Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 07-25-2021, 10:51 AM   #1
Senior Member
 
Nick14's Avatar
 
City: New England
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 213
Cold molded construction?

I searched and saw the previous thread on composite construction, and wanted to revive it. I would be grateful for anyone's thoughts on cold-molded construction.

I realize the answer is, 'it depends on the quality of construction', and would especially appreciate anyone's personal experiences. With the low supply of used boats on the market, I'm debating expanding into things I hadn't previously considered. Specifically, I'm deliberating whether or not to consider a 15-ish year old cold molded boat.

I had previously thought that if done by a quality builder, longevity and maintenance could be comparable to a conventional 'fiberglass' boat. But earlier this year, there was a cold-molded boat for sale near me from Mast & Mallet. While thinking about whether or not to see it, the listing showed 'sale pending' - and then was re-listed at about 1/3 of the original asking price, saying that water intrusion had been found in the bottom. Yikes. It's now re-listed after repairs being done.

Vicem is another cold-molded boat that seems to appear in classified listings.

Any and all thoughts and experiences would be appreciated.

Thank you!
__________________
Nick
Nick14 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-25-2021, 11:13 AM   #2
Guru
 
psneeld's Avatar
 
City: Ft Pierce
Vessel Name: Freedom
Vessel Model: Albin 40
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 24,250
I am pretty sure a lot of the expensive, offshore fishing boat built in the Carolina area are cold molded...at least they were.


The older retired Navy guy across from me at the dock has a beautiful cold molded (could be strip planked) he build many years ago and has lived on it for years...looks better than my production trawler in so many ways.
psneeld is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-25-2021, 11:43 AM   #3
Guru
 
OldDan1943's Avatar
 
City: Aventura FL
Vessel Name: Kinja
Vessel Model: American Tug 34 #116
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 8,424
There are many classic boat that could benefit from using an existing hull to make a mould and then begin construction of a 'new edition'.
__________________
The meek will inherit the earth but, the brave will inherit the seas.
OldDan1943 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-25-2021, 12:12 PM   #4
Guru
 
Bkay's Avatar
 
City: Reedville, VA
Vessel Name: Wingspan
Vessel Model: Aluminum Catamaran
Join Date: Aug 2018
Posts: 503
My last boat was a cold molded lobster boat. You are right about "it depends". I think the greatest benefit of cold molding is getting a unique one-off hull shape. If the boat is shaped like every other boat, then I'm not sure I get the increased cost and effort of building it in cold molded construction. In the case of Mast and Mallet - I assume it was one of the boats built to Mike Kauffman's (sp?) design, which are somewhat original.

The idea of water in the core doesn't terrify me by itself. I would want to know what wood was used in the strip planking or molded veneers. In the case of my boat, I believe the strip planking was Atlantic yellow cedar and the veneers were Western red cedar, both highly rot resistant woods. So even if water got in, they wood would not likely rot in salt water in my lifetime.

If looking at an older boat, be aware that without a good pedigree, you should get the boat at a very good price. If is has a good pedigree, they should have some documentation on the wood used in construction.

And yes, many of the Carolina boats are still built cold molded. Although they frequently use high grade plywood rather than "tree wood". So in that case, the type of ply makes a large difference in quality of construction.

As an aside, a very experienced boat builder replied to my concerns about wood and cold molded construction with the observations: Rot requires 3 things. The right temperature, fresh water, and oxygen. If you deny it any one of those three things you won't have rot. That's why a cold molded boat kept in salt water is not likely to rot due to water intrusion. However, it is still subject to rot from fresh water (rain) getting into joints and crevices above the waterline.
Bkay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-25-2021, 03:54 PM   #5
Guru
 
hollywood8118's Avatar
 
City: Port Townsend Washington
Vessel Name: " OTTER "
Vessel Model: Ocean Alexander Europa 40
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 2,086
The kiwis seem to have perfected cold molded boat building. I was on one years ago that I would of loved to own. I guess the statement that it depends on the builder holds as true here as on any boat. I do know that they can be really light and very strong at the same time
Hollywood
hollywood8118 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-25-2021, 04:14 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
Nick14's Avatar
 
City: New England
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 213
Thank you!

My concern level was raised because the (supposed) story on this particular boat is, the boat (allegedly) experienced a 'light' grounding. The owner was apparently either unaware or unconcerned with any damage. A survey found water penetration into the wood hull (beneath the fiberglass sheathing). This was supposedly repaired by grinding away affected areas, and filling with epoxy and reglassing.

I'm a big believer in vastly over-building, because sea conditions can throw things at you far beyond the range of anything 'expected'. There's no upside to a hull breach offshore.

Maybe I'm being overly paranoid, but my concerns with the explanation are,

1) if the grounding was 'light', why did such a light touch result in a breach that penetrated the sheathing enough to cause water intrusion into the wood hull? I could have a similar 'light grounding' and think everything is fine, until the sea tests it and I discover the hard way that it wasn't. Is this particular type of cold-molded construction so fragile that a 'light' grounding can cause significant problems?

2) If the grounding was more than 'light', what other hidden damage might have been caused? A careful survey and microscopic examination might reveal this, but then again, it might not.

I keep thinking back to a sea trial we did with an American Tug back in 2001. The dealer let my wife take the helm, to show her how easy it was to handle the boat. Shortly thereafter, she ran hard aground - at 15 knots. Literally nothing happened. We backed off and went on our way. I bought that boat and absolutely loved it for the years we owned it. There were no issues or any signs that the solid glass hull (about an inch thick) had ever hit anything.
__________________
Nick
Nick14 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-25-2021, 04:46 PM   #7
Guru
 
psneeld's Avatar
 
City: Ft Pierce
Vessel Name: Freedom
Vessel Model: Albin 40
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 24,250
Grounding damage depends on a lot of things....bottom composition, impeded objects, slope, duration, wave conditions, actions by skipper, etc...etc...
psneeld is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-25-2021, 04:49 PM   #8
Guru
 
Jeff F's Avatar
 
City: Great Lakes
Vessel Name: Escapade
Vessel Model: 50` US Navy Utility trawler conversion
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 1,178
I think you need to be careful with the term cold molded. Modern wood/epoxy builds that are completely different beasts from the cold molded boats of my youth.

Not trying to be pedantic, but it matters. There are a lot of variations.

Also I've seen more than a few cases of GRP boats with water intrusion into coring.
Jeff F is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-25-2021, 05:00 PM   #9
Guru
 
psneeld's Avatar
 
City: Ft Pierce
Vessel Name: Freedom
Vessel Model: Albin 40
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 24,250
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff F View Post
I think you need to be careful with the term cold molded. Modern wood/epoxy builds that are completely different beasts from the cold molded boats of my youth.

Not trying to be pedantic, but it matters. There are a lot of variations.

Also I've seen more than a few cases of GRP boats with water intrusion into coring.

Curious...what differences other than glues?....and maybe greater use of plywood?
psneeld is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-25-2021, 05:28 PM   #10
Guru
 
Jeff F's Avatar
 
City: Great Lakes
Vessel Name: Escapade
Vessel Model: 50` US Navy Utility trawler conversion
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 1,178
Quote:
Originally Posted by psneeld View Post
Curious...what differences other than glues?....and maybe greater use of plywood?
Not an expert. But builders l'm passingly familiar with like Covey Island Boats in Nova Scotia probably would be probably be horrified if someone referred to their boats as cold molded. There are a number of yards in Maine that turn out beautiful - and very expensive - wood/epoxy yachts.

My point was that you have to get into pretty specific details about construction to talk about maintenance or structural decay concerns. And most wooden yachts built within the last 20-30 years bear little resemblance to their predecessors it terms of how they're put together.

I was paying attention when the Gougeon brothers who founded the WEST system were doing some really innovative things with sailboats and iceboats in the 1980s. My sense has been that they sort of revolutionized wood yacht construction, at least in North America. They developed some really innovative and high tech wood/epoxy structures, and payed equal attention to both components.
Jeff F is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-25-2021, 05:41 PM   #11
Guru
 
Jeff F's Avatar
 
City: Great Lakes
Vessel Name: Escapade
Vessel Model: 50` US Navy Utility trawler conversion
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 1,178
Or maybe it's me being pedantic. It looks like you guys all agree on what a cold molded boat is, so I'll shut up and learn...
Jeff F is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-26-2021, 05:41 AM   #12
FF
Guru
 
FF's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 22,138
A cold molded hull would be a great choice for a hull that needed to stay light.

Today epoxy takes much of the risk out as it spans gaps the old resourconal and other glues could not.

For a rock crusher single skin GRP over a male plug , would be first choice.
FF is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-26-2021, 05:54 AM   #13
Guru
 
Sailor of Fortune's Avatar
 
City: St Augustine,Fl
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 3,511
Look at Covey Island Boats in Lunenburg,NS for some beautifully built Cold molded boats
__________________
Jack ...Chicken of the sea! Been offshore 3 miles once
Sailor of Fortune is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-27-2021, 08:06 AM   #14
Guru
 
Bkay's Avatar
 
City: Reedville, VA
Vessel Name: Wingspan
Vessel Model: Aluminum Catamaran
Join Date: Aug 2018
Posts: 503
Wood epoxy refers to materials. Most modern cold-molded boats are made with those materials but not all boats made with wood and epoxy are "cold-molded".

My working definition: Cold-molding consists of multiple layers of thin veneers of wood set in epoxy over closely set frames. Each layer is at a 45* angle to the previous layer. The end product is essentially like a plywood, but in the shape of your boat. It's VERY strong and VERY light. It's highly resistant to rot. The biggest drawback is the cost and time to lay and fair each layer. I've seen this with 3 layers being considered the minimum.

Strip planked boats of the wood/epoxy type are square strips of wood, edge glued to one another over temporary frames spaced relatively far apart. There can be one or more layers of strip planking. This is a faster method and is lower cost. But water intrusion can run the length of the strip and can cause splitting down the length.

For hard chine and non-developable surfaces, plywood can be put to good use. This is a part of many of the NC sport fishing boats as well as "stitch and glue" construction. I've got some pics of those under construction somewhere. This is a good and cost effective technique, but requires a hull shape that can accommodate flat materials (i.e. a non-developable surface). I don't know how the construction cost stacks up - but the sportfishing boats I saw in NC under construction sold for well over a Million bucks.

For a curvaceous shape (my favorite), a good compromise is strip planked, followed by one or two layers of veneer (topped off with fiberglass set in epoxy). Once the veneers are set, they resist any lengthwise splitting of the strip planked layer. Its cost is somewhere between strip planked only and cold-molded only. They only way to know this is how a boat is built is to specifically ask about the construction method.

All these (and probably others) can be accurately described as "wood epoxy" but not all are cold-molded.

My last boat was one layer of strip planking followed by two layers of red cedar veneers and only layer of fiberglass, all set in epoxy. The deck was plywood with Dynel set in epoxy. In the end, the whole boat was a single structure, stiff, very watertight, and light. At 5,500 lbs, she was around 1500 lbs lighter than the same boat that was built in traditional wood.
Bkay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-27-2021, 09:45 AM   #15
Guru
 
Nomad Willy's Avatar
 
City: Concrete Washington State
Vessel Name: Willy
Vessel Model: Willard Nomad 30'
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 18,217
I had a composite boat that was built in 1961. It was a Sumnercraft built in Amitivile NY. A 29í diesel cruiser powered by a Sabre 120 engine that is based on the same Ford engine that Lehman engines used.

The hull was built up first as a strip built boat, up side down and planked w cedar. The ďformsĒ (kinda like bulkheads) were placed crossways to form the shape of the hull. Then it was overlayed w polyester resin and FG cloth.
Then the hull was turned right side up. The forms were removed and the interior surface of the hull was overlayed.

My description above may be somewhat inaccurate. Itís just from memory except for the photo below.

I bought the Willard and for a time had both boats. This was just before we moved to Alaska. Soon I had to sell one boat and move north. I really wanted to keep the Sumnercraft but I was wary of having a composite boat in Alaska. I tried and tried to trust the hull but in the end I kept the Willard boat .. that was well suited to Alaska.

The Sumercraft showed no signs of failing in any way but I thought water will at some time reach the structural wood that was nowhere visible. The boat had already given good service for about 40 years. I was kind-of embarrassed for my inability to accept the mostly obvious. I loved the boat. It was capable of running at speeds very very few other boats could gracefully go. Nine to about 14 knots in this size boat.

The Sumnercraft didnít leak anywhere that I could see. But I was afraid of having to repair it in Alaska. But If I had to choose again and wasnít going to Alaska Iíd choose the composite boat.
Attached Thumbnails
0D42D196-67E3-4CB6-9018-8C83C46A4EE0.jpg  
__________________
Eric

North Western Washington State USA
Nomad Willy is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-27-2021, 09:55 AM   #16
Senior Member
 
Adopo's Avatar
 
City: SC
Vessel Name: Calypso
Vessel Model: 1981 Fairchild Scout
Join Date: Aug 2018
Posts: 172
We came really really close to buying the 67 Vicem at NPB boat show, due to the CV it lingered on the market far too long and did not sell well. Gorgeous boat, at a bargain I think. I too had questions about cold molded. Their interiors are incredible. Been waiting for the other shoe to drop, but instead the drum beat is getting faster and louder, time getting shorter.

https://youtu.be/gIewtyQd9pM


https://youtu.be/jtYPUdfbo5Q
Adopo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-27-2021, 09:59 AM   #17
Guru
 
City: Port Canaveral
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 2,103
If resale is a concern then be very cautious. If you lived here in Florida then forget about it unless you're paying 1/5 the asking and consider it completely sunk cost. Maybe in the PNW or northern Europe it might be more accepted. There's a nice trawler for sale here and the broker keeps hammering me about it, but I'm not paying six figures for a vessel that no matter how you look at it, is "wood cored below the waterline" in essence.
Mako is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-27-2021, 10:03 AM   #18
Senior Member
 
Adopo's Avatar
 
City: SC
Vessel Name: Calypso
Vessel Model: 1981 Fairchild Scout
Join Date: Aug 2018
Posts: 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mako View Post
If resale is a concern then be very cautious. If you lived here in Florida then forget about it unless you're paying 1/5 the asking and consider it completely sunk cost. Maybe in the PNW or northern Europe it might be more accepted. There's a nice trawler for sale here and the broker keeps hammering me about it, but I'm not paying six figures for a vessel that no matter how you look at it, is "wood cored below the waterline" in essence.
Of course they are going to try and market it to their advantage, Vicem claims CM is lighter, stronger, more durable. They have a lot of these boats out here, has anyone heard of or seen issues with them? That first video shows how they build a CM boat. I think someone said they are doing more in FG now.

Adopo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-27-2021, 10:04 AM   #19
Senior Member
 
bshanafelt's Avatar
 
City: Port Orchard, WA
Vessel Name: Isobel K
Vessel Model: 37' Custom Pilothouse
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 358
Bkay is giving you some really good textbook answers on this.

My particular boat:
My working definition: Cold-molding consists of multiple layers of thin veneers of wood set in epoxy over closely set frames. Each layer is at a 45* angle to the previous layer. The end product is essentially like a plywood, but in the shape of your boat. It's VERY strong and VERY light. It's highly resistant to rot. The biggest drawback is the cost and time to lay and fair each layer. I've seen this with 3 layers being considered the minimum.

The builder utilized six layers of 3/16 thick Western red cedar, with epoxy on each side with a resulting 1 5/8 thick hull form.

The exterior has fiberglass roving for abrasion resistance etc.


After owning this boat for almost 20 years, I am pleased today as I was on day one with the construction technique.


As has been previously mentioned the light weight of the hall is a definite Factor. If my boat weighed another 10,000 pounds it would not Bob around like a cork in big seas.

I believe the op is asking more about durability or longevity, and agree wholeheartedly that this completely depends on who built the boat.

Without doing destructive testing sometimes that's hard to figure out without the backstory on construction.

Also would mention that it's only typically the hull that is cold molded so the cabin and superstructure will need to be protected from the rain. Just make sure you can cover the boat in the off season weather in Moorage or boathouse or in a shed somewhere.


Find a surveyor who understands the technique
bshanafelt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2021, 06:24 AM   #20
FF
Guru
 
FF's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 22,138
A big hassle today is finding marine grade plywood that can be udes.

In the mid 1960's I had a 45 ft boat built in then British Honduras (now Belize).

The Thames Ply was African Mahogany 5/16 thick was 5 ply so very stiff , and the factory shipped it CIF (carige, insurance & freight) with the final surface not finished sanded to save time.

The pressure for the layup was Monel staples that did not have to be removed after the glue dried.

Dynel in epoxy was the outer surface covering , was a great combination, the boat
was a success. 6,000 hours of superb wood working was $4,500US.
FF is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Trawler Port Captains
Port Captains are TF volunteers who can serve as local guides or assist with local arrangements and information. Search below to locate Port Captains near your destination. To learn more about this program read here: TF Port Captain Program





All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:19 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0
Copyright 2006 - 2012