Plascore thickness?
April 19, 2021 09:10PM
Hey,

I'm in the planning stages of my first boat build and I'm looking for some advice on the bottom of the hull. I would like to use Plascore sandwiched between layers of glass, maybe a layer of kevlar too. I'm sure everyone has their opinions, and I would like to hear what you all recommend for plascore thickness on the bottom of the hull.

Thankfully, I bought most of the wood a year ago... don't even get me going on the current price of lumber... OUCH!

Thanks!
-Eric
Re: Plascore thickness?
April 19, 2021 11:30PM
Last time I bought Plascore I bought a dozen sheets of 3/4" inch. It works fine. I have two sheets left.

However. Especially so for the bottom if I had it to do all over again I'd think about 1" inch thick. It isn't any heavier and it ends up a lot stiffer. Jeremy Christensen built a Briggs boat with a 1" inch Plascore bottom and it was very stiff. He did a good job too. I got to row it briefly, on the Green River, albeit the A and B parts of the fly fishing water rather than Desolation Canyon.

I would not go thinner than 3/4" inch for any purpose. Plascore doesn't weigh much and the stiffness of the resulting panel increases as the SQUARE of the diameter. One inch is not a little stiffer than 3/4" inch it is a lot stiffer. 1/2" inch isn't a little floppier it's a lot floppier.
Re: Plascore thickness?
April 20, 2021 12:00PM
Thickness is interesting in multiple contexts. When making a gunwale or a chine strip 3/4" inch fir can be hard to bend. At least without steaming it. 5/8" inch thick is a lot easier to bend. How that slim 1/8" thickness difference matters so much is bit of a mystery. But so it is.

A full one inch thick? 1-1/4" thick? You'll need some serious steaming equipment. I made a steamer out of a 20' foot piece of 4" inch diameter galvanized electrical conduit and two pressure cookers once. You had to act quickly. While still hot and wet you can bend gunwale strips like a fat noodle. But the wood cools off quickly and there goes the noodle effect.

That's why I like gluelams so much. With many layers of 1/4" inch thick you could make a gunwale or a chine strip 2" inches thick and 4" inches tall. If you wanted. Gluelams are stronger too. A lot stronger.
Re: Plascore thickness?
April 22, 2021 05:41PM
Thanks for your input, Sandy.

Now to see about getting a couple sheets of plascore.

-Eric
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