Solid fiberglass decks. - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 23 Old 01-12-2014 Thread Starter
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Solid fiberglass decks.

I believe that Pearson 422/424 were built with solid glass decks. Is this as
Nice as I think it ref. deck leaks and structural integrity?

Any other vessels out there built with solid glass decks?
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post #2 of 23 Old 01-12-2014
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Re: Solid fiberglass decks.

Never seen a production boat over 24' with solid glass decks although I've had many people tell me they had solid glass when they didn't.

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post #3 of 23 Old 01-12-2014
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Re: Solid fiberglass decks.

Bristol's have solid everything!

Edit: At least the early ones do.

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post #4 of 23 Old 01-12-2014
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Re: Solid fiberglass decks.

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Bristol's have solid everything!

Edit: At least the early ones do.
Except for the balsa in the decks and trunk

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post #5 of 23 Old 01-12-2014
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Re: Solid fiberglass decks.

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Originally Posted by seafrontiersman View Post
I believe that Pearson 422/424 were built with solid glass decks. Is this as
Nice as I think it ref. deck leaks and structural integrity?

Any other vessels out there built with solid glass decks?
Rare, but my boats decks built in 1961, are solid glass. The decks were molded in one piece, through bolted to the hull flange, and glassed over.

Instead of core, Alden spec'd a support framework below of small framing members. These were fastened to the wood cabin and to fiberglass 'ribs' at the outboard end, then glassed to the approximately 3/8" thick glass decks, above.



What an operation! Not only was that procedure time consuming, Alden later specified bolting 'sisters'(raw wood in photo) to the frame members, for added stiffness.

The bottom line they learned was, it was difficult to make a solid deck stiff. They quickly went to cored decks after these 52 Alden Challengers were built.

53 years down the road, it wasn't such a bad idea. The fiberglass hull and deck on my boat so far, are like new. I've never had an issue with any core rot. Because they're solid, backing plates and bedding have no compression problems and deck leaks are very, very rare.



The original diamond pattern non-skid is worn but I painted it a few years ago, and it looks great.

Tom Young sailing a 1961 38' Alden Challenger, CHRISTMAS out of
Rockport, Maine.
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post #6 of 23 Old 01-12-2014
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Re: Solid fiberglass decks.

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Originally Posted by seafrontiersman View Post
I believe that Pearson 422/424 were built with solid glass decks. Is this as
Nice as I think it ref. deck leaks and structural integrity?

Any other vessels out there built with solid glass decks?
Pearson was one of the earliest companies to adopt balsa coring. The east coast Tritons had cored decks as did virtually every model that followed. I would be highly skeptical that the 422 or 424 did not have balsa coring. From what I have seen, Pearson's workmanship on these cored decks was not all that great so a careful survey would be warranted.

Most of Bristols had cored decks as well. But some of them that were inherited from Sailstar had plywood coring.

Tom Maine's boat is typical of many early fiberglass boats whose decks and houses were built the way that wooden boats were built with carlin sand deck beams.


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post #7 of 23 Old 01-12-2014
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Re: Solid fiberglass decks.

There was a boat built in Taiwan. I think it was called the KING's LEGEND 41. Reportedly an Eva Hollman design. It had solid decks. I stopped by the yard one day. It was a filthy yard. There was a deck, right side up, resting on saw horses. The deck was so flexible that it draped over the saw horses like objects in a Salvador Dali painting. It was crazy. I took a photo of it and considered publishing it.

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post #8 of 23 Old 01-12-2014
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Re: Solid fiberglass decks.

The early islanders are solid glass except in the cockpit seats they have plywood fully encapsulated on the horizontal surfaces at least my 1967 24 and the 1968 28 that that my folks had.

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post #9 of 23 Old 01-12-2014
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Re: Solid fiberglass decks.

Westsails have cored decks . And some had teak exterior decks, obviously if not maintained that caused trouble . But like anything else , there are no problems only solutions .
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post #10 of 23 Old 01-12-2014
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Re: Solid fiberglass decks.

Our Hans Christian 41 has 3/8" solid glass decks with 1.5" glass stringers every 12" I know that not all Hans Christians are built this way and that its not even consistent within each model. I drilled a bunch of holes in our decks in a bunch of different areas when I was in the process of redoing them, and no core any place! The decks are stiff as can be as well (we did have a problem with the top layer of chop strand matt de-laminating, but thats a different story all together) Our boat is exceptionally dry with no sings of leaks in the past. When we were looking at boats we also looked at HC33's, and the ones that did not have cored decks (coring was apparently only used during specific years of construction) were very dry as well.

Yu & Frank

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