Fiberglass over wood

Old 12-04-2020, 03:20 PM
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Default Fiberglass over wood

I am considering purchase of a wooden boat, and wonder what is cost to fiberglass over the wood structure?

I have read all the forums on pro/con of doing this and things to consider or lookout for if you do. But, can't find anything about estimated cost of doing it, or having it done. Is there a rule of thumb on per foot cost?
Old 12-04-2020, 08:00 PM
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We had a little discussion on the subject in the composite thread, it didn't go far. There's so many variables involved in a project like yours that you won't be able to find a rule of thumb.
A composite thread
Post #271
Originally Posted by commuter boats View Post
There's so much rhetoric on the shortcomings of polyester on these forums I'd like to ask those with some outstanding examples of the good of polyester ( situations where it's performed well ) and particularly those that involve polyester and wood to post up pictures and stories of those successes.
I'll start with this little dory, a gentleman came to town a little over 30 years ago and because we live on a rock that prevents doing much of anything without a boat and because his budget was a little on the skinny side he got into this plywood Dory for $1000. About 1/4 of the outside veneer of the plywood was failing, he use the boat for about a year and 1/2 and fell in love with it. With a new 40 horse OMC outboard he could efficiently cruise at 17 kn and really enjoyed the fact that the boat had few bad habits, he had small children and really liked the depth of the cockpit, it was easy to keep the kids in.
He parked it in his carport after his second season with it and begin researching a fix as more of the plywood was failing. He came to me after reading many stories about how fiberglass and polyester would be a waste of time and money but he was in love and open-minded. I like challenging projects and had confidence that I could get him enough additional years to justify the expense.
We had a relatively cold winter that year and cold and dry did a good job of drying the plywood, we put it in my shop, turned it over and left an electric heater under it for a couple weeks.
We removed all the failing veneers and most of the paint, primed the boat with vinyl ester resin ( thinned with 10% styrene, bumped up the cobalt, added some DMAA and worked hot ), faired the low spots ( from the missing veneers ) with micro-balloons and iso-resin, and laid up a mat and roving over the entire hull. With that cured we drilled for bronze ring shank nails into the chine logs and frames, nailed it off with about 3 pounds of bronze fasteners, then applied two layers of mat, a little fairing and a roll coat of gelcoat. Turned the boat right side up and glassed over the upper decks and onto the hull.
About 28 years later I'm driving down the road and glance over to a parking lot and see this relatively good-looking dory sitting on a trailer and pull over to check it out. I've gotten some feedback over the years as the boats gone through a few owners but I've never had a chance to lay eyes on it since it left my shop, I was very pleased after a short walk around, I'm quite certain that it still has many years ahead of it.
While downtown the other day I ran into the gentleman that I did the work for and we shared a little time reminiscing about the job and about how much enjoyment he had with the boat in the 15 years that he used it. He was able to remember that I charged him approximately $2200 nearly 30 years ago and confirmed that he felt it was a good investment.
I don't know when the planing boards were added.

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