From time to time new boatbuilding methods are touted as a breakthrough in boat construction. We have by-passed many of these “breakthroughs” because we don’t believe in experimenting with your time and money. There have been several such methods of fiberglass construction that have proven to be less than advertised or not suited to the production of one boat.
Factory made fiberglass boats utilize a female mold with laminates made of sprayed resin and chopped glass fibers or, in more expensive boats, hand laid fiberglass and polyester resin. These methods are only suitable for volume production due to the high cost of the mold.
Newly perfected methods make it practical to produce a single boat using fiberglass materials. Glen-L has done a great deal of research into the various options for “one-off” construction. This research has resulted in our 400 page book:FIBERGLASS BOATBUILDING FOR AMATEURS. It has also produced several designs, some of which are detailed in our design pages.
There are two types of “one-off” construction detailed in our plans: sandwich core and fiberglass planking (C-Flex). By using either of these methods you can produce a fiberglass boat that is equal to or exceeds the quality of factory-built boats. These materials are well within the abilities of the amateur, even those who have never built a boat before. The Glen-L methods are especially designed with you, the amateur, in mind.
In the photographs in our Fiberglass Boatbuilding Guide, we use the FOAMEE to illustrate the sandwich core construction method, and the FEATHER to illustrate the C-Flex method. These boats were designed to give you an introduction to these methods or as an end in themselves.
PLEASE NOTE: While we are enthusiastic about these “one-off” fiberglass methods, in order to be properly utilized, the boat must be specifically designed for the materials. We have designs which are especially adapted to these methods and have detailed them accordingly. We do NOT recommend taking our other designs or buying a Frame Kit with the intention of using one of these methods unless they are specifically intended for fiberglass construction. Our plans detail clearly the best method for building each particular boat. To protect your investment and have a boat you’ll be proud of, avoid improvising.