Maybe good walls for a low end boat?

Discussion in 'Boatbuilding' started by parkland, Apr 5, 2013.

  1. parkland
    Joined: Jul 2012
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    parkland Senior Member

    How about using PVC wall panels for boat cabin walls?
    Fill them with foam, and maybe some reinforcement....
    They don't absorb water, but I'm unsure about UV stabilization.
    Surely they could be painted though.

    At 2" thick, most camper and RV windows would fit right in.
     

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  2. alan white
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    alan white Senior Member

    Somebody once architected some boats using a material called Kydex. I don't know how successful they were but the stuff is used on restaurant kitchen walls and it comes in 4x8 sheets. Google "kydex boat hull".
     
  3. parkland
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    parkland Senior Member


    I did look up.

    I meant for the cabin though, not the hull for the PVC planking.
    I helped a friend build a deck from it years ago, it's still in perfect condition.
    We did have to hammer 2x2 lumber through the middle though, to reinforce it, because on 16" centers, it was a little soft.

    I remembered it when I was searching around for a cheap foam core aluminum panel which I never found. Like the kind of stuff used for insulated reefers, it's 2 panels of aluminum with about 1 3/4" of foam in between.
     
  4. alan white
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    alan white Senior Member

    When you think about plastic, think surface protection. When you need strength and light weight, think wood.
    Therefore, build the structure out of wood and cover the wood with plastic. Plastic can mean a two-part paint or it can mean a veneer of Kydex or Formica or something like that.
    Yes, wood can rot. But if it has been well sealed with epoxy it can do well.
     
  5. parkland
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    parkland Senior Member

    These panels are tough, they're used in hog barns and other rough damp dirty places.
    They have engineered webs on the inside, so they are strong. Maybe not as strong as wood, but they are hollow, so you sould reinforce them with wood, steel, etc.

    They run about just over 2$ per square foot, so I think for the cost and ability, they would be worth a thought for any marine projects involving a wall.

    I know the right person can do wonders with wood, epoxy, glass, and laminates, but these PVC panels seem pretty idiot proof as long as they get painted to protect against UV damage.
     
  6. parkland
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    parkland Senior Member

    This stuff is really interesting too, but at 3/8" thick, I'm sure you'd need to utilize it as a covering layer only.

    http://www.delpro1238.com/
     

  7. parkland
    Joined: Jul 2012
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    parkland Senior Member

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