PVC Sheet instead of plywood

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by damies, Dec 8, 2009.

  1. damies
    Joined: Dec 2009
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    damies Junior Member

    As curiosity, I am wondering if anyone has tried or know of any attempts to build boats using PVC sheets such as the following:

    http://www.allstarplastics.com.au/pvc.htm

    http://www.allstarplastics.com.au/shop/shopdisplayproducts.asp?id=75&cat=Solid/Rigid PVC

    The reason I am asking, I am looking for an alternative to the stich an glue marine ply construction, Marine ply is very expencive here, well normal ply is too, and I hate working with glass and epoxy anyway, this stuff ca be heat welded, and as it is plastic and can't rot doesn't need epoxy. also as it already has a shiny surface doesn't need a gelcoat. As it is UV stabilised no need to paint except for antifoul if you are leaving the boat in the water. So looked like a good material to explore.

    All I managed to find from googling around was this link, however this was using different material that is not UV Stabilised:

    http://www.duckworksmagazine.com/07/designs/plastic/index.htm

    Any comments?

    I am only at the stage of looking around at options, not even considering to start any project yet.
     
  2. nordvindcrew
    Joined: Sep 2006
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    nordvindcrew Senior Member

    pvc board

    a boat builder in Maryland (USA) is building a 20' crabbing skiff out of 1" PVC board. Seams were glassed with epoxy. major problems were flexability issues. heavy wood stringers glassed in place as keel stringers stiffened it up. This came out of The National Fisherman magazine from Maine a couple of months ago.
     
  3. nukisen
    Joined: Aug 2009
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    nukisen Senior Member

    Damies!
    I was calculating to build a boat in Polyethen plastic. But I did made the conklusion that a Poly propane plastic should be easier and also easier to weld or glue together. Pvc is a nice material until freezing degrees when it will become a bit china. Like glas if you give it a bounce. So maybe you should look for information about pp plastic instead. It will recist the sun better too. And will not become ageing so soon either. If you want the boat boat in clear material you should use akryl plastic. Totaly glas clear and better strength.

    Good luck!
     
  4. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    You can weld plastic. It is a viable method.
     
  5. apex1

    apex1 Guest

    We have the same question here every other week!

    A simple Forum search bring the treads all up! And all the comments as well.

    Regards
    Richard
     
  6. Jaksno
    Joined: May 2009
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    Location: Colorado

    Jaksno New Member

    Search threads

    Go get 'em, Richard! And Merry Christmas to you, too!
     
  7. damies
    Joined: Dec 2009
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    damies Junior Member

    nukisen,

    Thanks for your reply, do you mean more like this?

    http://www.allstarplastics.com.au/hdpe.htm

    If not is there anything on that site that is what you were referring to? I am trying to find something that is actually available locally.

    I think I understand your comment about freezing degrees you mean 0deg Celsius? I don't need to worry about that here to much we use air conditioners in winter for cooling :D on those cold 28deg days. Seriously though single digits at night are rare around here, but I agree it is better to design for worse conditions than you are likely to encounter.

    Thanks,

    Dave.
     
  8. damies
    Joined: Dec 2009
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    damies Junior Member

    Thanks nordvindcrew,

    I actually found that one after posting here. We also have a local manufacturer that uses polyethylene http://www.polycraft.com.au/

    I am more looking for information on home build designs and sail boats not motor boats, preferably multi hull designs.

    Dave.
     
  9. nukisen
    Joined: Aug 2009
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    nukisen Senior Member

    hey! Damies
    yes I was calculating in (pe) plastic. But as I told in earlier reply I think you should run for (PP) plastic which is much more easy to weld and glue. (PE) plastic you almost need to put in pressure to weld. Or using a specific glue containing to make as good as possible.

    Gonzo!!! Of course you almost can weld all plastics, but did you know there is about 23 000 different composing in the ordinary plastic list. If you look at the list of advance plastics you do have the double For an example the ferrotronic plastics. To weld some plastics you need to do it with kemicals.

    3M do have a glue to handle this by gluing the (pe) and they do have a dp8005 or 8010 for make it easy to glue.And also the cost follows with handling. :)

    So I do sugest you use a polypropylene plastic (PP)instead.
    The price should be close to polyethene(PE). and you can almost weld with an soldering iron
    Else if you want a clear boat then use (pmma) an acrylplastic.But this option is a little more expensive.
    For PP plastic this is what i should prefer.http://www.allstarplastics.com.au/polypropylene.htm
    Or for pmma http://www.allstarplastics.com.au/acrylic.htm
     
  10. GBrum
    Joined: May 2008
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    Location: Brazil

    GBrum New Member

    PVC and polyester

    PVC is one of the few materials Polyester resin adheres well to, so I think it is a fast method of building one-offs GRP sailboats. In this case, PVC is used to give the boat´s shape only, and should be covered with fiberglass reinforced polyester resin (which is much cheaper than Epoxy). You would have to fair and gelcoat the exterior for UV and osmosis protection.

    Gustavo
     
  11. nukisen
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    nukisen Senior Member

    Note that PVC can be attacked by marine microbio. And then you do have problems.

    For myself I am planning to wooden rib a samll boat and cover it with glass and epoxy.
    I do also have a plan by using aluminium 5754 seawater recistant. But I do have to wait and see.
    First of all I do have to find good job as I am unemployed at the moment.
     
  12. nukisen
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    nukisen Senior Member

  13. SamSam
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    SamSam Senior Member

    I thought polyester resin and glass stuck to pvc pipe (schedule 40 type) but it really doesnt. With a little effort you can pull it right off.

    We used to use aireated (?) pvc sheets for things 15 years ago, but the stuff seemed to shrink a little over time and the uv resistance was no good. It could have been we were using the wrong kind.
     
  14. nukisen
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    nukisen Senior Member

    Samsam you are so right. The stickiness of pvc isn´t that good. And also the UV is really tuff for pvc and dryes it out (shrinking). But, there is a but. pvc can be glossed when made with a film that recist uv a little better. If you take (PP) instead the stickines is perfekt for most materials. And is also very easy to glue.
     

  15. tom28571
    Joined: Dec 2001
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    tom28571 Senior Member

    PVC, PE, etc., boats are normally of cored construction because the plastics are heavy and not very rigid if of solid construction. Even though marine ply is expensive, any sheet plastic that would be rugged and stiff enough to build a small boat is more costly around here. I think some have tried building boats out of plastic sheet material but none have been very successful. That is why they use Fiber Reinforced Plastic. The fiber (usually glass fiber) allows for a lighter weight structure for the same weight.

    Some small boats have been molded in plastic very successfully though. Lots of knockabout kayaks and small dinghys are made this way. They are mostly cheap, heavy and ugly.
     
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