Sunday, April 13, 2008

Rainy day musings

Rainy stay at home and eat brownies kind of day.

You know, a myth I hear all the time with these old boats, and one I vehemently disagree with, is the notion that the early builders did not know the strength of fiberglass and thus 'overbuilt' them resulting in the relatively large hull section thicknesses found in early fiberglass boat construction. Simply not true in my opinion.

I have a recorded interview from Everett Pearson, one of the Pearson cousins who founded Pearson Yachts (builders of my beloved Triton). He was asked to comment on this myth and his response was, "We knew exactly how strong this stuff was. We just built to a higher standard". He goes on to say that while fiberglass technology was new and evolving daily, every major piece of the Triton was sent out to be tested to the point of destruction to find out exactly how strong it was.

Here is a picture of a typical core I removed from the hull where a seacock was to be installed. This piece is from the recently installed garboard drain.

This a a fairly typical core. This particular one is about 3/8 inch thick. I have found sections up to 3/4 inches thick. Other Tritons are known to have sections over 1 inch thick. Note the dry fibers with little resin. Early construction techniques are not what they are today and the layups are of particularly poor quality. They just hadn't figured out how to do better so they made sure it was strong enough by increasing the total core thickness. I have to agree with Everett. I think the early boat manufacturers knew exactly how strong the new fiberglass material was - at the attainable levels of quality available at that time. Nowadays they can do much better and thus the hull thicknesses are much thinner and lighter.

That's my opinion.

Last year I had the entire interior out minus the bulkheads. The bulkheads are sound but definitely not square in the hull which makes matching up the interior furnishings that much more interesting without any square surfaces to begin with.

I can't find my pictures so I will say more about the current status later. Suffice to say the V-berth has been built back in (after the V-berth water tank was installed as I have mentioned in an earlier blog) and the saloon settee bottoms are back in. Foam insulation was glued in and hard panels installed against the foam to create new bottoms for the storage lockers under all the areas built back in. I am probably about half way through the insulation processat this time.

The brownies are coming out of the oven. I have to run...

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