Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
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I am not sure that this is either feasible or productive. If you were going to do this, the material of choice would be kevlar and it would need to be vaccuum bagged using either a high impact resistant vinylester (such as is used with crash helmits) or with epoxy. Carbon fiber would not help much if at at all.
But I am not sure that either used in isolation would do much good. The failure mode in an impact situation is the non-directional laminates (either mat or chopped glass) with the layup. Older layups have a lot of non-directional layers and so are more prone to puncture. In order to get much of a benefit from the Kevlar, the laminate below the kevlar would need to be pretty much free of non-directional fabrics.
From a practical standpoint Kevlar is a bear to work with (it floats to the surface of the laminate and so needs to be vaccuum bagged) and fair, and a thick enough layup to do any good would add considerable weight to the boat. If Kevlar wasn''t so hard to work with on an existing boat, one way that might make sense to add kevlar to an existing boat would be in the case of a boat with a bad blister problem in which case a deep peel would allow the use of kevlar without a significant weight gain. Then again you still have the problem of a poor substrate for the kevlar.