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Old 10-05-2014, 09:13 PM   #1
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Fiberglass over wood

What are yalls thoughts on fiberglass over wood hulls? My old man refused to look at these boats because he thought they would expand and contact differently causing the fiberglass to crack or the wood to split. Any truth to this or are they ok to mess with?
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Old 10-05-2014, 09:22 PM   #2
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unfortunately no great answer...some (very few) hull were done well...most turned into horror shows...

like any boat...ya gotta look closely.

Any hull material can have issues and if you buy that one...it is a nightmare.

generally glass over wood is a boat gone bad and a hail mary tried to fix it....properly done...you could be looking at a great bargain.
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Old 10-05-2014, 09:57 PM   #3
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This is a 1969, 65ft Huckins Caribbean. I don't want to take a $100k butt kicking. I guess I'll keep to fiberglass.
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Old 10-05-2014, 10:09 PM   #4
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$100,000. you have lost your frickin mind. Maybe $20,000 if it smells good. You can usually smell an old rotten glassed over boat 3 slips away.
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Old 10-05-2014, 10:24 PM   #5
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Glass over wood

During the fifties and early sixties thousands of glass over plywood boats were built. Glass over plywood is a very strong type of lightweight construction. GlenL / Chriscraft/ Western plywood association kit boats were very popular with many still in use today. Where this construction fails is when fresh water is allowed to sit in the bilges whether it be in the water or on a trailer. Dry rot is a problem if the boats aren't kept dry or damage to the glass skin is not repaired and water gets between the glass and the substrate. In extreme cases the hydraulic pressure of a planning boat would rip the glass off the bottom of the boat in strips if the laminate was damaged. Not many of these boats were glassed on the inside. I would think that dry rot problems would be even worse, similar the coring issues in the 70's boats today. I have seen plywood boats built in 50' size both as commercial work boats and as home made trimarans. I think today's with epoxies I wouldn't hesitate to build a glass over plywood boat.
Planked boats is another whole can of worms. I have seen planked boats that became the male mold for what ended up as a fiberglass hull with a rotten wood boat for a interior and deck structure. Usually this is a hail Mary save some wonderful old wood boat. I have never seen a planked boat with two layers of A grade glass over planks that held up. I think your dad is right to much expansion and flex in the wood to keep the glass from failing.
Cold molded epoxy impregnated wood with epoxy and cloth/ Kevlar over the hull is a tremendously strong and light construction. Extremely durable. And expensive.
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Old 10-05-2014, 10:27 PM   #6
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$100,000. you have lost your frickin mind. Maybe $20,000 if it smells good. You can usually smell an old rotten glassed over boat 3 slips away.
I asked for advice and looks like walking away was the right call, so I think my mind is in the right spot.
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Old 10-05-2014, 10:29 PM   #7
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Before I quit on this boat, I would do some research on Huckins. One of the most respected, and highest quality builders for many years. I would assume that the "fiberglass over wood" you mention is as the boat was built, not a later fiberglass do-over by someone other than Huckins. By 1969, Huckins was at the forefront of what is now the "cold molded" fiberglass over wood method. Their boats were FG over mahogany, with a fully resined interior. Very strong, generally very light for size. Also very high quality work. The same family has owned and run Huckins from the beginning. If you know the hull #, I am sure they will be happy to tell you pretty much all you would want to know about that particular boat. From a quick search, $100K for a 65' 1969 Caribbean is actually a pretty low price. If that is the type boat you are interested in, IMO it would certainly bear looking into.

If it is the one on Yachtworld in Grat Bridge, VA, I would definitely take a hard look at it. From the pics, it is quite a good looking boat.
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Old 10-05-2014, 10:35 PM   #8
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The one in GB is the one I was wondering about. Thanks for the info and I may need to dig deeper.
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Old 10-05-2014, 10:36 PM   #9
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Just saw your latest post as I was typing mine. Did you pass w/o a look at the boat? I would have to say that I would at least take a good solid look at the boat. Again, Huckins are very well built boats. IMHO, one in good condition, at that price, is well worth the time and effort to check out. Again, you will find the Huckins folks, pretty helpful if you have any questions, they are proud of their boats and rightly so. I have never owned one, but use to live near their plant and have known probably a dozen owners over the years.
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Old 10-05-2014, 11:08 PM   #10
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Hey Guys,

Says they "re-powered" the boat 10 years ago with 2 new engines - there is half your $100K.
No one in their right mind would do that with a rotted hull, even for sentimental reasons.
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Old 10-05-2014, 11:50 PM   #11
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The Huckins were double diagonally planked and therefore FG on wood wise they may be comparable to plywood. Heavy on the "may".

One of the great virtues of the Huckins hull is that it was light. With a light FG sheathing you'd have (probably) FG structural problems and if done heavy the boat would loose a lot of it's value. If it's as heavy as a FG boat there wouldn't be motive for getting the Huck when you could buy a FG boat. Just strength.

There's going to be a lot of "dry rot" opinions. My naysayer comment is that a FG sheathed boat will be terrible to repair.
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Old 10-06-2014, 04:25 AM   #12
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Right, now that the naysaying timber hating plastic fantastics have said their bit :-) lol , Find out if it is Polyester Resin or Epoxy Resin before you totally write it off. Polyester sets hard and brittle like glass and is not suited to the same flexing characteristics of timber leading to delamination and rot. Epoxy Resin will flex with the timber and is subtitled for timber construction. You can use epoxy resin over Polyester Resin but you can use Polyester Resin over Epoxy. Kind of like water based acrylic paint and oil base enamel paint

Get it inspected and do a DT and NDT on her to check to see what percentage of moisture she has in her ribs.




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Old 10-06-2014, 07:00 AM   #13
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As has been posted, a Huckins that's in good shape is a different animal.

Saw one two years ago in Morehead City, NC probably worth a fortune as it looked like a brand new boat.

They are cult boats with a following...break into that crowd if you like the boat...if it's just another boat to you then it's probably NOT for you...even if someone gave it to you.
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Old 10-06-2014, 10:32 AM   #14
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That one in Great Bridge is Grace Kelley on the water. First Class, turns heads everywhere she went, makes me want to spend money just for the chance of a smile from her! And worth every penny, especially if you have a gazillion of them to give away! The possibility to spend a fortune on that vessel is essentially unlimited! But to paint her up, fire up those 1,400 horses and put on the McHale's Navy theme while running down Narragansett Bay or Biscayne Bay might just be worth it! I'd have to go with Battleship Grey with a big "73" on the bow!
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Old 10-06-2014, 10:53 AM   #15
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Huckins Yacht Corporation - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia , Huckins PT boats , There are still some of these left. Diagonal planking has many of the characteristics of a plywood or coldmolded hull.
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Old 10-06-2014, 09:52 PM   #16
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She's a good looking boat from the pictures, but she's been for sale since 2008 and I wonder why! Have the owners been keeping up with her (other than the paint) or is it just sitting? I sent the broker an email with a list of questions and he couldn't answer a single question. Looking deeper into these boats, I don't think it's what I'm looking for. They don't seem to do well offshore, I'm betting the fuel burn is more then I'd want and I don't know if I really need a boat this big. I'm thinking 50 ft is all I really want.
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Old 10-07-2014, 12:49 AM   #17
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Quote:
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Huckins Yacht Corporation - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia , Huckins PT boats , There are still some of these left. Diagonal planking has many of the characteristics of a plywood or coldmolded hull.
While the Huckins PTs were beautifully built boats with some nice features, they were not in the end deemed suitable for the PT mission. Only 18 were built (I would be surprised if any of these 18 are left). They were never used in combat, and instead were relegated to training and harbor patrol duties.

The Elco and Higgins boats were ultimately selected for the wartime PT mission and many hundreds of both types were built during WWII.
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Old 10-07-2014, 06:10 AM   #18
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If the hull is plywood ,cold molded or some other stable setup Epoxy and Dynel seems to work.

Keeps out the worms and is easier to maintain.

If its wooden frames and planking nailed or screwed on with calking , GRP covering seems to be a temp cure,

unless there is enough glass thickness to basically forget the wood as structure.
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