Small Catamaran in GRP flat panels

Discussion in 'Fiberglass and Composite Boat Building' started by Jaco, Oct 17, 2021.

  1. Jaco
    Joined: Sep 2021
    Posts: 4
    Likes: 0, Points: 1
    Location: South Africa

    Jaco New Member

    Good day,

    I am interested in building a small catamaran using GRP flat panels for myself. Which design would be best suited for this? Two designs that I like is the Chat 18 (Richard Woods) or the Eco 5.5 (Bernd Kohler).

    Can one just take the plans (for plywood construction), and replace with GRP flat panels? What core density 60kg / 80 kg, core thickness (8mm??) and fibreglass would work? Would the flat panels be much heavier than the plywood?

    I am still in two minds about using marine ply versus GRP flat panels. Although the flat panels adds complexity in the build, I do like the "maintenance free" approach of the GRP (GRP does not rot, as neglected marine ply might) Or is the cost of the added complexity of flat panels not worth it?

    Your time, effort and suggestions will be greatly appreciated,
    J
     
  2. fallguy
    Joined: Dec 2016
    Posts: 5,258
    Likes: 1,006, Points: 123, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: usa

    fallguy Senior Member

    No, plywood core is stiffer than foam core, so the laminate changes. A plywood core is cheaper to laminate because epoxy and glass is less.

    If you build in plywood, as long as all hull penetrations are overbored, filled with pb epoxy and rebore and then sealed; you have little chance of trouble. If the bottom is damaged; it must he dried and repaired.

    The easiest way to build for you is plywood. You will love the easiness of ply.
     
    bajansailor likes this.
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