Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
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High Tech vs traditional-Comments?
I guess "how strong they appear" is in the eye of the beholder. Most people equate the extra hull thickness with proportionately greater strength. All other things being equal, that would be true, but with all of the variables it is just not the case as I tried to point in my early posts on this string.
Blisters still occurs in boats built today, but by the early to mid 1980''s most quality American boat builders had dealt with the blister problem and had changed resins, and layup practices to combat the problem pretty successfully.
I never said that glass boats were literally built from woodenboat drawings. What I said is that they were engineered using wooden boat engineering interprelated to glass construction and the properties of glass were sufficiently different to wood which resulted in designs that did not use fiberglass very well. This approach to the fiberglass engineering did not necesarily place material where it was needed and had too much material where it was not.
Chrris Crafts were considered to be extremely well built boats for their day. They were designed by Sparkman and Stephens who were the leading yacht designers (probably world wide) during that era. S&S probably had the absolutely best engineering information that was available and their boats from that era have held up exceptionally well.
Lastly, to address your question about the number of older boats on the water somehow showing that they were well constructed. If you sailed in the 1960''s, the popular sail areas were no less crouded with boats than they are today. Huge numbers of fiberglass boats were constructed in the 1960''s and 1970''s. (In 1968 something like 10,000 new sailboats over 30 feet were constructed in the US while just over 3,000 were constructed in the year 2000 up from a low of 2200 boats in the early 1990''s.) But when you are out on the water early fiberglass boast represent a small percentage of the boats out there. Over the years I have seen or heard of a fairly large number of these older boats going to the landfill. While many of these boats died of economic rather than structural problems, there has been a significant reduction in the number of older boats out there.