Light non-structural materials

Discussion in 'Materials' started by ryanonthebeach, Jul 22, 2008.

  1. ryanonthebeach
    Joined: Mar 2007
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    ryanonthebeach Junior Member

    Hi All

    I'm searching for suitable lightweight materials for a catamaran. I only have a payload of 1500lb, will be crossing the pacific and need to redo the interior but weight is obviously a problem.
    So I would like to bring the weight down, short of going carbon fiber what are some good, reasonably priced options for this?

    I've looked at aluminum panels, marine ply, starboard etc. but am having trouble figuring out what would be best suited for the non-structural bits.

    The replacements will be for cabin dividing panel, galley cabinet, watertight slats for the doors (sorry forgot the salty term), head panels for hiding the holding tank, backing boards for electric panels, panels to house batteries, storage compartments and shelves etc.

    Your advice would be much appreciated!
     
  2. Crag Cay
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    Crag Cay Senior Member

  3. ryanonthebeach
    Joined: Mar 2007
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    ryanonthebeach Junior Member

    Aluminium pannels

    interesting stuff, apparently less sag than plywood but less resistant to puncture.
    Can coat with veneer...

    Just gave them a buzz

    4X8 1/2 in panels are around $167
    Min order of 6 panels plus $50 packing charge.
     
  4. Crag Cay
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    Crag Cay Senior Member

    I notice you've referred to the aluminium Tricel sheets. I was actually suggesting the wood / impregnated paper honeycomb versions. If you search the Profession Boatbuilder online archive you'll find articles on working with Tricel. You can even form nice single radiuses in it.

    I've used it for interiors and have never had any problems with its puncture resistance. It's non structural in the sense of not being part of the load bearing structure of the hull, but is easily strong enough for interiors, perhaps with the exception of your battery box requirement.

    Apart from galley work surfaces, (best veneered with Formica) the wood outer surfaces are easily good enough to be finished bright. I epoxy coat and then either paint or finish clear.
     
  5. rwatson
    Joined: Aug 2007
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    rwatson Senior Member

    Have you considered Kiri (Pawlonia) timber panels? Almost as light as balsa, impervious to rot, easy to work and attractive.

    They get used a lot in say motor homes, that need to be even more carefull of weight.
     

  6. ryanonthebeach
    Joined: Mar 2007
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    Location: CA

    ryanonthebeach Junior Member

    Kiri

    Kiri sounds great and so does the price.
    Searching around on the net, can't seem to find a supplier in the US, will have to call around on Monday.
    Thanks!
     
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