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First Time Builder

Posted by RyanB 
First Time Builder
May 22, 2018 08:13PM
Like many first time builders, I've been watching the forums for some time now and am finally ready to dive into my first project.

Looking to build the perfect boat for our ozarks streams here in Missouri. Whether I use plans or design it myself is yet to be seen.

Weight is a big factor, as our streams can be pretty shallow and rocks unforgiving. So I looked into NidaCore honeycomb core plain sheets. I was excited to find a price of $65 per 4X7X3/4" sheets. I don't know if that's a good price, but it's affordable for me. Especially because I think 14ft is the perfect length for around here, So I'll only need a couple sheets.

Shipping is a killer though! $250 to get them to my address because they have to ship freight. If they score them and fold them in half, they can ship UPS for $50.

My question - Is there any reason why scoring and folding the sheets will cause a problem as I build the hull, if I'm glassing the sheet anyway? I've heard it's pretty rigid material. Will you be able to bend glassed honeycomb core into a rocker??

If it doesn't affect the end result, it seems like an obvious decision. Thanks for all your help.
- Ryan
Re: First Time Builder
May 23, 2018 11:45AM
I bought something like 24 sheets of Plascore about ten years ago. I bought two more from .... a local knucklhead. Now I'm about to run out. I have just enough 3/4" Plascore to finish my current project. For bottom panels I'd buy 1" next time. Thicker is stiffer without adding much weight.

Shipping is always the problem. Your idea is a great one. You can score honeycomb core with a straight edge and a thin plywood blade on a skill saw, so you cut most but not all the way through. A series of cuts like that make it possible to bend around a radius. I'm doing that now to make a curved transom.

So why not just buy it that way, if that lets it go UPS instead of truck shipping? Also, we piece 4x8 pieces together to make a 4x16 or 4x18 panel. So why not start from even smaller panels yet?

I built several boats back in the late 1980s made from 2x2 foot end grain balsa panels. To work with end grain balsa you have to make a wooden plug first, wax it up (or cover it with thin 4mil visqueen) and then lay the balsa down, on top of the plug, sometimes spot gluing at chine edges. Then you glass it up.

Yes you could do the same with smaller chunks of honeycomb core. No one I know has ever done it. But it would work. I'm sure of it. I've done it with balsa sheets.

Very good idea.



Re: First Time Builder
May 23, 2018 02:40PM
yeah. it really sucks too because those pieces only weigh prbalby 10 pounds! haha.....
Re: First Time Builder
May 23, 2018 02:53PM
Thanks! That's probably the route I'll go then. Have them score it and fold in half to ship.

Do you feel noticeable flex in the bottom of the board built with 3/4 inch sheets? Is that why you'd buy 1 inch next time? Or is it just a personal preference?
Re: First Time Builder
May 23, 2018 05:13PM
There is some flex in a 3/4" Plascore bottom. Not much but some.

The ideal is stiff enough to never bend at all during normal use, yet still flexible enough to give some when you accidentally slam a rock. I've never built with 1" honeycomb core but my friend Jeremy Christensen did. Jeremy occasionally jumps in here, on the forum. I rowed Jeremy's boat. Briefly but I did row it.

The bottom was fine.
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