Fiberglass boat repair

Discussion in 'Metal Boat Building' started by Rusty Bucket, Apr 6, 2007.

  1. Rusty Bucket
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    Rusty Bucket Junior Member

    Have you guys noticed that the fiberglass and composite sub-catagory almost always deals with repair work, I wonder why?
     
  2. waikikin
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    waikikin Senior Member

    Rusty, I think its 'cos theres so many millions of composite boats about! Regards from Jeff.
     
  3. Rusty Bucket
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    Rusty Bucket Junior Member

    Build a glass boat

    Hey Jeff, thanks for the reply,I was cruising the different forums becouse the metal forum was pretty quiet . I couldn't help but notice the high ratio of people fixing boats vs. actually building and it occured to me that with fiberglas construction it's not real easy to get a one off boat from point a to b. I remembered seeing an article somewhere about laying up flat panels on plastic sheet and then using them to do a stitch and glue type boat. If you vacuum bagged some exotic material you could possibly create a very light version of a ply or aluminum design. Just a thought. regards rusty
     
  4. Poida
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    Poida Senior Member

    Mr Bucket

    Although a steel boat can rust and a wood one can rot, in both, except extreme cases, they can be repaired and the finished repair can be stronger than the original structure.

    My opinion is that one of the downfalls of fibreglass is the difficulty of repair. Nothing glues to plastic and makes a bond as strong as the original structure.

    Even while fibreglassing care has to taken to ensure that, as the plastic is layered the previous layer has not started to go off as the next layer will not adhere and delamination can result.

    Further to this Mr Bucket, one of the advantages of plastic boats is the lower cost of production. Once the mold is made the manufacturer can knock them out quickly, so normally if you want a new boat a plastic one would be the cheapest. But, not cheap for the home builder, who would have to build a mold first, just to build a boat out of a material that is probably not the best for a boat.

    Henceforth most people when talking of plastic boats would be talking of repairs not building.

    Poida
     
  5. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    There are a number of "one off" methods for 'glass construction, but the bottom line is, there are a lot more manufactured boats that need to be fixed, then individuals building a boat. The percentage of people building their own boat, compared to buying a manufactured product, is a very small fraction of 1% in the total boats registered around the world. This isn't unusual, it's quite normal. Similar figures for airplanes being built from scratch and cars too, bear out this simple fact of life. The vast majority of people would rather buy a product (maybe with a guarantee) then risk screwing up building one themselves. Most people hire a contractor to remodel their kitchen for the same reason. They don't know how, don't want to learn and are afraid they'll mess it up if they tried. It's a very small percentage of people that will take on projects such as the ones you see here.

    Each method, regardless of materials used has good and bad points about them. None seems to have an arm lock on being particularly uninviting to the amateur builder. Wood is a material that most are familiar and comfortable with, so there are lots of these projects going. Metal is straight forward and a fair number of folks elect to use these materials. 'Glass has some reputation and other issues (itching, sanding, etc.) that need to be understood, but many are using this material with several different techniques being employed.
     
  6. waikikin
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    waikikin Senior Member

    Flat panel const'

    Rusty, flat panel boats are being built commonly in Australia & New Zealand, mostly multihulled cruising boats to designs by Schionning, Kelsal & a couple of others I cant remember, often a laminating table of melamine faced particle board/craftwood or glass(more rarely) is used as a molding surface to create large composite sandwich or solid glass panels as you'e mentioned to stitch & glue up the vessel shape, the stiffness of these cored panels seems to favour the straiter lines of catamaran hulls, although they can by "kerfed" & relaminated for for tighter curves.Glass boats can be very successfully repaired with some pretty basic tools & correct technique, & is often light but sometimes awkward work, most important is to protect eyes ears lungs & skin. Regards from Jeff:)
     
  7. Rusty Bucket
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    Rusty Bucket Junior Member

    Mr Bucket replies:)

    I guess I started this thread as an attempt to stimulate discourse on building fiberglass boats. Maybe if we discussed how many practical ways you can build a glass boat we would see more people attempting it. I think it's obvious that the conventional route to creating a production glass hull isn't practical for the casual builder. The backyard builder can avoid the huge investment in tooling by simply buying a bare hull or hull and deck assembly or that person could save time and money by pulling a mold off an existing hull, either wood or glass saving half the tooling cost. Noting the popularity of stich and glue I thought the flat panel method would appeal to somebody that really likes fiberglass. My interest lies mostly in the work boat realm and there the companies that finish other builders production hulls are common. Remember that people willing to grind out stingers or transoms or rebuild soft decks get just as dirty and itchy as someone working on a new hull but we find plenty of people willing to do it. A plug is really just a boat. Thanks for all the nice replys,regards rusty
     
  8. fiberglass jack
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    fiberglass jack Senior Member

    one day someone will design a cnc choppergun lol
     

  9. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    I believe, the real issue with panel construction is the aesthetic ramifications you're left with, after hull shape compromises have been made. Most folks want sexy, swoopy lines, be they the hard, crisp angles of a high speed runabout or the flowing smoothness of a sailboat. Panel construction, regardless of material used, severely limits shape options and most think negatively toward them. It's unjustly deserved, but awkwardly shaped cars have similar difficulties in the show room or on the sales floor.

    This is especially true of 'glass construction. Everyone knows that production and well built one off construction has few shape limitations and expect the boat they build should have the same. CFlex planking, or one of the several composite one off methods, can provide the shapes we like looking at.

    There are CNC chopper arrangements in the industry. Now if you can write a cut file to accurately describe the hull . . .
     
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