Builders' Forum Archives
Re: Fiberglass Pax 20
Posted by Howard on Jan 28, 2005
the epoxy/mahogony sandwich is much stiffer for a given unit of weight than solid fibreglass. the mahogony acts very much like a core seperating the inside and outside fibreglass in the same way that corrugated cardboard or an i-beam works.
so for lightness....your clc pax mahogony/fibreglass construction will be much lighter than an equivelently stiff fibreglass/non-cored surface. it also has the advantage of being easier to build and work with than straight fibreglass.
most folks, i think have an inherent concern about the ease of maintenance and the possibility of the wood breaking down. however, simply put...if the boat gets just a little bit of attention every year...it should last a lifetime.
the only place a solid fibreglass boat will consistently outperform the wood/glass laminate, is not on weight, but in a "use environment" where you consistently smack/and crack the hull and leave the exposed crack open to the elements. fibreglass when exposed is inert and you can just leave it and deal with it at your leisure. a wood cored boat must have the exposed core immediately sealed again. given that most of us (especially pax paddlers) are not into smacking their boats and leaving them, this break-it and leave it advantage is seldom a top concern.
for whatever its worth, even high-end sail boat manufacturers like J-boats use wood coring for a light and stiff hull and their stuff is considered extremely durable and state of the art.
In Response to: Fiberglass Pax 20 by Sehested on Jan 28, 2005