about 6" long, flew right off and landed about 4 feet away on the deck.

    It was so cold that day I could take 2 pics before the film froze. I'd have to leave the camera inside for 2 hours to thaw out or the motor drive would rip the sprocket holes in the film strip.
     
  4. thudpucker
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    thudpucker Senior Member

    Rick your a hard act to follow!

    My Steering wheel cracked in the Alaskan winters.
     
  5. KnottyBuoyz
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    KnottyBuoyz Provocateur & Raconteur

    That why you moved to Alabama Thud? ;)
     
  6. thudpucker
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    thudpucker Senior Member

    The cold was a big part of the decision Rick.

    What I used to wonder about in that extreme dry cold was the 'composite' plane wings.
    When the ambient temperature was well below Zero (F) the sun would bring the temp on the upper wing surface up to as much as 30 (F). A big difference.

    I never saw any evidence of the F/Glass boats or cartops cracking in the winter. In fact the cowling on some equipment and trucks was F/Glass and I dont think any of it cracked either.

    However, lot's of metal things would break. Heater controls, bolts, hinges....ect would all break in the cold if you had to move them before they were warmed up a bit.
     
  7. mydauphin
    Joined: Apr 2007
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    mydauphin Senior Member

    If boat is in water it shouldn't crack, but a boat hoisted in air with windchill will crack. At 0 degree most fiberglass and epoxy becomes brittle like peanut brittle.
    If on trailer wrap tarp lossely around boat, then a second tarp around that one. It will cut down on wind chill, but remember water in engine etc...

    Make sure you dry out hull before storage. Sometimes a boat will have a lot of water in hull via osmosis or just in bilge. Obviously, this would also be a problem.
     
  8. kach22i
    Joined: Feb 2005
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    kach22i Architect

    The story of the week award goes to KnottyBuoyz.:)
     
  9. the1much
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    the1much hippie dreams

    windchill only matters to warm blooded animals, if the temp is 0 degrees and its -30 degrees windchill the boat will only go to 0,,the wind blowing on it doesnt make it any colder ( i saw that "Bill dude the science guy " episode ;)
     
  10. KnottyBuoyz
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    KnottyBuoyz Provocateur & Raconteur

    One of our River class Icebreakers in the Arctic a few yrs ago. Always thought this pic just oooozed "COOOOOOOOLD".
     

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  11. thudpucker
    Joined: Jul 2007
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    thudpucker Senior Member

    I dont think you have to worry about f/Glass cracking in the cold winter.
    My boat sat all winter long, four feet of snow sometimes, well below Zero for weeks at a time, and nothing ever cracked.
    Just leave it along. Dont move anything that's really frozen and you'll be OK.
     
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