View Full Version : Fibreglass over Timber Clinker - Folkboat 1960's

02-15-2011, 03:17 PM
Hi All,
I am new to yachting and also timber boats, have purchased my first 1960's Timber Folkboat - Clinker, just wanted to know some suggestions for keeping some of water out, have a couple of obvious leaks in the bow.

Water is continually seaping through some of the planks, having to change the batteries to keep the bilge pump running!

Someone has suggested we can replace the boards or even look at fiberglassing below the water line has anyone done this and what are the advantages/disadvantages.
Just like to know what would be the best solution, keen to keep her in original condition.

Thanks for all the advise on the forum, great source of information.

Todd Bradshaw
02-15-2011, 03:43 PM
The major disadvantage is usually that it traps moisture in the glassed area, the wood rots out and it kills the boat. Don't accept any more infprmation from that particular "someone" as they are misinformed. The way you fix a boat like that properly is by using the same construction techniques that were used to build it in the first place. Fiberglass and epoxy can certainly be used to your advantage in many types of wooden boat construction, but glassing over a traditional plank on frame hull seldom is one of them that has a good success ratio and it generally dooms the boat.

Ian McColgin
02-15-2011, 03:54 PM
There are better solutions to reviving a carvel hull than glass-over. All the problems there are magnified by the complex shape of glassing over the laps and of the greater movement inherent in clinker construction. Glass is an absolute no-go. Won't stop leaks for any more than a minute. Will accelerate rot before it peels off in sheets.

Tightening clinker is hard and I've forgotten the fastening of the Folkboat over the forty years since I've played on one. Somehow I think there were rivits through the frames but I don't recall how or even if there was any plank to plank fastening between frames. Do you know if there's any sort of goo in the laps?

James McMullen
02-15-2011, 04:26 PM
Fiberglassing over the bottom will be the death knell for this boat. She should be repaired using standard traditional wooden boat repair techniques. Yes, planks can be repaired or replaced, fasteners tightened up or replaced, some leaks may be able to be caulked tight. . . .there's no end of well-known and time-tested solutions available to you.

You know, one of the wonderful things about traditional construction is how well suited it is for repairability and restorability. You just need to find someone who really knows and understands trad. construction to help you out. The guy who recommended FG is totally off base.

02-16-2011, 02:43 AM
As the owner of a 1949 nordic folkboat, i urge you not to glass this boat. It is possible to try and harden up the fastenings,but this can be a long and laborious task,and needs two people.However,if you know exactly where the water is coming in,then its not so bad as having to do a whole hull! It would be possible to use some kind of soft/elastic caulk in the lands of the planking,but nothing as hard as polyurethane (such as sikaflex). A traditional swedish recipe of pine tar and mastic,has kept me from having to make a plank replacement in the past. If this is a leak from between the planking,and not from a split in the plank,then it is best to check and possibly refasten at some point. All the help you will need is here on the forum.......just stay away from epoxy and glass. Cheers

Salty Sailor
02-16-2011, 03:54 AM
Hi pablowpk

The other members are pushing traditional methods and offering suggestions you will most likely be unfamiliar with.
Often people think fiberglassing is the easy fix when it isn't a good idea.
It doesn't take too much effort to fix your problem properly so give it a go.

Searching this forum for answers is also a good idea.

You might want to start with photos showing the condition of the planking and fastenings around the problem area.
Good luck

02-16-2011, 04:24 AM
I had an issue with an old lapstrake Jersey Speed Skiff, with the pounding that they take, it was damn near impossible to stop leaks in the planks. Someone suggested that I try to work greenhouse glazing rope into the stakes....Yeah it worked!

02-16-2011, 04:42 AM
Thanks Todd,
I have just been speaking about this withsome today and was given the same advice regarding wood rot and glass trapping the moisture. I have decided to stick to tradition. I figure its been afloat for over 50 yrs - the original methods have a proven track record. Over the wkend will have another ship wright go over and check her out.

02-16-2011, 04:44 AM
Hi Salty Sailor,

Will post some photos over the weekend, having a shipwright (who specialises in timber yachts in Sydney) take a look at the problem over the weekend.



02-16-2011, 04:49 AM
Hi Skaraborgcraft,

Will take the advice and will avoid the epoxy, the water appears to be coming from between the planks in one small section and a split on one of the planks.

Jay Greer
02-16-2011, 02:42 PM
I just picked up this thread, a bit late. What I would have said has already been said. I could give you several examples of famous boats that were ruined by attempting to save them using fiberglass a an overlay. But, I don't believe it would add much to this discussion.

02-17-2011, 06:04 AM
Thanks Jay,

I think there has been enough reviews to keep her original and avoid the plastic.