making a mold

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by georgiahemi, Oct 12, 2007.

  1. georgiahemi
    Joined: May 2006
    Posts: 27
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Georgia

    georgiahemi Junior Member

    Alright guys, need your input. I have been wanting to buy a mold for a canoe for some time now. But I think I better get my feet wet first since I have never done any of this before. I am now planning to make my own mold for a gas powered RC boat, just to test the waters, so to speak. I want to make sure I know what I am doing before I make something like a canoe, where I could actually sink in. I am planning on using just wood to make the mold, but my question is, what else do I use, bondo or somekind of foam to get it to shape smoother?? Remember, I am new at this, so be gentle! I am also on a strict budget(trying to pay off bills), so I don't have a lot to spend. Any info would help.
  2. messabout
    Joined: Jan 2006
    Posts: 3,227
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    Location: Lakeland Fl USA

    messabout Senior Member

    First you make a plug. The plug will be the exact size and shape of the boat that you wish to build. The plug must be very smooth and polished. Use wax and some sort of parting agent such as polyvinylalchohol for a final coating of the plug. Now you are ready to make a mold.

    The mold is built up of whatever material you choose, usually fiberglass. Then the mold is reinforced so that it will hold its' shape when removed from the plug. The plug is now useless. The female mold must be massaged so that it is also dead smooth and polished.

    Now the fun begins. First spray in a gel coat of your choice of color. After that you can begin the layup using a variety of materials and methods. when the layup is complete you can begin to add the interior details like seat risers, bulkheads if any, breasthooks, etc. After all that is done you can try your damdest to get the boat out of the mold. During the design of the original plug you will need to be aware of the draft that must be a design element of the mold in order to get the finished boat out of it.

    Big question: Why would you want to do all that work to make a canoe? If you want to build one or just a few canoes then the mold is not the way to do it. Build a stripper canoe or maybe a plywood canoe similar to the ones offered by Chesapeake Light Craft and several others. Plans for that sort of canoe are plentiful. In the end you'll probably have a better, lighter boat than the fiberglass one. It will cost far less too, given all the machinations and material required for mold making.

    Now for the RC boat. If you are impecunious, take note of the fact that the RC boat will cost more than the wooden canoe. You can easily get $1000 or more invested in a decent RC boat. If you buy a ready to run gas powered RC you are looking at two grand or more. A good gas engine such as a Zenoah or Fuji will cost $400 or more. That's only the beginning. You'll go through several hundred dollars worth of props too. Don't be fooled by those $19.95 Wal Mart toys. The toys have the lifespan of a mayfly (24 hours with luck).

    Sorry about all that bad news but you asked the questions. If you want a canoe that you have built with your own hands, then by all means do it in wood. If you just want a canoe, not necessarily to build it, then shop the used market. You can find a perfecty usable one for less than $200.
  3. blared
    Joined: Aug 2005
    Posts: 2,655
    Likes: 4, Points: 48, Legacy Rep: 14
    Location: Orlando

    blared ALFA

    Go to and write mold or making mold... they have some useful videos. Good luck
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