Wood vs. Fiberglass - Page 2 - SailNet Community
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post #11 of 55 Old 10-15-2009
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Well andrew the cold molded hull is a composite just like FG boats. the veneers are cross grain to each other as they are laid up to build the required thickness. do you have pictures or a web link to the boat? I'd love to see it.

Denise, Bristol PA, Oday 30. On Tidal Delaware River, Anchor Yacht Club.
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post #12 of 55 Old 10-15-2009 Thread Starter
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Marty - would love to hear the ways in which you feel the wood is easier than the fiberglass from a maintenance perspective. The maintenance is the thing that is really holding me back. I assume (but could easily be wrong) that the coldmolded hull means you are not dealing with recaulking between the planks every year, which I recall used to be done on an old lobster boat my family had when I was a kid.
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post #13 of 55 Old 10-15-2009 Thread Starter
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Here's a link that gives a picture and the specs of the design.

TRIANGLE (ALDEN) Sailboat details on sailboatdata.com (units English)
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post #14 of 55 Old 10-15-2009
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I used to own and cruise on an Alden Malabar Sr., which was designed by Carl Alberg while he worked for J.G.Alden and Assoc. At 33 ft and roughly10,500 lbs., she gave similar sized and designed vessels [including Alberg 30 & 35's] a run for their money when raced . I also owned and restored an Alden Triangle but sold her without ever having a chance to sail her. You've plenty of qualified people up there to help you assess her condition prior to buying her.Good luck , I hope you get her ;they're nice boats. As for the weight question,the Triangle is roughly 2/3 that of the Pearson Triton. Though not identical, they are close in design and both are 28 footers.
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post #15 of 55 Old 10-15-2009
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I spent a lot of time researching this topic some years ago. I think that there are some big misunderstandings expressed in the discussion. My research looked at boats that were originally constructed in plank on frame wooden construction and which were converted to glass. I looked at a number of early boats like the Lightning class, Folkboat, H-28, and Rhodes Bounty.

In a general sense, the hulls on the wooden plank on frame boats were lighter and stiffer than the glass boats. In other words, the wooden boats flexed a lot less than the glass boats. In the case of the keel boats, this lighter weight meant that the wooden boats generally had more ballast and so had greater stability and in some cases carried more sail area than the glass boats (H-28 being a good example of that).

The reason that early fiberglass boat hulls were so heavy was that it was very hard to replicate the stiffness of wood without going to very thick fiberglass and since Fiberglass was so dense it quickly outweighed its wooden sisters.

This situation changed when designers began adding internal framing and then coring to fiberglass boats (late 1970's and early 1980's) . A properly framed glass boat can have a lighter, stronger hull than a plank on frame wooden boat.

Cold molding is another animal all together from plank on frame. Its weight is very dependent on the species of wood used, and the care in lay-up but in a general sense a cold-molded hull is lighter than a plank-on-frame wood hull but a bit heavier than a framed glass boat of similar strength and stiffness.

Generally speaking a carefully constructed cold molded wood boat will be less maintanence than a fiberglass hull and will be a lot more durable. I base this on an industry study comparing the life cost of various boat building materials that was done some years back.

Jeff


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post #16 of 55 Old 10-15-2009 Thread Starter
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Jeff - thanks for you comments. As I understand it, the hull is "western red cedar laminars with GRP epoxy sheathing" and the work was done by Gordon Swift of Swift Custom Boats (means nothing to me).

If anyone here knows a good surveyor in or near Annapolis, it would be much appreciated.

Thanks again for everyone's input and feedback.
Andrew
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post #17 of 55 Old 10-15-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AndrewMac View Post
Here's a link that gives a picture and the specs of the design.

TRIANGLE (ALDEN) Sailboat details on sailboatdata.com (units English)

{Sigh}. Wow.

I have read how many of the old plank-on-frame boats have been given new life and added marketability by sheathing the outside of the hull with either fiberglass or a cold-molded veneer. My understanding is that this will eliminate the need to recaulk the seams; however, the original internal framing system still remains in the boat, and is still integral to its structure. I'm no engineer, but it would seem to me that while you "gain" by elminating one of the biggest wooden boat maintenance issues, you "lose" because now you have the additional weight of the external shell too. But with a boat that beautiful, I'd be willing to "lose" quite a bit. Anyway, you don't buy a boat like that to win races, you buy a boat like that because she makes your heart race.
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post #18 of 55 Old 10-15-2009
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mstern, actually the old planking can/could/should be removed and the cold molding becomes the new hull. glass sheathing is good but many boats still rot because the timbers will get water logged by trapped moisture and bilge waters.

Denise, Bristol PA, Oday 30. On Tidal Delaware River, Anchor Yacht Club.
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post #19 of 55 Old 10-16-2009
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That's a new one to me. I've never removed the old planking prior to cold-molding nor have I ever heard of anyone else doing so. Standard practice is to take a saw or router to open the seams to a uniform width and the glue wooden splines into the seams. These are then faired to the hull .To address the added weight issue, many plank on frame boats that have been cold molded do not gain weight because they lose the weight of the water that is no longer saturating their planking. The hull is thoroughly dried out prior to sheathing and the inside of the hull is sealed in a proper job. Progress on one such job can be followed at Welcome to the Colonial Seaport Foundation, Hampton, Virginia as they convert an old 47' Rosborough Privateer gaff topsail ketch into an 1800's style Colonial Sloop. The work is being led by John Collamore III , who has performed this process on many old classics which would have been dead otherwise.
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post #20 of 55 Old 10-16-2009
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XS, of course everything I say is gospel! I wonder why I used the words "can, could, should" ? Because it would be up to the restorer to make that determination.

Denise, Bristol PA, Oday 30. On Tidal Delaware River, Anchor Yacht Club.
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