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Old May 20, 2009, 06:36 PM
Monahan Steam is offline
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Poll

Wood or Fiberglass?


Do you prefer building your model's hull from wood or fiberglass?

I have heard a lot of mixed feelings from a number people who all have different opinions on this subject. So I am curious to take a poll on this matter.

I can understand that it depends on the model but for this poll lets just talk about models who's hulls would have been originally built from wood. Such as Fishing vessels, Tugs, Pleasure craft and so on.
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Old May 20, 2009, 07:51 PM
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Wooden hulls are fine, but require regular maintenance, because of the nature of the material. Wood and moisture aren't exactly good companions.

I tend to prefer fiberglass because I'm more familiar with it, and because of its durability in a wet environment.
Old May 20, 2009, 07:59 PM
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Wood with a fiberglass skin is fine in my book for one-offs, but a purchased glass hull sure saves time.

And a classic steam launch screams out for wood, brass, and varnish.
Old May 20, 2009, 08:00 PM
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Either..

It depends on the hull shape too...

I'm currently building a plug for a tug from foam and bondo.. then have to glass up a mold so i can make a hull...
In the time its taken me so far, i could probably have made a wooden hull...
Old May 20, 2009, 08:06 PM
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I built a fishing boat (party boat) from wood years ago. Plank on frame, more like sheet basswood on frame, then fiberglassed it. After I finished it I built a plug to make a mold. Popped a FG hull out of the mold and currently rebuilding the same boat on the fiberglass hull. I prefer working with wood. The boat feels more solid. The real boat is aluminum. Prefer building all my own hulls. The nice thing about FG hulls is less framing getting in the way, more room if you do it right. Didn't have to do any maintenance on my wood hulls.
Old May 20, 2009, 08:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toesup
Either..
It depends on the hull shape too...
I'm currently building a plug for a tug from foam and bondo.. then have to glass up a mold so i can make a hull...
In the time its taken me so far, i could probably have made a wooden hull...
I've seen a pic of the hull you're working on Toes, and making a mold of it is the right thing to do.

There should more than a one-off of it---.
Old May 20, 2009, 08:09 PM
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Much prefer wood to replicate the original.
Old May 20, 2009, 08:26 PM
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It's good to hear all of your thoughts on this topic. Lets keep them coming!

I like both materials actually but I do tend lean more towards wood because I actually enjoy all the pain and suffering that comes with building a hull. Plus most of the boats I tend to build were built from wood originally. However there are a number of finely manufactured fiberglass hulls out there and they do cut a lot of time off of the build.
Old May 20, 2009, 08:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patmat2350
Wood with a fiberglass skin is fine in my book for one-offs, but a purchased glass hull sure saves time.

And a classic steam launch screams out for wood, brass, and varnish.
This is certainly a reason for asking.
Old May 20, 2009, 10:24 PM
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I like to use wood for an older "steam era" or pleasure boat hull.
And fiberglass for a moderen steel hull.

So I like both, but wood is alot more fun to work with and it doesnt itch!
Old May 20, 2009, 11:03 PM
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Submarines, etc.
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q) Do you prefer building your model's hull from wood or fiberglass?

a) Yes
Old May 20, 2009, 11:26 PM
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I've done both but I prefer FG. What soured me to wood hulls in RC boats was the Dumas USS Crockett. The kit I did before the Crockett was a Midwest harbor tug. That boat almost went together by itself. The Crockett was the opposite story. The same amount of time spend building the Crockett hull would have been less stressful in a Turkish prison. Also later on I had problems with the side planking coming loose from the transom and cracking the fiberglass. The model was long and the corners of the transom were vulnerable to impacts. A second layer of automotive fiberglass cloth over reinforcing strips cured the cracking after a lot of rework. There are boats that you would want in wood or need to do because no FG hull is available.

Currently a club member is having a mold made from my Caldercraft Erie RR tug hull. The kit has been out of production for many years. The planking was failing and it was a choice of doing the FG hull or retiring the boat. It was built by another club member who is no longer in the hobby due to poor eyesight. He's a good guy and a friend so keeping the model up and running was really the only choice. With a new FG hull it will go on indefinitely.
Old May 20, 2009, 11:37 PM
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wood is more fun and more enjoyable....but for longevity u really can't beat glass
Old May 20, 2009, 11:41 PM
Monahan Steam is offline
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Hmm? The Caldercraft Erie RR tug hull? Never seen one of those before. Do you have any pictures?
Old May 21, 2009, 12:56 AM
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interesting that this thread appears in an R/C board this a debate that has raged in full scale circles for at least two generations! Scale really is like full size! An argument the wood hull guys use is that wooden hulls have a little flex in them to cushion the ride a little, not sure of that really makes a difference in scale or not?
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