SailNet Community - View Single Post - Life Span of a Boat
View Single Post
post #53 of Old 02-03-2013
Senior Member
RichH's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 3,689
Thanks: 26
Thanked 177 Times in 166 Posts
Rep Power: 17
Re: Life Span of a Boat

Nice write up Jeff.
Some time ago you had made reference to USN studies of FRG hulls vs. long term fatigue endurance. Ive misplaced that URL reference ... any 'reminders' where to locate?

The ultimate problem for fiberglass, like any other 'plastic', is that its not a long term stable material if constantly stressed. The very definition of 'plastic' means that the material is subject to long term deformation, called 'creep'. In addition, the glass fibers used to strengthen are really not a 'true' solid but a visco-elastic 'hybrid liquid' with long term 'easy' deformation - an example would be: take a sheet of glass and 'lean' it against a wall at a large angle for several years and that glass plate after several years will be found to be 'bent' ... all by itself, due to the material quality called 'creep'.

So after a few hundred years, your prized boat will probably be approaching the shape of a 'large puddle' on the ground, simply through the action of gravity and the nature of 'plastic' and not a true 'elastic'. "Creepy", huh? ;-)
RichH is offline  
Quote Share with Facebook
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome