Fiberglassing over a wooden relic boat

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by Wellington, Jun 22, 2018.

  1. kerosene
    Joined: Jul 2006
    Posts: 1,159
    Likes: 124, Points: 63, Legacy Rep: 358
    Location: finland

    kerosene Senior Member

  2. DCockey
    Joined: Oct 2009
    Posts: 4,997
    Likes: 488, Points: 83, Legacy Rep: 1485
    Location: Midcoast Maine

    DCockey Senior Member

  3. SamSam
    Joined: Feb 2005
    Posts: 3,900
    Likes: 197, Points: 63, Legacy Rep: 971
    Location: Coastal Georgia

    SamSam Senior Member

    Vaitses plan was to not rely on the polyester resin to keep the glass sticking to the hulls. So he didn't prep the hulls much as far as grinding, scraping etc. but put on a layer of Fabmat ( a heavy 24 oz woven roving with an attached 1.5 oz CSM ) and when that got to the green stage used an air powered stapler to put large galvanized staples all over about 6" apart. Then a few more layers of Fabmat were applied. The staples were what mainly held the thick skin on. He accepted that the wood hull was more or less loose underneath the fiberglass shell. He also claimed that between the wood hull drying out and losing weight, and the added volume/displacement of the boat due to the thick glass skin, that the boats would actually float a little bit higher than before they were glassed.
    They do it a little different around here for the wooden shrimp boats. They clean up the hull fairly well with grinders and trowel on a layer of a 5200 reasonable facsimile (cheaper) type mastic that they buy in 5 gallon pails. 24 oz woven roving is then embedded in that. Once that sets up for a day or so, it is wet out with polyester resin, when it gets to the green stage it's power stapled and then the same routine as above is followed with a few more layers of Fabmet.
  4. Wellington
    Joined: Jun 2018
    Posts: 40
    Likes: 2, Points: 8
    Location: uk

    Wellington Junior Member

  5. Mr Efficiency
    Joined: Oct 2010
    Posts: 10,201
    Likes: 970, Points: 113, Legacy Rep: 702
    Location: Australia

    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    Well, that stapling trick they are apparently using on timber boats, won't work with the steel. Which may not matter, but I'd imagine if it kept rusting under the GRP, it would bust through the laminate pretty quickly. Letting more water into the gap, and accelerating the rust.
  6. Wellington
    Joined: Jun 2018
    Posts: 40
    Likes: 2, Points: 8
    Location: uk

    Wellington Junior Member

    think ill put this can of worms back in the
  7. Velsia
    Joined: Oct 2008
    Posts: 92
    Likes: 13, Points: 8, Legacy Rep: 15
    Location: Jersey C.I

    Velsia Floater

    Eric Tabarly was one of the prominent pioneers and did it to save his beloved Pen Duick in the 60's. She's still afloat today (albeit without the original wooden boat inside!).

    Another famous boat still afloat is Cambria. She was one of the "big class" in the 30's and they did it to save her in the 80's. It was so beneficial to her that when they rebuilt her a few years ago to rectify the problems found in the 80's, they put the glass back on.
  8. Wellington
    Joined: Jun 2018
    Posts: 40
    Likes: 2, Points: 8
    Location: uk

    Wellington Junior Member

    I believe it can be done but that said it is still a huge risk if you get things wrong on a large scale. thanks for the info. kind regards.

  9. bajansailor
    Joined: Oct 2007
    Posts: 2,210
    Likes: 746, Points: 113, Legacy Rep: 37
    Location: Barbados

    bajansailor Marine Surveyor

    One quite famous example of how this re-fit method can work properly is the Falmouth Quay Punt 'Curlew', which was originally built more than 100 years ago.
    She is now on display in Falmouth, Cornwall at the Maritime Museum; her previous owners gave her a new lease on life approx 35 years ago in New Zealand where they sheathed the original timber hull with a new hull built with 3 layers of strips of kauri timber bonded on with epoxy.
    OK, not 'fibreglass' as such, but the same concept.
    Some info about her - Falmouth Quay punt "Curlew" – BC09 | National Maritime Museum Cornwall

    And an excellent article about her by the Carrs -
    We Uncluttered Our Cutter

    I saw her sailing in Antigua Race Week in 1987 - this was before the Antigua Classics Regatta was thought about, so Curlew was racing against the hot IOR and other fancy racers of the day. And she hammered many of them most convincingly - she won her class (where she was the only gaffer / long keeler). And if I may quote from the article, 'she also won second Best Performance Overall, outshined only by a souped-up, flat-out, Admiral’s Cup Two-Tonner'.
    Not bad going for a 90 year old!

  10. Wellington
    Joined: Jun 2018
    Posts: 40
    Likes: 2, Points: 8
    Location: uk

    Wellington Junior Member

    Thanks i will take a look at those links. Everyone seems to suggest using epoxy instead of polyester. kind regards.
Forum posts represent the experience, opinion, and view of individual users. Boat Design Net does not necessarily endorse nor share the view of each individual post.
When making potentially dangerous or financial decisions, always employ and consult appropriate professionals. Your circumstances or experience may be different.