glued lapstrake adhesive question

Discussion in 'Wooden Boat Building and Restoration' started by hodgesl, Oct 24, 2010.

  1. hodgesl
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    hodgesl New Member

    A friend of mine is currently building a 17' Arch Davis design. After reading a book by Larry Pardie he is questioning the use of epoxy as the adhesive in glued lapstrake construction. I would be interested in hearing opinions on the pros and cons of various adhesives for this type of construction.
  2. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Larry Pardey is a stick in the mud, narrow minded, stubborn and boneheaded at times. If doing a glued lapstrake design, the only adhesive to consider is epoxy, there are no other adheasives that can do the job. Larry is stuck in his ways, which is fine, but he has done a considerable disservice to many, with his very antiquated opinions of epoxy, which are based on unrefined goo's from the 50's and early 60's (when they did suck). He well knows his opinions are based on nearly a half a century old references, but being the stick in the mud that he is, he can't accept the changes that have occurred since. I imagine he also isn't aware that man has walked on the moon and that telephones don't need to be dialed or have cords any more either, but he's a stubborn old cuss, that can't adjust his "models" with time. Not a very good example for the next generations, to say the least. If you get a chance to meet him, do so. It will change everything you've read from him.
  3. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    I'm with PAR on this. Epoxy is the way to go nowadays.
  4. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Glued lapstrake as a building method doesn't exist without epoxy. On a technical level you could use resorcinol or other adhesive, but the gluing surface is small for these types of adhesives and more importantly, you'd have to make perfect joints along the laps and apply huge pressures while it was curing.

    This is why there was no such thing as a glued lapstrake construction method before epoxy came among.

    Again, there's no substitute for epoxy in this method and Larry is a fine sailor, good writer, but a self absorbed and epoxy confused bonehead.
  5. keith66
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    keith66 Senior Member

    Not strictly true, Glued Clinker construction was very common with numerous racing dinghy classes built this way. probably thousands of Int 14's, Merlin rockets, 12ft Nationals, 18ft Nationals,Yachting world dayboats & other classe were built this way in the late 50's, 60's & 70's.
    At the time most would have been built with urea formaldehyde glues such as Cascamite or Aerolite 306 a lot of them are stll going.
    Good fits were required but it was possible to build fine boats, epoxy just made it easier for amateurs!
  6. tom28571
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    tom28571 Senior Member

    Well, actually made it easy for anybody. Some were done with polyester before epoxy came along. I know of no one making glue laps with anything else. Attacking the Pardy's is a bit like attacking the 6000 years of evangelical evolution but truth is truth.
  7. ancient kayaker
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    ancient kayaker aka Terry Haines

    Tell your friend to read a more modern book that is all about glued-lapstrake. There's "Ultralight Boatbuilding" by Tom Hill and "Clinker Plywood Boatbuilding manual" by Iain Oughtred and several others. Your friend will get a more accurate picture from a writer who has used this method successfully within living memory! Also a boat should be built as intended by the designer; minor personalization is one thing but changing the build method is something else unless your friend knows what he is doing. Challenges would arise if he tried to adapt the design to stitch-and-glue and if he is using a kit it could be disastrous.
  8. jp_hill
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    jp_hill New Member

    Epoxy on Lapstrake

    I just finished a Penobscot 17. Without epoxy, it would have been a struggle. The only thing I hate about epoxy is cleaning it up, and trying to sand it later on if your didn't do a decent clean up job.
    When the boat is rotting away 20 years from now, I am sure the joints will be like new.
  9. troy2000
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    troy2000 Senior Member

    I just started reading How To Build Glued-Lapstrake Wooden Boats, by John Brooks & Ruth Ann Hill. The first printing was in 2004, so it's reasonably up-to-date.

    I haven't gotten very far into the book yet, but it seems to be a pretty sensible one so far. And I picked it used for a good price, at
  10. ancient kayaker
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    ancient kayaker aka Terry Haines

    I like the results the method yields. I watched a friend become discouraged sanding the fillets of his stitch and glue boat, which he never finished. Because of that experience, when I started building I used chine logs to reinforce the chine joints: quicker, cheaper, looks nicer and only a few percent heavier.

    Later I borrowed Tom Hill's book from the same friend and it was an eye-opener. My only objection is the cost, time and effort that goes into the building mold which gets tossed. I have read that Tom himself admits the mold's a chore for one boat and even he often has problems pulling the hull off the mold due to the planking sticking to the mold stringers. But the boats are gems.

    I have been trying to develop a building method that would produce the elegance of a glued lapstrake rounded hull with the ease and simplicity of a hard-chine hull. It's not been easy! Sometimes I wish I had never heard of glued lapstrake! I'm getting close, hopefully, and am planning a proof-of-principle boat over the Winter. I will publish in the forum if it goes well, and if it doesn't and there are lessons to be learned maybe I will 'fess up to what went wrong!

  11. michael pierzga
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    michael pierzga Senior Member

    Peter Culler, in his book ..Skiffs and Schooners... gives a beautiful, elegant description of the traditional Lapstrake, clinker built skiff. Well worth a read .
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