How A Fiberglass Boat Is Made

Once you know how a fiberglass boat is made, you'll be shocked at how simple of a concept this is. Fiberglass is extremely easy to work with and is one of the most popular types of materials used to make boats. Those who make fiberglass boats will use the materials on the list below.

  • Boat mold
  • Mold release (liquid wax)
  • Gelcoat
  • Fiberglass material
  • Fiberglass resin
  • Fiberglass catalyst
  • Paint brush with wooden handle
  • Fiberglass rollers
  • Utility knife
  1. Prepare the mold. The first thing that has to be done with any mold for fiberglass is to make sure that the mold is ready for a part to be pulled off of it. That means that all deep gouges are filled in with clay as need and that the entire mold is prepped with mold release, a type of liquid wax that is put on the mold so that the part can be easily pulled off of the mold.
  2. Gelcoat the mold. Fiberglass boats are made with female molds, meaning that the mold is concave. It appears to be a backward process and if it is thought of that way, it's much easier to understand. Part of this process is applying the gelcoat. Gelcoat is thicker than paint, does not necessarily have to look smooth or be sprayed on and is easy to work with. The mold is covered in gelcoat. The gelcoat is allowed to dry before moving on to the next step.
  3. Apply the fiberglass. Mix the catalyst and the resin in the manner suggested by the manufacturer. Apply a light coat of the mixture to the gelcoat covered mold. Place the fiberglass material on top of the resin mixture. Use the roller and the paint brush to work the air bubbles out of the fiberglass. Allow to "set" for five to ten minutes.
  4. Trim the fiberglass. A utility knife is ran along the edge of the mold, cutting off the excess fiberglass. This will be beneficial when pulling the complete part off.
  5. Pull the part. The boat is pulled out of the mold when the fiberglass is completely set. Plastic wedges and an air nozzle with compressed air are often used to help get the part out of the mold.
  6. Finish the boat. The fiberglass boat is taken to final finish, where it is trimmed, buffed and repaired as needed.
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