Useful Tips

How to make a fiberglass boat yourself?


And amateur shipbuilders and industry are increasingly using gluing the hulls of small sports and tourist vessels with a protective layer of fiberglass. Most often they glue wooden (primarily plywood) boats in order to ensure water resistance and increase the durability of the hull, but often fiberglass is also used to protect steel or duralumin hulls from corrosion. In addition, some believe that such a coating simultaneously reduces fouling of the underwater part of the vessel.

At the same time, it has to be noted that during the operation of vessels glued with fiberglass fabric even under factory conditions, defects (for example, peeling of fiberglass fabric) are sometimes detected, indicating gross errors made during the work. It turns out that the glass fabric was not prepared correctly, incompatible brands of fabric and glue, glue and paint were used. In some cases, the temperature and humidity conditions were violated, in others the housing was poorly cleaned, etc., etc. The main conclusion is this: no matter how simple this business may seem, all recommendations should be carefully observed.

Fiberglass selection

As a rule, fiberglass is not widely sold, so amateurs usually have to deal with "nameless" industrial waste or even rejected material. That is why, for starters, it is necessary to establish exactly which fiberglass fabric you have to deal with.

Fiberglass fabrics are manufactured according to GOST 8481–61 (“Fiberglass Cloth”) and 10156–66 (“Electrical Insulating Fiberglass”), as well as for temporary technical conditions for various industries. Some of them are specially produced as reinforcing material for the manufacture of fiberglass structures, others for thermal or electrical insulation, waterproofing of underground pipelines, etc. It is clear that the properties of these fabrics are not the same.

For protective pasting of the boat hull in one elephant in amateur conditions, the most suitable are (Table 1) textolite fabric of brands T1 or T2 or a glass mesh net weave of the brand SE (SSTE-6). Aviation fiberglass is recommended to be used only for pasting cases of light alloys.

All electrical insulating fabrics (Table 2) are available already impregnated with some kind of insulating synthetic compounds - special resins. It is practically impossible to clean the fabric, and the presence of these resins limits the choice of glue (only perchlorovinyl glue can be used) and significantly complicates the application of coatings. For this reason, electrical insulating fabrics are used only as a last resort.

Adhesive material selection

Listed below are the most affordable formulations suitable for gluing any body with any fiberglass other than electrical.

Glue EP-1. This adhesive consists of epoxy resin ED-5 (100 parts by weight), low molecular weight polyamide L-18 (80 parts by weight) and silica dust (50 parts by weight), the introduction of which is not necessary in this case. It must be taken into account. that the resin can be stored for no more than 6 months from the date of manufacture, and polyamide - no more than 3 months. These components are mixed immediately before use at a temperature not lower than + 12 ° and spent in a time not more than 4-6 hours from the time of preparation. Maple is applied with a thin even layer on the surface of the body, leveling with a spatula, and at the same time on fiberglass. The curing of the adhesive at a temperature of + 12 ° occurs within 7 days, at a higher temperature, for example, at + 20 °, this period is halved. Only after sufficient curing can you proceed to the following operations - sanding and painting.

Glue K-153. This glue is also prepared on the basis of ED-5 resin, but taken not in its pure form, but in the form of K-153 compound. consisting of resin (100 wt. h). liquid thiocol (20 parts by weight) and polyester (10 parts by weight). When using glue, polyethylene polyamine (12 parts by weight) is added to it as a hardener. The adhesive cures at a temperature not lower than +16 for 24 hours.

Maple BF-2 and BF-4. Available in finished form. Apply them on both surfaces: bonding is carried out at a temperature of at least + 16 °. Hardening time with heating to 150 is only 1 hour, but at normal temperature about 20 ° is 7 days. On the 3-4th day, you can start sanding and painting the glued surface.

Glue LK-1. This nitroglyphthalic adhesive is also supplied ready-made. It is applied to both surfaces with a spatula or a hard brush. Work can be carried out at a temperature not lower than + 5 ° Curing time - at + 20 ° for about 48 hours.

Epoxy putty. As the adhesive material, you can use liquid putty, in particular - epoxy putty of any brand. Hardener is introduced when using putty.

Thickly Wiped Paints. You can use lead paints (white, red, crown) for gluing steel and wooden cases and zinc white for aluminum. Thickly grated paints are diluted with linseed oil based on 1 part (by volume) of white lead and crown - from ⅓ to ½ part of drying oil, to 1 part of zinc white from ¼ to ⅓. Lead minium is prepared at the time of use, weighing up to 80 weight. including dry powder 15 wt. including linseed oil.

Paints are applied to both surfaces with a hard brush. The term of their complete drying at a temperature of + 20 ° is not less than three days.

Lucky. You can use some varnishes, for example, water-resistant glyphthal - grades 6c (light) and 6t (dark). Varnishes 4c and 4t (non-water resistant) are applicable only if the subsequent painting is sufficiently waterproof and capable of protecting the pasting layer.

Pentaphthalic varnish can be taken of any brand, but if PF-231 (parquet) is to be used, it must be taken into account that it dries very quickly - in 30-60 minutes from the moment of application. Other parquet varnishes with an acid hardener (MCH-26, etc.) are used only for gluing wooden surfaces.

Bakelite varnish is suitable for pasting any cases, but it must be borne in mind that the curing time is not less than seven days.

Varnishes are applied with a large brush simultaneously on both surfaces, on fiberglass slightly more abundant than on the body.

In order to estimate the required amount of glue, one can be guided by the following figures: the glue consumption per 1 m 2 of the body surface is about 200 g, and 300-350 g per 1 m 2 of fabric.

Preparing a wooden case

(For pasting of wooden cases, see also the article “Fiberglass Protected Wood” in collection No. 9, 1967). It is necessary to round sharp edges and corners to drown the fasteners and putty indentations above it. The uneven, too rough surface of the wood can be easily planed. If the edges have small splits or tears, they should be cleaned by cutting with a sharp chisel or knife. The cleaned outer skin should be soaked with hot linseed oil or ethinole varnish - wood will absorb less water, which will provide better adhesion of glue and fabric.

2-3 hours before gluing, the body is wiped with white spirit (or gasoline) to remove dust and degrease. It should be borne in mind that even the smallest traces of fat disrupt adhesion, especially in cases where epoxy glue is used. Naturally, the above applies to the preparation of the metal case.

If it comes to pasting the case. already in operation. Then there is an additional concern: it is necessary to remove the old, weakly containing paint and putty. If the board case was caulked, you must remove the weakly-holding caulking. Again, caulked places can not be filled with varnish or covered with mastic, you just need to well deposit the caulk.

Rotten wood in some damaged areas must be removed, because otherwise, due to moisture absorption in these places, fiberglass peeling will inevitably occur. If rotten wood is removed to a depth of more than 5 mm, insertions must be made.

Light alloy body preparation

Wipe the new case thoroughly and degrease with white spirit or acetone just before gluing. Pay attention to the condition of the edges and corners of the burrs must be removed, bent places to correct, sharp edges slightly round.

If the casing was painted with glyphthal or pentaphthalic paints, nitro enamel or epoxy enamel, it is possible to glue the fiberglass directly on the old paint.Too too smooth, shiny surface must be sanded to ensure good adhesion of the protective layer of fiberglass with the casing (this requires especially careful removal of dust from the paint).

Naturally, where the paint is weak, it must be removed.

Steel body preparation

When cleaning a case made of ferrous metal from lagging old paint, it is necessary at the same time to remove the corrosion that is not visible to the eye and which has already penetrated here under the paint, which is tightly adhering to the edges of the area being cleaned and can be used here to further destroy the protective layer. It is necessary to carefully inspect the case, to open the detected small swelling of the paint. Corroded areas are best cleaned to metal with an emery cloth, an emery stone or a scraper. After cleaning the rust, the surface should be wiped off from dust and degreased with white spirit. It is necessary to start gluing no later than a day after degreasing. since at high humidity the purified metal can oxidize, slight signs of corrosion will appear (the surface will begin to take on a yellowish tint) and the prepared surfaces will have to be reprocessed.

Fiberglass preparation

A feature of the manufacture of fiberglass is that in order to reduce dust formation, the fiber is wetted with a special oil, oil emulsion or paraffin solution (in the latter case, the fabric is marked by letting a colored thread along one edge of the fabric).

To ensure adhesion, it is necessary to remove this lubricant, since it does not allow the adhesive to adhere well to the fiber. Paraffin is removed by wiping the fabric with gasoline or even dipping in gasoline. Other types of sizing are removed with white spirit or acetone. The washed tissue should be dried for 2-4 hours, preferably in a draft. In all cases, the fabric should be dry and clean.

Cutting fiberglass

It is best to take the length of pieces of fabric equal to the length of the body. In any case, it is desirable that the strip along the keel and along the waterline are solid, without joints. In various collisions, in bulk, aground, these drinking casing are most often damaged, the edge at the junction during impact can rise and peel off at a considerable distance. and the whole canvas will only break through.

If necessary, you can sew pieces of fabric to obtain the desired length, trying to ensure that the seam does not fall on the most complete mid-section of the body. When stitching the edges, it is impossible to bend, the sailing seam is not suitable. It is best to use a glass thread, pulling it out of the edge of the cloth, you can sew a good linen or twisted cotton thread, soaked in drying oil or wood-based liquid resin.

Sewing the panels along the longitudinal edges is not recommended in order to avoid the formation of folds and skews due to the uneven tension of the thread in the stitches.

When cutting the fabric, it is necessary to give an allowance of 20-30 mm along the edges that will lie down from above, incrusted.

The procedure for pasting the body

Usually pasting the hull lead from top to bottom, i.e., from the area of ​​the waterline to the keel. In this case, the lower edges of the panels will not bulge when struck by floating objects, etc.

The most vulnerable and often damaged parts of the hull, for example. sharp cheekbone, angularly connected to the side of the deck, it is advisable to protect with an additional layer of fiberglass, gluing a strip with a width of 50-100 mm to the main layer.

When gluing riveted housings, it is recommended that you first glue fiberglass strips over all riveted joints, as shown in the sketch.

In the presence of a squared keel, the lower edges of the bottom panels are brought out to the keel (20-30 mm), but they usually do not paste over it completely. It is better to seal the edges of the fabric on a wooden keel and on the stem with a triangular rail, sometimes the pins are glued over as a whole - in two layers, placing the edges, as shown in the sketch.

The fabric cloth straightened and laid on the body must be smoothed with a roller or a smoothing machine to, on the one hand, remove the air that forms bubbles and swellings, and on the other, so that the maple leaves the fabric through and out and covers it with a uniform thin layer - this eliminates the need to putty the surface before painting.

Puttying and sanding the glued body

If the previous operation was carried out carefully and accurately, instead of puttying immediately, while the glue has not yet completely dried, perform the so-called wet grinding. In this case, all the roughnesses of the glue (risks, sagging) are smoothed out with a swab moistened with an appropriate solvent. If this is not done in a timely manner and the glue dries, all the irregularities will have to be eliminated by sanding, or even scraping.

Often you have to apply putty. When preparing putty, apply the same maple as the fabric was pasted, with the addition of filler - quartz sand or marshallite (chalk and cement are not recommended). The putty surface is leveled and immediately “freshly” smoothed with a swab dipped in a solvent.

After the putty is dry, you can begin to paint it, previously sanding the surface.

Painting the glued body

The paint, depending on the adhesive used, is selected according to the table. 3. When operating the vessel in fresh water bodies, where there is no intensive fouling of the underwater part, lead paints, crown (yellow color), red lead (orange color), and yar-copper (green color) are most often used from oil paints. Bitumen varnish is used with aluminum powder, a silver coating is obtained.

Gliphthalic or pentaphthalic enamel can be used in any color, both domestic and imported (Polish, Romanian, Yugoslav enamels). The greatest water resistance is characterized by chlorinated rubber enamel. I recommend additionally coating gliphthalic and pentaphthalic enamels with one layer of gliphthalic or pentaphthalic varnish, this will preserve the decorative paint layer from pollution.

When operating the vessel in marine conditions, especially in the south, it is desirable to cover the underwater part of the hull with antifouling paint.

Purpose and phased production

Plastic small boat designed primarily for fishing. It can also be used for boating, sports. Operating conditions of the boat on the water: a wave of not more than 60 cm in height, wind strength - up to 4 points on a ten-point scale. Fiberglass boat is a great alternative to inflatable boats.

In the first place among the pluses is strength, which exceeds this indicator of an aluminum boat of the same class. Such a vessel will last a long time, with proper care - up to 20 years.
The fiberglass case has excellent hydrodynamics and shape, has high physico-chemical properties. Repair is quite do-it-yourself. One of the most important advantages of a plastic boat is the ability to manufacture it in accordance with your desires.

Fiberglass is the only material that allows you to create a form of any complexity yourself. Self-designing the bottom makes it possible to equip it with redans of any configuration. It is possible to achieve maximum efficiency of the ship's driving performance by placing redans in the most suitable places. In addition, the design of a makeshift boat will be a reflection of the character of its owner.

There is a method of making a homemade boat from plywood and fiberglass, when plastic is used only for the outer coating of the boat. But this technology does not justify itself. A layer of plywood lying under the plastic quickly gains moisture, which increases the weight of the vessel. There is a rapid destruction of plywood due to the action of microorganisms and the process of separation, because the strength of plywood is significantly inferior to plastic.

How to make a boat? Carefully observing all the rules, even a novice will be able to carry out this task. The technological process is simple and budget. The hull of the vessel is created by a reinforcing filler impregnated with a polymer composition.

Materials and drawing

Raw materials used as reinforcing filler in the manufacture of the frame:

  • the basis of the hull, sides - roving fiberglass TP-07, TP-03, TP-056,
  • local strengthening of individual sections - structural fiberglass T-11, T-13.

Fiberglass is of different types according to the type of weaving, the size of the threads. Basically choose "oblique" or satin weave. Threads should be twisted. Sold material in the form of sheets, rolls, ribbons.

Fiberglass is sold impregnated with a greasy composition. In order to better impregnate the fabric with a binder, the sizing should be removed with gasoline, white spirit or acetone. Fat-free tissue is dried for about 2-4 hours in air.

To glue the reinforcing material, you need resin. Three types of resins are used in the shipbuilding industry: epoxy, vinyl ester, and polyester. The most important characteristics of resins in the construction of fiberglass boats from any type of fiber are adhesion and impregnation.

Дешевым вариантом является использование полиэфирной смолы, позволяющей создать цельный элемент из стеклопластика за одну операцию. Можно применить смолу TM Ashland. To create a decorative, with protective properties of the coating of the body, you need a gelcoat. You will also need plywood with a thickness of at least 1.2 cm, which has moisture resistance.

Making a boat is impossible without a competent drawing. Designing a future craft can be done using the AutoCAD program. First, a 3D model is created, then the frames of the frames, patterns. Ready-made drawings are taken on specialized sites on the Internet. Now you can start making a fiberglass boat with your own hands.

The directly manufacturing process of making a fiberglass boat with your own hands begins with the construction of the matrix. First, the frame is made, on which the frames are attached. Then they should be studded with twelve-millimeter plywood, trying to achieve the most even surface. The edges of the boat are made more rigid, for the sides apply a double layer of plywood.

Now you need to long and carefully align the sides using polyester putty. All errors must be excluded so that the design of the boat is stable. You can work with special spatulas-patterns.

At the stage of alignment of the matrix, it is possible to provide such an important part of the boat as the keel. It provides the smooth movement of a rowing or motor boat, excluding hitching. A home-made keel made of wood is poured with polyester resin.

Through markup, all errors of the constructed matrix are revealed. The edges of the sandpaper are smoothed and cleaned, giving the future vessel symmetry. The finished form, cleaned from dirt, is degreased, a 4-layer release compound is applied to it. It is necessary as a separator, preventing the resin from sticking to the surface of the mold.

Gelcoat coating

After the wax layer has dried, a gelcoat is applied, which is the outer surface of the boat. This is a crucial moment on which the appearance of the vessel depends. Gelcoat provides protection against scratches, ultraviolet radiation, scuffs. It must be applied, achieving a uniform coating, avoiding bubbles and sagging. Now you can start laying the cut parts on a completely dried layer of gelcoat.

Body manufacture

Fabric cutting is carried out by cutting canvases corresponding to the length of the body. Cloths for laying along the waterline and keel should not have joints. If there is an impact on an obstacle, then the material in this place is able to bulge, and then exfoliate. Allow allowances when cutting along the edges for laying insecure. To sew pieces of fiberglass to obtain the required length, you can use glass threads pulled from the edge of the material, or linseed impregnated with linseed oil.

The fiberglass layer is uniformly coated with a binder polymer resin. To do this, it is recommended to use a press roller. Air bubbles must be avoided, as the voids remaining in some places weaken the structure. Next, the next layer of fiberglass is laid in a similar pattern. You can apply up to five layers of fiberglass. To obtain a more beautiful upper layer, it is recommended to use a special "upper" fiberglass.

Power frame and floor

To strengthen the body, it is necessary to lay three wooden bars along the form, which are then covered with two layers of fiberglass. The frames are mounted every 30 cm, also applying fiberglass to them.

It is necessary to create a double sealed bottom, making the boat unsinkable even in case of overturning. The floor is sheathed with plywood sheets with moisture resistant properties. The finished floor is covered with a pair of layers of reinforcing fabric, with the obligatory impregnation of polymer resin. The composition is allowed to dry completely.

Final stage

It remains to remove the finished boat from the mold, trim the allowances, polish the surface, mount the roof and timber to protect the sides. You can also make additional elements: seats, paddles, drawers. Using fiberglass, with your own hands you can make any necessary accessories for the ship. After that, they start painting.

A similar method is made with their own hands boats made of fiberglass. Of course, the design and construction of a boat is more complicated than a boat, and more effort will be required. But the cost of homemade will cost half less than the same finished vessel.

Fiberglass boat or boat repair is required in case of typical damage:

  • defects in the decorative layer,
  • cracks in the case,
  • holes and half holes,
  • angle difference
  • shells.

The main materials for repair: fiberglass, epoxy resins. Starting repairs, it is recommended that the damaged area be located closer to the horizontal level. The surface should be clean, dry, fat free. You may need a hairdryer, technical or household. Before embedding defects, fiberglass must be degreased by rinsing in a solvent and dried well.

During emergency repairs, do not dry it over a fire, as soot is formed. Before laying for damage, the fiberglass is impregnated in a diluted compound (polyester or epoxy resin), and then squeezed by pulling between two sticks. The repair site must be cleaned with a large sandpaper to the fiberglass layer, making it slightly terry.

Repair damage

Minor damage in the form of scratches is repaired without filler epoxy or primer. The through-type scratch is removed by filling with a filler compound, after which the treated area remains to be sanded and painted over.

It is enough to cover small cracks with epoxy resin. If the case is cracked, then on both sides of the damage the decorative layer is removed to the fiberglass. After drying, it is filled with epoxy resin. To do this, click on each side of the crack, allowing it to open, and coat. After this, the edges are combined, fixed. From above, on both sides, impose a compound-impregnated strip of fiberglass. After solidification, the repair site is ground, coated with a layer of resin, ground again and painted.

The half-hole is characterized by a break with the remaining piece of plastic. If the gap is small, then you need to straighten the sticking piece. To do this, compound all surfaces. With the help of an emphasis and a mallet, the piece is put into place, while on the one hand a bulge is formed, and on the other, a dent. Fiberglass with impregnation is laid on a convex place, it is fixed with a load. After polymerization, the half-hole is caked with a filler resin. Further actions, grinding - laying of the impregnated sheet, are repeated twice. Then grinding and painting are carried out.

The hole is sealed with a foam punch, preferably along the outer contours. Several patches with tolerances of 3 to 5 mm are made of thick fiberglass so that the thickness of the bag matches the thickness of the case. After installing the punch, patches are glued. The algorithm for further actions is the same as in the previous cases.

The divergence of the angles is eliminated similarly to the sealing of cracks, but fiberglass in the form of a tape is taken. The sink is the most unpleasant type of damage. Sometimes this is a manufacturing defect. It can form between layers due to the ingress of water, which bursts into layers in winter. For repair, you will need to open the sink by drilling a hole before it enters the cavity.

Then a wide incision is made (up to 5 mm) in the place of its largest size. The opened cavity is dried with a hairdryer, filled with a compound using a syringe. The processed sink is clamped into the press. Then the familiar algorithm of puttying, grinding and painting is performed.

Fiberglass is an excellent material for the manufacture of boats and boats, available in application. DIY fiberglass boats are durable and durable, easy to repair. It should be borne in mind that the components used in the work of the materials are not safe for health. It is necessary to work in rubber gloves, face shields, goggles, in a well-ventilated place.