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  #1  
Old 06-06-2009
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How to Attach Shelves to a Fiberglass Hull?

So I've got a capacious lazarette. It's big enough for a few guys to sit down and play poker. What I'd like to do is put in a bunch of shelves to better use the space. What's stopping me is I don't know how best to build shelves into a fiberglass hull. I'm used to wood, which is pretty straightforward. Should I glass in a 2x4 and use that to anchor the shelves to? Should I bolt, screw or othewise put holes in my hull ? Should I build free-standing shelves and then only attach them at one or two points?

I think glassing in must be the solution. Can one just slap epoxy and glass tape on a 2x4 and expect it to have strength bonded to the hull?

Thanks!
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Old 06-06-2009
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I wouldn't use a 2x4, as that's a bit big for use on a boat. I would recommend glassing in cleats—say 1x2 furring strips—on each edge of where the shelves are going to be attached and then anchor the shelves to the cleats. Ideally, the tops of the shelves would be glassed to the hull as well, to give them some real support, but if you wanted to move the shelves, having a section that was hinged would make more sense.
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Old 06-06-2009
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You really want to abstain from glassing to the hull directly. The hull flexes and doesn't matter how thick it is or what the material is. If you need support for shelving then glass in at the bilge level and use 4100 for the upward reaches around the hull to topside. Or small 1 inch fillet glassing portions spaced 1-2 feet apart to hold the support for vertical supports that really need not be more than 3/4" . Failure to do so will yield in a hull appearance of buckling once she has been heavily sailed. That is one of the major reasons production boats seem to have the interior hang - because doing it all internally with direct attachments to the hull yiels less than favorable results.
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Old 06-06-2009
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I wouldn't think that glassing shelves in would create any problems at all. I have shelves glassed into the lockers and they are great. I would make or buy some 1/4" solid glass boards and then sand the areas that you want to glass them to and cut them to shape and glass them in. Put some gelcoat on and you're set. Put some side rails on them while you are making them and you can store all kinds of stuff in them.
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