Hi Stergios, and Chris,
> > WEST SYSTEM has an epoxy paint, which, over wood gives the look of
> > a glass boat without the hassle of actually casting a hull in a
> > form.
Close, Chris, but not quite. Using the "Wood Epoxy Saturation
Technique" (WEST) requires a frame work of some sort. Often boat
builders use marine plywood frames, or built up frames to "shape"
the wooden hull. The first layer is stapled to the frames to
set the basic shape of the hull, and then each successive layer (the
thickness of veneer) is laid in West Resin which saturates both the
substrate and what's being applied on top. Then the new layer is
stapled in place. This techniqe requires the use of monel or stainless
staples, but results in an extremely strong and easily repairable
hull and the designer can almost go "freeform" with the frames as the
thin layers of wood can be easily bent to conform to nearly any
imagineable curve or shape.
And, the hull can be reinforced with fiberglass, carbon, kevlar
dyneema, etc where needed for extra strength. The reinforcing
fibers can be laid in West epoxy and stapled in place just like
the wood laminating panels.
> Are you are talking about building a boat from
> wood instead of fiberglass?
This is a "saturated wood" boat building technique.
> No epoxy paint will reduce the maintenance of wood to equal
> that of glass.
Actually a properly done WEST boat hull (or sailboard hull for
that matter) will have equal maintenance with fiberglass and be
significantly stronger on a strength to weight basis.
> Any chip in the finish of a wooden boat allows water to reach the
> wood, so it must be repaired immediately.
On a normal pure wood, or plywood boat, this is true.
For a WEST epoxy laminate hull it would not be so critical
> If it is not noticed, water damage to the wood
> is likely.
In the West System, each layer of the laminate is sealed from
the next, by the saturating epoxy resin. So, you only will have
to repair the wood in the area of the damage, and the moisture
damage will not migrate to underlying layers if the laminate is
laid up correctly.
> Wood is often covered with a layer of fiberglass
> to strengthen the outer coat. This helps a lot.
Some WEST system boat hulls are also glassed on the outside,
but many are not. They use thin hardwoods that absorb a known
amount of the resin, and this serves as both a bonding agent and
a sealer. It's pretty easy to repair, and you can get wonderful
wood grain finishes from the natural woods used.
> Wood boats will be lighter and stiffer than
> comparable single-skin fiberglass boats. It
> is not until you start building foam-core
> fiberglass (glass-foam-glass) hulls that
> you can start to compete with wood for lightness/stiffness.
Very true, but with the West System, you can combine both
technologies (or all 3 if you like, Foam cores, fiberglass,
saturated wood). West is a resin system with great flexibility.
Starboard uses this "combined" technology (Not necessarily West
Systems, but epoxy based to be sure) to achieve very high
impact strength in their "Wood Technology" boards, using light
foams for the core; glass/dyneema; hard structural foams
(Divynicel, Rohacell, etc); more glass/dyneema; then thin wood
layers; and a final covering of glass/dyneema. Very strong, also
easy to repair
Hope this helps,
sailquik US 7011
Sent via Deja.com http://www.deja.com/
Before you buy.