Materials and Techniques

HULL CONSTRUCTION MATERIALS AND TECHNIQUES

There is a wide choice of materials available. Choice is to a large extent driven by the boat desired, and the preferences and available skills of the intended builder.

22 materials and techniques are listed in this section. For a number of materials, general information, applicable over multiple techniques is listed under the material, rather than under any specific technique.

There is a measure of duplication within the menu structure for techniques. For instance GRP Foam Sandwich appears under both Batten Mould and GRP.

These notes are intended as illustrative only, for the guidance of those exploring the options available, or making choices between a small number of options viable for an intended project.  The notes are intended to cover the mainstream of materials and associated techniques  available to the hose boatbuilder; individual or small team. The notes are of necessity generic, and cannot cover all options of size, layout etc within a particular material and technique within this document.

A number of designs are offered for multiple materials. For example, many designs are offered in both steel and aluminium. Others, while offered in one material/technique, can be built quite successfully in a different material or technique. Changes in material/technique should be approached with caution, as boat function could quite readily be compromised. Also construction using the alternative material may not be supported by the design documentation.

Queries on potential material changes should be addressed to the boat designer.

strength/stiffness, including puncture resistance, and upper thicknesses are commonly controlled by the requirements of bending and shaping the shell panels during construction, in the home workshop environment without major industrial support. Hull thickness, which is related to both vessel size and construction technique does relate to the suitability of any technique for a specific vessel design.

Very little has been noted on actual boat sizes for individual techniques, as there do not seem to be any specific limits. I have used generic labels such as “cartop”, “trailer boats” , “moored boats” to give readers a feel for technique applicability.

The purchase of hull and deck mouldings, usually joined together has been mentioned under Moulded GRP. For the larger vessels (essentially moored boats) it may well be attractive for a home builder to have a near equivalent of major structure of hull and deck in the material of choice built professionally, then taken over by the home builder for completion.

Questions and Comments

Where possible, please post your questions and comments under the most appropriate technique. I may move postings to what I regard as as a more appropriate area. Your postings will be most welcome.

The blog pages for each individual technique are under Techniques – Blogs in the menu structure. There are cross links between each technique page and its corresponding blog page.

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