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boatbuilding
There were a lot of subterranean rumors flying around the show in Annapolis last October about big trouble at Gunboat, so I wasn’t too surprised when the company announced the following month that they were filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy (to reorganize rather than liquidate). Boatbuilding has always been a skin-of-the-teeth business and Gunboat had...
Speaking of Gambia, here's a very cool time-lapse viddy documenting the construction there during 2012 of Han Klaar's new crab-claw-rigged double-canoe Ontong Java II (a.k.a, OJ II). Hans is out and about cruising the planet aboard this intriguing vessel and is looking for pay-to-play crew to join the adventure. Check here for info on how...
METAL HAS BEEN USED to build ships for about 160 years, and very large metal yachts were being built as early as the late 19th century. In 1895, for example, Nat Herreshoff designed and constructed a radical 123-foot composite metal sloop, Defender, to defend the America's Cup. She was built of aluminum, bronze, and steel...
My last missive in this continuing series on plastic boat construction dealt with internal structures within a hull and how they help support and stiffen a boat. This time we'll look at how the two biggest pieces of a plastic boat, the hull and deck, are married to each other. Almost all builders these days...
We've already discussed how a fiberglass laminate is created: what fabrics and resins are used, molds, the problem of blisters, and how cores can be used to make a laminate both stronger and lighter. Now we'll consider how a simple fiberglass boat hull can be reinforced and strengthened by the structural elements within it. This...
So far in our exploration of fiberglass boatbuilding, we’ve only discussed how to create a solid glass laminate. Very few boats, however, are made entirely of solid glass. Most also contain some cored laminate, as this is the most effective way to decrease weight in a fiberglass boat while also increasing its strength. Cored decks...
Blisters have been the bane of many a boatowner. There are literally hundreds of causes, many of which have to do with the quality of a fiberglass boat’s construction. The primary cause is the presence of water-soluble molecules in a laminate. These impurities come from innumerable sources, including glycols in improperly cured resin, any dust,...
In the last installment of our continuing exploration of how fiberglass sailboats get built we looked at the different types of fabric that can be used to create a laminate. As mentioned in our first episode, however, any fiberglass laminate is in fact a composite material (just like papier-mâché), consisting both of glass fabric, which...
Over the millenia people have built boats out of all kinds of stuff. Bamboo, leather, paper, concrete. You name it, someone somehwere has tried it. But by far the most popular contemporary boatbuilding material is a strange substance known as fiberglass. Once derided by traditionalists as being nothing more than “frozen snot,” it now absolutely...
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