wood-free strip-plank?

Discussion in 'Materials' started by BenD, Jan 25, 2020.

  1. BenD
    Joined: Jan 2020
    Posts: 11
    Likes: 0, Points: 1
    Location: Western Cape, South Africa

    BenD Junior Member

    Someone please ease my curiosity.

    Does a non-wood material exist, which can be used, instead of plywood or WRC for instance, to build a strip-plank composite construction hull bottom for a small power boat?

    Best regards
     
  2. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
    Posts: 14,150
    Likes: 540, Points: 123, Legacy Rep: 2031
    Location: Milwaukee, WI

    gonzo Senior Member

    Yes, foam.
     
  3. BenD
    Joined: Jan 2020
    Posts: 11
    Likes: 0, Points: 1
    Location: Western Cape, South Africa

    BenD Junior Member

    Which foam has similar or better shear strength, compression strength and stiffness to plywood or WRC?
     
  4. BlueBell
    Joined: May 2017
    Posts: 1,112
    Likes: 185, Points: 63
    Location: Victoria BC Canada

    BlueBell Ahhhhh...

    None.
    But that's okay, you don't need the same or better.
     
  5. BenD
    Joined: Jan 2020
    Posts: 11
    Likes: 0, Points: 1
    Location: Western Cape, South Africa

    BenD Junior Member

    OK, so which foam would you recommend? Which would be easiest to work with for an amateur builder?
     
  6. TANSL
    Joined: Sep 2011
    Posts: 5,997
    Likes: 253, Points: 93, Legacy Rep: 300
    Location: Spain

    TANSL Senior Member

    Perhaps, rather than asking for the type of foam you should ask and investigate the most suitable construction system for a beginner. And for that, you should first specify the type and size of the boat you are thinking of. Within the classification of "small power boat" many boats fit.
     
  7. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
    Posts: 14,150
    Likes: 540, Points: 123, Legacy Rep: 2031
    Location: Milwaukee, WI

    gonzo Senior Member

    In general buying materials locally, with technical support is the best. There are many foams that are comparable. The type and density of the foam will be defined by the design.
     
  8. Mr Efficiency
    Joined: Oct 2010
    Posts: 8,389
    Likes: 457, Points: 83, Legacy Rep: 702
    Location: Australia

    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    Strip plank as in what, lapstrake ?
     
  9. DCockey
    Joined: Oct 2009
    Posts: 4,569
    Likes: 258, Points: 83, Legacy Rep: 1485
    Location: Midcoast Maine

    DCockey Senior Member

    Strip plank usually refers to planking with narrow strips which are glued and/or edge nailed together. The method is probably most commonly used for building kayaks and canoes.
     
    BlueBell likes this.
  10. bajansailor
    Joined: Oct 2007
    Posts: 844
    Likes: 223, Points: 43, Legacy Rep: 37
    Location: Barbados

    bajansailor Marine Surveyor

    There was a system called C-Flex which was popular in the past - it was essentially strip planking with plastic rods instead of timber strips.
    Here is a thread on the Wooden Boat Forum about it -
    C-FLEX fiberglass planking? http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthread.php?168906-C-FLEX-fiberglass-planking

    And this quote from post #5 sums it up in a nutshell :

    "I built a Paine Francis 26 with C-Flex back in the early 80's. It's a good one-off method for FG boats, but as above, finishing the surface is a big, nasty job.

    It is a lot like strip planking, as the material is basically a bundle of fiberglass rods (like fishing rods) woven into cloth, making a 12" wide flexible plank. They are then stapled onto wooden molds (the rods tend to act like battens and self-fair) and saturated with laminating resin. After that, you build up to your laminating schedule with mat and roving on the outside. Then it's fill, screed, and sand until you have a fair surface ready for paint.

    Stinky, miserable work --- which is why I swore I'd never do it again, and why I'm on this forum now. In all fairness though, it made a pretty nice boat......."
     
  11. Mr Efficiency
    Joined: Oct 2010
    Posts: 8,389
    Likes: 457, Points: 83, Legacy Rep: 702
    Location: Australia

    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    I was thinking of that when I saw the thread, could not remember the name. I appears to have been seared into your memory ! :D
     
  12. BenD
    Joined: Jan 2020
    Posts: 11
    Likes: 0, Points: 1
    Location: Western Cape, South Africa

    BenD Junior Member

    The size and type of boat in question would be between 15ft and 18ft.
    For instance a Bowdidge design, the 4.57m Riptide.

    Wood is expensive locally, most varieties are imported.
    With this thread I would like to ascertain whether a certain type of composite/foam/plastic could be a viable alternative given local pricing.
     
  13. Mr Efficiency
    Joined: Oct 2010
    Posts: 8,389
    Likes: 457, Points: 83, Legacy Rep: 702
    Location: Australia

    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    Have you looked at Paulownia ? One thing about strip planking is it allows a freedom of hull shape you can't get with plywood.
     
  14. bajansailor
    Joined: Oct 2007
    Posts: 844
    Likes: 223, Points: 43, Legacy Rep: 37
    Location: Barbados

    bajansailor Marine Surveyor

    I couldn't remember the name either, but I remember seeing advertising for it in the 80's. I tried googling plastic strip planking, and found the reference on the WBF. I think that foam might be easier nowadays, although the Skoota builder on here has also mentioned endless hours filling and fairing his hulls.
     

  15. BenD
    Joined: Jan 2020
    Posts: 11
    Likes: 0, Points: 1
    Location: Western Cape, South Africa

    BenD Junior Member

    Yes, and you are correct, but as with other wood types, it would need to be imported, and shipping from Oz is expensive.
    Plus being in a third-world country, the exchange rate doesn't take kindly to it.
     
Loading...
Forum posts represent the experience, opinion, and view of individual users. Boat Design Net does not necessarily endorse nor share the view of each individual post.
When making potentially dangerous or financial decisions, always employ and consult appropriate professionals. Your circumstances or experience may be different.