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Thread: Costs involved in creating a fibreglass boat

  1. #1
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    Costs involved in creating a fibreglass boat

    Hi guys I'm wondering if anyone on here has made a mould and a fibreglass boat in it
    What I'd like to know is what sort of money in fibreglass and matting are required to do a 18-22 foot panga
    What you make the initial mould out of, ie plywood or concrete for all I know,
    I understand the process and have watched the videos but nothing beats experience
    Anyone been there done that?

  2. #2
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    There are a few molds on trademe for various boats - might be another option?
    Bayfisher boat mould | Trade Me

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    Could be mate if I can find a panga mould I'll be away laughing, I'm after one design in particular so it might be a bit hard
    I know where a boat is that I can use as a plug for a female mould
    I just need to do my research first to see what it will cost in the end

  4. #4
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    Look at what is the price of resine per kg and of fiberglass mat. ( roughly ratio of 1kg mat for 1kg resin)Call one of the famous brand of fiberglass boat builder and ask them how much weight the boat that look the closest to your desired design with out the outboard.That is going to give you a base line for the hull. Not counting all the sandpaper , paint, elbow grease/ power, stainless hardware, trailer, rigging , anchor, electronic navigation system and engine.... And your labor time.

  5. #5
    Member SixtyTen's Avatar
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    A pretty common way to make a one off (im assuming you are just making one) is to build the hull from plywood or timber strips over frames that are set up fixed to the floor. You then laminate the outside, pull it off the frames, laminate the inside and then fit it out with bulkheads, deck ect. Making a solid glass boat by hand is would be a tough, messy, expensive process, it would also be much heavier than a laminated ply boat and probably not much stronger.
    Buying a boat like this will always be cheaper than trying to make one. for example, just the resin to make a boat like this will cost several hundred bucks. If you use marine ply your looking at at least 10 sheets minimum at around $60 - $80 a pop. Then theres fibreglass which depending on what you use can range in price from $2 a square meter up, and you will need multiple layers. If you make a mould to then laminate a boat from then double your hull costs, and thats if you have a boat to make a mould from. If not, you need to include the price for building a plug.
    The hull cost is often a fraction of the cost of the whole build, but this depends on the boat.
    Im not trying to put you off, just look into your costs properly before you jump in as its an expensive and time consuming game no matter how you go about it.

    Google ply on frame boat building.
    Bill999 and nevereadyfreddy like this.

  6. #6
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    Normally the mould are made out of fibreglass but with tooling gell coat and normally Consist of a bout 10 layers of woven and chop strand fibreglass

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    The idea would be to make just the one, so making a mould then hull looks as tho it may cost more than a comercially baught one ( and no doubt better than my first attempt )

    one thing I did see on the Indian ocean with Simon reeve was an aussie barramundi farmer with a bloody awesome aluminum panga, which spins my wheels even harder than a fiberglass one
    and at least then I can weld the bloody thing like I did my hard top.

    after all the reading tho, it looks like this isnt the best idea

  8. #8
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    Wtf is a panga?

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    Gibo and specweapon like this.
    Rule 5: Check your firing zone

  9. #9
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    Do it in alloy

  10. #10
    Member specweapon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by puku View Post
    Wtf is a panga?

    Sent from my SM-G900F using Tapatalk
    According to Wikipedia it is a longboat dinghy like Somali pirates use

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by puku View Post
    Wtf is a panga?

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    http://www.pangacraft.com/custom-panga/DSCN3533.jpg

    its a long skinny glass boat( or alloy but not usually ) that has a delta pad on the bottom that makes it sit on top of the chop rather than cutting thru
    it has an unusual ride but its pretty comfy

    you see them on the beaches of fiji and they look like a big bath tub, or filled with 28 people on the way to church

    basically they go really well with a 40hp motor on them and would be good for softbaiting
    so cheep.... well unless i need to build one it seems.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by longrange308 View Post
    Do it in alloy
    what im wondering is that if its alloy and lighter will the handling characteristics be the same, Im thinking not.
    I suppose I just make the extra weight up with under floor tanks and live bait set ups...

  13. #13
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    the downside of making it from alloy is the complexity of the hull, it would take multiple pieces and full lenght welds, adding to cost substanially.

    Here is an exerp from someone who builds boats and knows his stuff

    <when you draw the panga hull form a couple of times you'll find that 'getting rid of some of the chines' will stop the boat being a panga!

    What makes a panga? First, starting at the keel, the pad or delta pad as its called in other hulls, especially in the US. Next the very sharp forefoot and nearly plumb stem of the forefoot's curve up to the first chine flat.... That is KEY.

    At the first chine flat there is a huge lateral transition, without that huge shift in Body Plan Beam: there is no panga. And that change in section happens one to three more times rising up the hull. Each one of these Body Plan step changes makes this hull's performance different from other skiffs.

    The two or three planks of the topsides, especially notable at the sheer plank or strake, are such radical changes in Body Plan section that they are chines in fact; not just 'curves as we see in the Carolina Offshore sport fishing boats with nice hollow topsides flare.

    When studied a bit, you'll see these step changes outward as the waterlines go upward - are the sole feature or the real soul of this design.

    Draw or sketch the sections, then use different waterlines at the different body stations/sections to see what the displacement changes are? When you get to the upper two 'strakes' you'll find these hulls' "ONE INCH IMMERSION" nearly doubles twice. If that doesn't impress you? You may want to spend some time examining what was said very closely. No other open hull does this- anywhere.

    No wonder they run drugs and smuggle people and pirate the tankers off Africa in these skiffs! They are one seriously sea worthy hull form. Before you give up on a panga's chines and their contribution to this hull's potential build time, check why they're there. I think you'll keep them in the final plans just as the Yami engineers did in the '70's.

    Cheers,
    Kevin Morin
    Kenai, AK

  14. #14
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    Building a female mould sounds easy, but it will probably double your material costs. A female mould is easy to make, but difficult to make mint. You need to fill and fair any humps and hollows out which are much more difficult in a female as opposed to a male mould.
    Its a long skiff and will still need some sort of structure, timber, pipe work or other to keep it ridgid when you are climbing around in it laying up.

    In Aluminium, it would likely be similar or lighter than glass. One off glass boats will all ways have more weight in heavily taped corners and joined areas, and it can be hard to control the amount of weight of resin. If you did have a female mould you could lay up the glass and vacuum infuse the resin but that would be over complicating it for a panga type skiff.

    If you do decide to go down the Ali route, I would get some one to draw the boat in 3D, then make the cut profiles and send them off to be cut. You could get the weld preps routerd at the same time to save on tedious man hours. Get frames drawn in every 300 - 500mm and a keel bar, then its like assembling a giant skeleton or Jig saw. Just be careful welding it up or it may be a banana boat.

    I would think if you wanted to build one from scratch for a decent price, marine/ bendy ply with glass over the top would be your cheapest bet, and probably easiest. Heavy though.

    It does sound like you may be reinventing the wheel a bit. These boats are hugely popular in Florida and the Caribbean, it may be easier to get one stuck in a container and shipped home??

    I just found this page on line and had a quick look at the prices, if you are building moulds you will blow 1/2 to 2/3rds the cost of one of there skifs building a decent mould.


    Starco Boats - quality panga boats | Starco Boats

  15. #15
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    those starco pangas are spot on, but they are just importing Chinese ones and tripleing the price which urks me to no end

    If I was to flip one upside down, and essentially just lay the glass over top of it then pop it off and put the strenghtening parts inside would I be able to go that way and bypass the mould step?

    is it possible to get it smooth this way or will it be as rough as guts

 

 

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