Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: New England
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Unfortunately, the different resins have some drawbacks, which don't appear to be mentioned above.
Polyester resin is the most common and cheapest, but is the most prone to blistering and osmosis problems.
Vinylester resin is a bit more expensive than polyester resin, binds well to polyester and vinylester resins, and is much more resistant to osmosis problems.
Epoxy resin is the most expensive of the three resins, and it binds well to both polyester and vinylester resins, and is quite resistant to osmosis problems. However, most epoxy resins will lose structural strength at higher temperatures, and this can be a serious problem if you want a dark colored deck or topsides. It is extremely unadvisable to haven anything other than white if you're using epoxy. Epoxy generally requires oven curing to ensure a complete and consistent cure.
Vacuum infusion is a good way to get a low resin, high strength laminate. However, vacuum infusion has to be done properly, with the right resin consistency and proper pressure for the piece being laminated. One caveat, the surface left by a vacuum infusion process is a bit more difficult to tab additional fiberglass to later on from what I have read/heard from people in the industry.
Cored hulls are generally lighter, stronger and stiffer than solid laminate hulls. A properly laminated cored hull is going to make a much stiffer and lighter boat than one with a solid laminate of equal strength. The real problem with cored hulls is what can happen if the cored hull is not properly designed where the through hulls penetrate the laminate surface.
On better boats, the area around the through hulls is either solid glass, or has had the core removed and been filled with thickened epoxy, to seal the core and prevent water penetration and migration into the laminate. Anyplace a cored laminate is breached, the core should be sealed from any possible moisture penetration, or the moisture entry can lead to delamination. This is true of both the hull and the deck.
Some boat manufacturers avoid this by either using solid laminate below the waterline, or leaving a section adjacent to the keel solid laminate. Some only core the deck, where the ight weight and high stiffness are more critical, than in the hull.
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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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