Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Victoria B.C. Canada
Thanked 96 Times in 87 Posts
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I have owned 2 wooden boats and 6 fiberglass boats over the past few decades. My first was a very old 18' carvel planked design unknown boat that I had for a few years.
My second wooden boat was a 35' custom design built by Jesperson in Sidney. Strip planked and glass over. The warmth of the varnished strip planks below and bulkheads and major panels in off white paint and laminate with teak trim. Certainly not dark below - my fiberglass boats have actually been darker below.
Maintenance was not excessive, there being about the same amount of wood trim on deck as most fiberglass boats and more than my current boat has.
Wood has a lot to offer but I would choose strip planked with diagonal planking over using epoxy as an adhesive and epoxy and glass over. Or multi layer diagonal planking with glass over. A properly designed and engineered wooden boat is stronger for its weight than conventional fiberglass - though not as light as the exotics but also not as expensive.
If I were to have a custom design built my material choices would be aluminum first and modern wood construction second. For a custom boat I would consider fiberglass less suitable.
Fiberglass excels in series production, for bringing affordable mass production products to the market at low prices. It was fiberglass that fueled the boom in boating in North America and Europe starting in the late 50's and early 60's, making boating within reach of many who couldn't afford something like a Concordia Yawl or its maintenance.
Living aboard in Victoria Harbour