Fiberglass boat fights jaws for life

Discussion in 'Materials' started by M&M Ovenden, May 21, 2008.

  1. M&M Ovenden
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    M&M Ovenden Senior Member

    From reading along an other thread in the metal boat building section I came to think of this “experience” last summer with a fiber glass boat and thought I could share it. Steel boat lovers, which I am, have the tendency to denigrate composite boats. Well, I may have lived a life changing experience.

    We have been collecting lead for our own build from every possible source, even other boats. This boat had been sitting open in a yard for years and was unfortunately a lost cause worth more for it's keel than as a sailing vessel. I don't remember what kind of boat it was, ugly if you ask me. It seemed like a fairly cheap build, thin and ugly fiberglass...it also had been soaked from the inside for a while so we expected the destruction to be a joke with our choice of killing equipment. Well then.....composite did impress me. The tractor had a rather hard time getting the spears threw the hull. It kept bouncing, rolling, flexing but just wouldn't pierce. I really didn't expect that, what an eye opening experience on the resilience of composite. Even once the boat was thorn it was still challenging to fold the hull, we literally had to shred it. I was impressed.

    For the metal boat fellows, I am quite aware that I wouldn't even think to try destroying a steel boat this manner but I'd like to point out that this not so great hull had been neglected and abandoned to elements for many years and could to a certain point still be considered sound when a metal hull, treated the same way, would of probably not been in a condition that would of allowed me to trust it on the water. Don't take me wrong, steel is still my beloved material (this is a personal preference) but I have been very impressed and happily give browny points to fantastic plastic.

    [​IMG]

    Even thought I didn't really like the boat, the idea of killing a boat did me something, I'm meant to build them not destroy them. Oh well, still was somewhat fun.

    [​IMG]

    The destruction tool, scary if you ask me.

    [​IMG]

    On a picture it looks like the next shot would be the spears going threw, but it wasn't the case. The boat rolled and bounced away.

    [​IMG]

    Ok, the farmer figured out the trick.

    [​IMG]

    Took a good shake to tare.

    [​IMG]

    Not much left, but the bow just won't come apart

    [​IMG]

    Crush it, then. Notice that the tractor is lifting itself on whats left of the bow and some hull pieces.


    For the anecdote, when we cleaned up, after the final crushing, everything was in pieces or well damaged except for two full bottles found intact, one of rum and one of gin. Now that was even more impressive than the properties of fiberglass.

    Cheers, Murielle
     
  2. DanishBagger
    Joined: Feb 2006
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    DanishBagger Never Again

    Man, that boat must have done something bad to it's owners …








    (the name …)
     
  3. tinhorn
    Joined: Jan 2008
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    tinhorn Senior Member

    A moment of silence is in order.
     
  4. AMFBoats
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    AMFBoats Senior Member

    Bad Karma
     
  5. kach22i
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    kach22i Architect

    Really really bad Karma.:D
     
  6. Roly
    Joined: Jul 2005
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    Roly Senior Member

    "just burn it its a lot easier"

    You like breathing the toxic stuff that results of burning boats?
    Smart ***, hope you get prosecuted if you do it.
     
  7. afrhydro
    Joined: Mar 2008
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    afrhydro Senior Member

    yea your right i didnt think about that part
    but the land fill is going to burn it anyways right
    i restore my boats anyways

    and im not a smart ***, watch it

    the Brits have come up with the most ingenious proposal. British Waterways, a governmental entity charged with managing the country’s lakes, rivers, and coastal waters, is studying something called Network Q. The idea is to refurbish old fiberglass vessels, then sell them at an attractive price to new boaters. The agency would guarantee to buy back the boats within a year at a predetermined price, so the buyer could either move up to a bigger boat if he or she likes the sport or get out without losing a lot of money
     
  8. Roly
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    Roly Senior Member

    "i restore my boats anyways"

    Just keepin' ya honest.;) good onya mate!

    Truth be known, many years ago when nobody gave it a thought, I used to burn all the offcuts of surfboard manfacturing. I was still at high school but had a part time business. One day I left the remains of a fire unattended to go surfing only to come back to the whole Lot burning (Grass) & the fire brigade hosing my factory to keep it from going up as well.
    I had to make a donation to the fire service.
    That stuff sure burnt black though.
    That was the last of my fibreglass fires.
    If I did it now I'd get crucified by the local council.(Financially)
    Btw....
    "but the land fill is going to burn it anyways right"
    Not in this neck of the woods.
    I thought it would be even tougher in the States?
     
  9. Ike
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    Ike Senior Member

    Back in the 80's when I was in charge of the USCG's boat flotation testing program, occasionally we had to destroy a boat that was so bad we couldn't fix it and sell it. After various attempts at destruction we devised this method. Cut it into 2 foot sections with a chain saw, then run over the pieces with a D8 or D12 cat. Those FRP boats are almost indestructible any other way. Even if you burn them the fiberglass survives. Just the resin burns off. Then you have to find a landfill that will take it.
     
  10. Manie B
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    Manie B Senior Member

  11. Fanie
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    Fanie Fanie

    I bet there would be someone out there who would just burn up to have restored that boat.

    Fiberglass boats don't die. They change owners and then they usually retire with the last buyer.

    Real pity.
     
  12. M&M Ovenden
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    M&M Ovenden Senior Member

    Unfortunately Fanie, someone did very wrong to this boat before we took it. It was so bad the yard where it was laying was willing to pay to get rid of it, they brought it to us for free. Absolutely no one wanted it. Dumps didn't want it because of the lead and recyclers didn't want it because of the rest of the boat. It had been left open to elements for a few years, there was a water line on the inside and oil everywhere. The hull was convex at the cradle pads and the deck scary to walk on. Even if it had been possible to fix it, economically it wasn't...it would of cost more in resin and labor than the value of the 26 ft hull. There was no engine, no mast, no rigging....no nothing but lead. For the cost of all the above second hand I could buy an ok 26 footer.

    The photos make it look good, but it wasn't. Lets be serious here....I love sailing...if I could of fixed it up so I had a boat to play with while I build mine, I would of. I witnessed, fiberglass boats can die. When it happens, you take everything salvageable on it, fold it up and bring it to the land fill.

    Cheers
    Murielle
     
  13. Fanie
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    Fanie Fanie

    Fiberglass boats don't die

    Someone must have abused or mishandled that boat very much for it to get in a state like that. The only time a boat gets so rotten is when wood is used that disintigrates when it gets wet.

    It's still a pity. I've never seen a fiberglas boat put down before. It couldn't even become a bar in someone's back yard or something... ?

    Can we have a moment of silence for it... :D

    Do remember, if we ever meet, there's NO LEAD IN MY BOAT ! :D
     
  14. LyndonJ
    Joined: May 2008
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    LyndonJ Senior Member

    I had a solid GRP Roberts 36 as a neighbor in the marina when a storm jumbled us all up, my steel 45 footer was rising up and dropping about 5 feet and sliding off the side of that GRP hull for hours. You could see the side flexing each time my boat hit it. Afterwards my boat had some smashed ports and lots of missing paint.
    The Roberts had a splintered timber rub rail and the alloy toe rail was totally destroyed but the hull was not compromised just thoroughly scratched in a few patches.

    It's just a pity that the water gets into the material and causes so much problem over a long period.
     

  15. AMFBoats
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    AMFBoats Senior Member

    I have seen boats repaired over the years that should have been crushed at the rubbish dump. Rotten old boats that should never see water again given bodgy make overs so they can be re sold for a profit. Often there is a point where it is better the boat is crushed so it doesnt take the life of those on board.

    I guess they are also repaired by back yarders because professionals have all decided not to touch the job with a barge pole.
     
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