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Monday, March 03, 2008

Fiberglass Boatbuilding ain't "Pretty"

The idea for this post came to me after reviewing the pictures for the last few posts. Some may have a notion that there is something "romantic" and "artistic" about "building a boat". Well, that may be true if you are building a traditional WOODEN boat. Let me tell you it is not the case if it is a FIBERGLASS boat. There is nothing pretty or elegant about building a fiberglass boat. To the untrained eye, the process is one big dirty, dusty, ugly, sticky mess! And for the most part, it is. The most obvious visual detractor is the "collision of colors". All the different glues, resins, composites, etc come in different colors. And when they are put together, things tend to look a bit psychedelic. Some examples of the materials we are using... Adhesives
  • white = 3M 5200
  • orange = Loctite Methacrylate Structural Adhesive
  • grey = Plexus Methacrylate Structural Adhesive
Resins
  • whitish-clear = West Systems Epoxy
  • dark pink, dark brown = vynilester resin (depending on the vendor)
  • yellow-grey = original hull layup of polyester resin and glass
  • light green = Corebond
Fillers
  • white = silica
  • rust-brown = fairing compound
Rigid Materials
  • grey = coosa board
  • wood = marine plywood
  • green = airex structural foam
  • white = airex foam corner fillets
Construction Marks
  • white, yellow = paint markers
  • black, blue, purple = sharpies (used for marking glass)
Combine all these colors, sprinkle with a fine dust from a grinder, and what you end up with is all the psychedelia you see in the pictures. Better than acid I am sure (not that I would know of course). Like it said, it ain't pretty. This is why God created "paint", to cover up all this stuff when the finishing work begins (that is about as religious as you will hear me get).

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