Fiberglass Yachts – Q & A

q and aQ:
Oldest fiberglass boat?
oldest fiberglass boat made?

Owens-Corning had been experimenting with fiberglass cloth and resin combinations to create structural elements for airplanes. By 1942, the company was turning out fiberglass and polyester airplane parts for the war effort.

In Toledo, Ray Greene, who had studied plastics while a student at Ohio State, had been working with Owens-Corning on fiberglass composites. He had made composite boats as early as 1937, but was searching for just the right plastic to use for boats. He received a shipment of the polyester resin in 1942 and produced a daysailer.

Others followed suit. Dan says, “B.B. Swan made a small fiberglass catboat in1947. Carl Beetle built fiberglass boats at a GE plant in Pittsfield, Mass. He exhibited his fiberglass boat at a show in January 1947.”

The first sailing auxiliary made from fiberglass appeared in 1951. “It was called the Arion, a 42-foot ketch.” states Spurr. “It was a one-off design by Sidney Herreshoff. Then Fred Coleman’s Bounty II came out in 1956.”


q and a Q:
Painting a fiberglass boat…..?
we want to paint a fiberglass boat black. what kind of paint would we use? where is the best place to get it where it is relatively inexpensive?

Go to a Marine store and get “Marine” paint. If you have questions about it, ask them. Tell them what you want to do… you may need “bottom” paint, as well as “topside” paint… You can choose either in almost any color imaginable…
But… this is for certain… you don’t need gelcoat. In fact, that is about the worst thing you can do… if it hasn’t been done already… which it probably has. Painting over the gelcoat works great… you just need marine paint – if you want to paint it once and forget about it for awhile…
What ever you do… don’t go to to “Auto Zone” or “Advanced Automotive” or to any auto body shop… these guys don’t know anymore about “Marine or Boat” paint then they do about the paint you put on your fingernails…
So… unless you want to paint it again, or have it look like “you know what” within a month.. do it right the first time… A “Marine strore is where you need to go… and they will give you all the proper help you need.

Happy & Safe Boating!


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