Build a solid fiberglass Passagemaker take apart?

Hi guys, My name is Alex and I want to build a nesting Passagemaker as the primary dinghy to my 40' Cheoy Lee Midshipman ketch (Splendid). I cruise internationally full time and am quite hard on my dinghy, hence the reason I want to build her from solid glass. I've never built a boat but am really good with fiberglass. I'm planning to make plywood size fiberglass sheets and just use the glass in the construction as opposed to the plywood. If anyone can comment or give advice I would truly appreciate it. Cheers alex Dorsey

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RE: Build a solid fiberglass Passagemaker take apart?

Hi Alex - I haven't built a Passagemaker, but would recommend against what you had in mind. The CLC designed boats are wood-epoxy composite. Everything is cut out from flat plywood, and the final shapes come bending them as you stitch the pieces together. Panels fabricated from nothing but glass and epoxy are going to have very different bending characteristics than plywood. You might not even be able to bend some of them into the final shape at all. Certainly if you lay down enough layers of glass and epoxy to make up panels thick enough to consider using, they will be a lot heavier than the plywood would have been... and a lot more expensive.

My recommendation would be to go ahead and build a "stock" Passagemaker and either use it "as is" or you really think it needss it, beef it up a bit wherever you figure it would get more wear and tear. You could put graphite / expoy on the bottom. It provides UV protection and gives a very tough / slippery surface. Any colour you want as long as it's black. What part of the boat do you think will hard on - bottom, chines / gunwhales, or...? Until you have actually built and used a wood / epoxy boat, you aren't going to know how just how tough it is.


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