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Fibreglass boat question...

Discussion in 'Boats, Blinds, & Gadgets Forum' started by Canadian hitman, Mar 4, 2018.

  1. Canadian hitman

    Canadian hitman Senior Refuge Member

    May 10, 2000
    Ontario, Canada
    Got an old fibreglass St. Lawrence duck boat that has been stored outside, upside down for several years.

    My question is, does weather, sunlight, etc affect fibreglass?

    Thanks in advance.
  2. buzzkill

    buzzkill Senior Refuge Member

    Jun 18, 2007
    E Wa.
    Short answer... Yes.
    If stored outside for several years the fiberglass can degrade from sunlight. I would go over it pretty well before taking it on the water.
  3. Phytoplankton

    Phytoplankton Elite Refuge Member

    Jun 26, 2008
    Yep, fiberglass begins to deteriorate the day it is mixed, sun/UV accelerates the process, the thinner the fiberglass, the quicker it deteriorates. That being said, it's usually the wood portion of the boat that rots or the fiberglass delaminates from the wood. If the fiberglass is sound a light sanding to remove the oxidized layer followed by a polyurethane paint will block the UV and extend the life of the fiberglass.
  4. Fowl-Action

    Fowl-Action Senior Refuge Member

    Aug 14, 2013
    like the other guys said UV is hard on fiberglass but if it has a gelocoat over the fiberglass its pretty forgiving. I have a ski boat that sat on a lift year round for the first 10 years of its life. When I got it was pretty badly oxidized but with a some wet sanding and some buffing you would never know it had't lived in a garage its entire life.

    long and short I wouldn't worry to much about the sun making the fiberglass week, I would be more concerned like phytoplanton said about looking for any stress cracks in the fiberglass from freezing/ thawing and any water that might have gotten into the wood and rotted anything out.

    post some picture of the boat, its hard to gauge it from just reading about it
  5. Tuleman

    Tuleman Elite Refuge Member

    Feb 5, 2005
    Central Kansas
    It isn't so much the polyester resin (which makes up half of fiberglass) that deteriorates from sunlight, it's the gelcoat that degrades. The gelcoat absorbs the UV rays (or whatever it is in the sunlight that breaks stuff down so readily) and protects the resin underneath. The actuall glass fibers in "fiberglass" is not affected by sunlight to any appreciable degree.
    Bottom line: Fowl-Action and Phyto are right. Sand off the broken-down gelcoat, and the structural component of the fiberglass will probably be sound underneath.....barring any mechanical damage, of course, such as that mentioned by F-A.

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