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Traditional wooden boats have to have thicker hulls to have the same strength as GRP boat of the same size IIRC.
Also, most traditional wooden boats have to have internal framing, which is often not necessary on a GRP boat.
The tensile and compressive strength of GRP is far higher. For instance, Douglas Fir has a tensile strength of 2150 PSI and a compressive strength of 2000 PSI, and weighs 34 lbs per cubic foot. GRP with cloth and roving has a tensile strength of 35000 PSI and a compressive strength of 25000 PSI, and weighs 106 lbs per cubic foot. To get the same strength from the wood, you would require a significantly heavier weight of wood, even though the material is less dense.
BTW these figures are from Daniel Spurr's Upgrading The Cruisng Sailboat.
This doesn't necessarily apply to cold-molded laminated wooden boats, similar to those made by the Gougeon Brothers of West Epoxy fame.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.
—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)
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Last edited by sailingdog; 10-30-2006 at 08:28 AM.