alternatives to fiberglass

Fiberglassing over plywood and one-off fiberglass methods. See: "Boatbuilding Methods", in the left-hand column of the Home page.

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admjake
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Nov 12, 2018 10:40 am
Location: Westport Ct

alternatives to fiberglass

Post by admjake »

Hi all
Starting to plan for glassing my 20' Barrelback.
I have access to a line of polyester fabrics used for silkscreen printing. ( https://www.sefar.us/)They are available in a wide range of weight/ square meter,open area per square inch, yarn thickness, and thread count per inch. Most of the clothes drape quite easily and are quite strong.
Has anyone used this type of material in place of fiberglass, and been able to compare the two systems?

JimmY
Posts: 1264
Joined: Sat Jul 30, 2016 11:08 am
Location: Brighton, MI

Re: alternatives to fiberglass

Post by JimmY »

The reason for fiberglass is mostly abrasion resistance, which glass fibers have.

Look up "Peel-ply". Epoxy will not wet out and stick to Polyester. If you have ready access to polyester, use it like peel-ply when glassing and epoxy work and you will reduce the amount of fill coats and sanding required. After applying the fiberglass and epoxy, layout the peel-ply over the whole mess and smooth it out. The peel-ply should look uniformly damp, and any places you have applied too much epoxy will be soaked through with epoxy. Peel-ply typically won't conform well to compound curves, so don't try to conform it around corners. After the epoxy cures over night, rip the peel-ply off and you will be left with a smooth, blush-free surface that doesn't need sanding before the next coat of epoxy (if it actually needs one). To me this is easier than applying multiple fill coats and sanding to fill the glass weave. The peel-ply "holds" the epoxy level with the high points of the glass and reduces or eliminates extra coats to fill the weave. Try a sample before you commit to doing it on your boat, but I've used this technique multiple times on my boat and elsewhere.

Technically peel-ply has some coating on it, but I just used 100% polyester fabric from Joanns. Check out my "Michigan Squirt Build" for more info on the process.
-Jim
Nothing says poor craftsmanship like wrinkles in your duct tape!

admjake
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Nov 12, 2018 10:40 am
Location: Westport Ct

Re: alternatives to fiberglass

Post by admjake »

Thanks for the guidance.

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