Flexible welded composites

Discussion in 'Fiberglass and Composite Boat Building' started by EStaggs, Jun 10, 2008.

  1. EStaggs
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    EStaggs Senior Member

    So an internet-challenged boatbuilder buddy of mine (too much polyester exposure) wants me to float this out and see what people say.

    The plan is to build laminate sheets in varying schedules from a 2 layer 17oz layup to an 8 layer layup built by a local laminate company. These would be gel coated on one side, with sheets available from 3x8 ft up to just about any length necessary (probably top out somewhere under 50ft) for the average home builder. Idea being, these sheets are flexible enough to replace wood cored composite building, giving a rot-free layup. Bulkheads could be done in either full-glass or in FiberTech panels at the same facility over fir plywood.

    The chines could be either stitch welded, basket mold, or some other form of restraint to form the boat from developed panels cut flat. He also has a solution using extruded aluminum as chines, and using certain shapes to include spray rails. Here is the big plus:

    NO FAIRING

    If the panels can be assembled with the gel coat on the exterior and the chines contained in aluminum, there is no fairing. If you decide to stitch weld, there is a very limited amount of fairing required, substantially less than currently needed.

    I can relay any questions, thoughts, concerns, etc.

    Please don't hesitate to give it thumbs up or down, just so long as there is feedback so he will stop calling me 5 times a day.

    Thanks!

    E
     
  2. the1much
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    the1much hippie dreams

    isnt that alot of "mechanical bonding?,,,if you did these things the "old way",,there would be alot more chemical bonding in the build,,then all that being mechanically bonded. would everything be as safe?,,,,jus full of idiot questions huh ,,hehe ;)
     
  3. EStaggs
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    EStaggs Senior Member

    I think you may have misread part of it.

    On the inside of the joints, they will be filleted/taped/laid up just as in any other typically built boat. The idea behind the extrusions is a more durable, fairing-free joint on the exterior near the gelcoat.

    E
     
  4. the1much
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    the1much hippie dreams

    im afraid i guess i dont understand,,hehe,,every time i read it i get a different picture,,,( fumes) ,,,these "sheets" are going where?,,will they be the "hull",,and the thinking being pice them together to build the size ya want?.use them for both the exterior,,and interior?
    sorry for the stupid questions,,,jus takes me a while to catch on some times,,hehe ;)
     
  5. Landlubber
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    Landlubber Senior Member

    It can be done in very smal craft quite satisfactorily, there have been boats built along these lines for many years, but none have remained in commercial production that i know of. There is an alloy boat built in Brisbane that uses an extruded moulding with flay sheets hammered into the mouldings, it works well, and is a commercial venture, but fibreglass sheets woukd have to be thicker than the alloy for the same strength, it sort of goes back to just using a mould to make the bloody thing in the first place. Too much frigging around to build a simple boat otherwise.
     
  6. the1much
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    the1much hippie dreams

    and i see how length wouldnt cause many "band-aids",,but at only 3' wide,, you would need "band-aids" along your length,,2 or 3 at least,,,,im not sure longitudinal "mechanical" bonds that way would work at all,,,,going the other way,,,,i resort to previous post,,as way too many mechanical bonds for it to be safe,,(talking bout real boats right?,,not them trout,,i mean bass boats?)
    i confused again lubber ,,,,,,,,does he mean build the hull outta panels?,,,and i've never seen a boat built like that,,,,im glad you have,,,or i wouldnt have believed it,,hehe ;)
     
  7. the1much
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    the1much hippie dreams

    o.k.,,,i reread AGAIN,,ha,, and see a blog thingy,,so i looked,,,(almost didnt,,,i didnt know blogs included pics hehe),,,and i see the size boat,,,,SORRY,,,i still have "flash backs" to my buildin days,,,,i can see where panels would work on them baby boats,,,but only if you could use 1 piece a side.,,,but i would watch out for the "no fairing" comment,,,,i've seen flat panals made on a flat table,,,,and always need fairing.
     
  8. ondarvr
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    ondarvr Senior Member

    I may have missed it, but what size boat is he talking about?

    The panels they make are up to about 8' wide and they do go to about 50' in length.

    It will work, not unlike aluminum or steel construction, not sure if I would say fairing free though.
     
  9. TeddyDiver
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    TeddyDiver Gollywobbler

    I don't see how they could produce a round bilge. And if they don't it won't replace wood, so being only ply substitute for dorys ....
     
  10. KnottyBuoyz
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    KnottyBuoyz Provocateur & Raconteur

    it sounds an awful lot like the kelsall KSS boatbuilding method.

    www.kelsall.com

    There are plenty of builders using similar techniques with a multitude of different cores and materials. I think Derek Kelsall uses Duflex panels exclusively in his designs.

    What you're describing strikes me as being very similar to what Steve Marshall has done with his trailerable trawler. All panels were assembled and infused on a flat table and assembled. He's posted here and his blog is located here....

    http://marshalldesign.blogspot.com/
     
  11. EStaggs
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    EStaggs Senior Member

    Alright, at least a few people have their heads on a swivel, thinkin this thing through...

    So the panels can be built up to massive sizes, which would allow construction to be completed on boats up to an estimated 50ish feet. This construction would be similar to stitch welded plywood, but with much less fairing work. A single panel would be large enough to do each side of the boat, and each of the two bilge panels. The only seams will be where they join.

    These panels would be focusing on the home builder and one-off custom shops, and not intended for the round bilged boat, as there are a multitude of great methods for those boats. This is specifically hard chined, and not necessarily dory-only. The panels will accept conic projections just like sheet ply and sheet metal, giving conic sections and rounded, eye pleasing surfaces with hard chines. The focus is in the semi planer and planing markets, as well as flat bottoms. Displacement boats will always be the bastion of round bottoms and lots of curvature, so he isnt desiring to break into that market as of yet (though he has some ideas on that too).

    The biggest market that he sees is the construction of 12-30 foot craft, center console fishing, small cabin cruiser, camp cruisers, and small fishing or pleasure vessels with cabins and accommodations for 2 for a week or so. Most home builders stay under about 26 feet due to construction space (typical 2 car garage being 24x30).

    As fairing goes, this method ideally will eliminate fairing the flat surfaces of the exterior completely. Covering the chine joints should accomplish that, with some minimal work at the bow and transom joints possible. This is a vast leap forward, because so much time is lost in one-off construction getting fairness and smoothness for the paint. In this method the gelcoat is already in place, requires no large-surface fairing, and painting is non-existent. Interior surfaces can be carpeted, veneered with wood laminates, or faired traditionally and painted, its up to the user.

    KB, I will forward the links to him and see what he has to say. I see a little similarity, but this is coreless construction, relying only on the laminate itself.

    E (spokaloo)
     
  12. the1much
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    the1much hippie dreams

    Alright, at least a few people have their heads on a swivel, thinkin this thing through...< whats that pose to mean?
    and as the fairing goes,,,,theres NO such thing as not having to fair even a FLAT panal will need fairing,,,,(i've been a fairer for over 10 years) and i worked on very big boats,,,that had ALOT of glass panels for "inside" stuff.,,,,,EVERY 1 of them needed fairing.,,,,this aint an "put-down",,,he ASKED for opinions,,and THOUGHTS,,and QUESTIONS,,,,,so reading all the posts,,,looks like he's getting exactly what he asked from us,,,,,and only using 1 panel a side,,,at 3',,,makes it kinda like a "fair weather" boat ,,,,he didnt say "just a little boat",,he asked bout panels being used to build boats,,,,,no size,,,,as for them working on a small boat,,,yup,,i can see it making it easier,,,,,but for some reason everyone thinks you only need to fair the seams,,,,im sorry but, that aint gonna be all,,,hehe ;)
     
  13. EStaggs
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    EStaggs Senior Member

    It means that a few people gave feedback. Sensitive? It wasnt even an insult if directed at anyone.

    I guess Ill restate a few things for you again.

    A panel can be developed up to 8 feet by 50 feet. Thats a big damn boat for a home builder.

    The panels will be one sided gel coat. This means that one side of the panel will be smooth, colored, and water-ready. The only area that MAY need fairing is the joint, depending on the joint itself. There will not be lifts of fairing compound to deal with in filling a weave or to iron out tape edges, as the tape will exist inside only, using the extrusions on the exterior. Theoretically that indicates very limited joint-only fairing.

    Im not trying to be a jerk Jim, but restating the same facts to redescribe a point that others understood takes a little extra time out of my project out in the shop right now.

    The idea man has been in the industry for 30 years for various large craft manufacturers. I admit he is a bit out there some days on his ideas, but he has a pretty solid concept here that Im helping, with you guys as well, to find flaws in the concept.

    E
     
  14. the1much
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    the1much hippie dreams

    no...i didnt need the "repost",,and didnt think you was being an @ss,,hehe,,i aint eitha,,,i just didnt get ya first sentence,,,with everyone from different places,,and things meaning different things,,i just needed "that" part explained,,so there wasnt any "different takes" on it,,hehe,,im a little "slow" :) ;)
    and i thought your saying in your first post that a regular 3x8 panel could go as long as 50' ,,,which i took as a 3x50 panel,,,which,,3' is jus a row boat,,hehe ;)
    and TRUST me,,,i know that he's been in it a while,,and has some "funky techno dreamy ideas",,,its the FUMES,,<least thats my excuse,,,,,and i really think its coolass that your doing it for him,,,,i just think that if someone wants feedback on ideas,,and thoughts,,,some of the best ways to figure out problems first,,,is too ask ALL KINDS of questions,,and put a "hardball" reality version right next to the idea,,,,,someone asking something as stupid as,,,,what about if you wanted a "porthole",,would it work?",,,,then that makes the "idea" guy think ahead,,,and have any problems arising from that already taken care of,,hehe,,, ;)
    honestly,,,,i commend you for what ya doing here,,,i just hope after a few years,,i could find me a "helper",,so i can enjoy my years of "fumes",,hehe ;) :)
    and i think these panels are a great idea for the "home builder",,,it cuts out the "hurry up and gat this resin on the glass before it kicks,,,,and stay ahead of the kick-line",,,,hehe ;)
     

  15. the1much
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    the1much hippie dreams

    and on the fairing point,,,i was just saying that stating "no fairing" should be "with LITTLE fairing",,,unless ya sandwich the panel between 2 flat fair surfaces,,,,cause ya know when it comes to painting the boat,,,what builders dont think needs fairing,,the "painter" usually shows them how much fairing it does need.,,,i wasnt being an @ss bout that eitha:) ;),,hehe,,,but like i stated before,,,ive never seen anyone make a flat panel that didnt need fairing,,,,,and was waiting for your,,,"ya,,we can do that",,i figured i could learn something,,,,,if i could remember it for more then a day,,hehe ;)
     
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