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post #11 of 25 Old 04-16-2012
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Re: Glassing a old wood hull.

As Sloop is indicating above, there is a large difference between a wood boat that has a few layers of glass (an awful idea) and a wood boat that has a glass hull essentially built around it, using it as the form. If anything, a boat done this way LIFTS the waterline because there is no longer water weight in the wood. The hull, after this kind of process, provides shape and the basic structure. This used to be done on workboats all the time. I have a good friend who had it done to his '65 Pacemaker which is now really a glass boat except for the topsides and Awlgripped and v-grooved planking, which look like a mint-condition classic. A guy I used to have my clamboat next to, had his 1918 40' Cat boat/clamboat done like this. It worked out very nicely. Getting rid of that leaky garboard seam is always a good thing.

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post #12 of 25 Old 04-16-2012
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Re: Glassing a old wood hull.

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Originally Posted by mitiempo View Post
Hartley

The boat in question was cold molded over the planking before glassing with epoxy - that is the only way to get it to survive glassing. The Carrs did the same to Curlew about 30+ years ago and she is still going strong.

Of course I have no idea how well it was done.
Point taken, Brian. I was responding to the guy's hypothetical question rather than the facts of this boat in particular (which seem to be rather scarce on the web in any case).

One thing is for certain - there really is no way to know whether it has been properly done or not without inspecting the hull yourself.. both inside and out.

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post #13 of 25 Old 04-16-2012
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Re: Glassing a old wood hull.

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Originally Posted by Hartley18 View Post
One thing is for certain - there really is no way to know whether it has been properly done or not without inspecting the hull yourself.. both inside and out.
And in between?

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post #14 of 25 Old 04-16-2012
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Re: Glassing a old wood hull.

Quote:
Originally Posted by smurphny View Post
As Sloop is indicating above, there is a large difference between a wood boat that has a few layers of glass (an awful idea) and a wood boat that has a glass hull essentially built around it, using it as the form. If anything, a boat done this way LIFTS the waterline because there is no longer water weight in the wood. The hull, after this kind of process, provides shape and the basic structure. This used to be done on workboats all the time. I have a good friend who had it done to his '65 Pacemaker which is now really a glass boat except for the topsides and Awlgripped and v-grooved planking, which look like a mint-condition classic. A guy I used to have my clamboat next to, had his 1918 40' Cat boat/clamboat done like this. It worked out very nicely. Getting rid of that leaky garboard seam is always a good thing.
I still wonder why you'd do it when it's far easier (and hence cheaper) on most boats to simply replace the original planking, gluing/splining the seams if you like, and keep sailing.

The drying out part can't be over-emphasized. Unless you're oven-baking the entire boat, it can take years for the hull to dry out to an extent that you can guarantee there's no lingering damp in the timbers that will lead to unseen rot later on down the road.

To shave down and refasten the original planking, waterproof, cold mold over the top and then glass over that just seems madness to me and asking for issues later on, given that no boat stays perfectly dry and and a wooden boat (especially a large wooden boat) is designed to flex with the seas - not transmit new stresses into the original deck/cabin structure.

Sure, it'd be strong, and if well maintained could last a long time, but having seen what can happen to glassed-over double-diagonal hulls I don't think for a moment it's a magic cure-all for an old timber boat.

(Case in point: On one boat I'm familiar with, water got in around the port-side chainplates, ran between the skins and came out just above the saloon floor level about 6 feet aft! It was the most bizarre sight seeing water trickling out of the hull and flowing across the cabin floor. To discover the source meant tearing out both cabin furniture and the inner skin from the leak point forward, repairing the rotten outer skin from the inside of the boat, then patching the waterproof liner and the inner skin as you went.

Another, more shipwright-friendly case involved a section of fibreglass sheathing near the bow simply dropping off the outside of the hull during a race after water got between the 'glass and the outer skin. At least that one could be fixed from outside.. )

Buyer beware.

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post #15 of 25 Old 04-16-2012
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Re: Glassing a old wood hull.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mitiempo View Post
And in between?
Bit difficult without pulling the boat apart, isn't it? If someone's put a nail through the waterproofing, you'd never know until the damage shows up elsewhere.

Planking can be inspected with certainty by pricking both sides and measuring moisture content; fibreglass hulls can be inspected by tapping inside and out and checking core moisture if applicable - but this system?? Faith in the ability of the shipwright who did it and a prayer it is still ok when you hand over your cheque is about the best you'll get.


EDIT: Please don't think I'm bagging this system as being dangerous or anything - in my limited experience I've not seen or heard of any failures that could case the boat to sink, so I guess that's one upside... but cost of maintenance long-term is something that should be kept in mind if one is planning to go this route - eyes wide open.

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Last edited by Classic30; 04-16-2012 at 10:27 PM.
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post #16 of 25 Old 04-16-2012
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Re: Glassing a old wood hull.

Agreed.

I would own a cold molded boat that was glassed with epoxy and epoxy sealed inside as well, but buying an older boat, especially one with this treatment, is a risky venture I think.

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post #17 of 25 Old 04-16-2012
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Re: Glassing a old wood hull.

This is interesting but I don't quite get it. If I wanted a wood boat..I think I'd want a wood boat. If I wanted a fiberglass boat (I do) I'd want a glass boat. The positive light this is given suggests I'm probably missing something. Does this combination end up working fairly well? For example I could believe it's unlikely to rot out because the interior wood should stay dry but can dry out if it doesn't. This contrasts with cored hulls/decks where water has ways to leak in but few ways to exit.
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post #18 of 25 Old 04-16-2012
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Re: Glassing a old wood hull.

Quote:
Originally Posted by asdf38 View Post
This is interesting but I don't quite get it. If I wanted a wood boat..I think I'd want a wood boat. If I wanted a fiberglass boat (I do) I'd want a glass boat. The positive light this is given suggests I'm probably missing something. Does this combination end up working fairly well? For example I could believe it's unlikely to rot out because the interior wood should stay dry but can dry out if it doesn't. This contrasts with cored hulls/decks where water has ways to leak in but few ways to exit.
The procedures listed here are simply methods of saving old boats that are otherwise terminal cases, not a method for "improving" or "waterproofing" or anything else to an otherwise good wood boat. When an old wood boat has reached the point that a so-called "rebuilding" of it would actually be the construction of a new boat with a few bits of the old incorporated, the noted methods can be a reasonably economical method of saving it.

"Reasonably" being the keyword - it is still a labour intensive and costly process so the boat should be something special to be worth the investment. Probably not worth the time and money if it's just another old seiner or something like that.
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post #19 of 25 Old 05-27-2012
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Re: Glassing a old wood hull.

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Originally Posted by Agri View Post
I'm still 4-6 months away from starting to seriously shop for my next boat, however I've been keeping an eye on available boats just in case and came across this one. 1935 Built Alden Ketch. Victoria City, Victoria

I'm just wondering about the pro's and con's of fiber-glassing a wood boat. Off the top of my head, it would seam that you are adding a lot of weight to the boat while making the hull stronger but perhaps slower.

What kind of things should someone be concerned about with that type of hull?
It will sacrifice some interior space, but you will enjoy the quiet. Wooden boats are more work, but they are more beautiful and the sound deadening qualities are not to be overlooked.

It beats living inside a boat that sounds like a .308 rifle going off next to your ear every 45 seconds. Or living inside a drum where every dropped piece of hardware wakes you up.

On the other hand, I personally would not consider buying a wooden boat. I don't have time for all the maintenance. There is a reason it is priced low. Be aware of the work involved. If it is your only boat, you can manage it.



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post #20 of 25 Old 05-27-2012
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Re: Glassing a old wood hull.

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Originally Posted by asdf38 View Post
This is interesting but I don't quite get it. If I wanted a wood boat..I think I'd want a wood boat. If I wanted a fiberglass boat (I do) I'd want a glass boat. The positive light this is given suggests I'm probably missing something.
Yes. Aluminum. Nothing beats aluminum, except maybe copper if you can afford that. Take a look at old aluminum boats--50-60 years old. With proper grounding, double pole electrical systems, they last virtually forever. If some dodo paints it, you can always brush and it off and polish it. Deck leaks? Where? You weld stuff right to the deck, no drilling, no holes.
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