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Thread: Skin On Frame Hull Covering

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011

    Default Skin On Frame Hull Covering

    Good morning boat builders! My name is Larry LaLonde and I'm the new owner of Geodesic Airolite Boats, purchasing the company from Bette Monfort when she retired in October. I started a thread yesterday in the Design/Plans forum explaining my history with SOF boats, with Bette and that these threads are to help all of us build better boats by developing a "knowledge base" about SOF building. There was a lot of positive response and several suggestions about how to proceed.
    I encourage all of my new customers to join the WBF so they can get some perspective beyond my input. As a business owner, I understand there is a fine line here at WBF between promoting my business and sharing information and I won't cross that line. Please let me know if I do but the purpose here is to help all of us build better boats. One of the responses yesterday suggested I start specific threads in this forum so we can start focusing the responses to specific issues so here goes.
    SOF hull coverings are discussed in many threads over many years throughout the forum but the hardest thing to find is follow up by someone who has used some specific method and how it worked. If you're familiar with Platt Monfort's work, he dedicated a lot of time and creativity toward finding a way to make the 3.7 oz. Dacron tougher and I don't think he was ever really happy with his results. Full disclosure; I've only built one boat using the 3.7 oz. Dacron, a solo boat for my wife and several years later it's holding up very well, much tougher than I expected. However, my other six boats are all "proof of concept" boats or test platforms for my own use. I'm 6'4", 200 pounds and I don't baby my boats so they are built using heavier Dacron I got from Jeff at Kudzu Craft or from George Dyson. I've developed methods to make Dacron much tougher and I'm looking forward to sharing and discussing those and other methods as this thread develops.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2006

    Default Re: Skin On Frame Hull Covering

    Picking up from the other thread, my next SOF boat will use 8 oz nylon but with a different coating. I used Spirit Line's "goop" or 2-part urethane. The good side of this material: it's agreeable to work with -- no powerful toxic odors. When cured it's extremely tough and remains flexible, even at freezing temperatures, and it bonds to nylon very well.

    The negatives -- it turns yellow over time, seems to be UV exposure that does this. It's thick when applied and very hard to get a nice clean finish all around. Once it cures, there's no way I could find to adjust -- if you have a drip or a run it's there to stay. There are dyes available, but judging from the instructions it's a trick to get good results -- and I've seen boats made by others that confirm this suspicion.

    So what's best? Dave Gentry has worked up a system. I'll let him explain that. I made up a sample with Flex-Seal gutter sealant. It's available in several colors and is very easy to spray on the fabric and then work in with a squeegee. There are similar products by other manufacturers. I'll be looking more into this for my next SOF project.

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