Plastic Boats, sheeting technique?

Discussion in 'Construction' started by JustinScott, Apr 18, 2023.

  1. JustinScott

    JustinScott Well-Known Member

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    Plastic boat captains:

    What are you guys doing for balsa, dope, silkspan, and glue?

    I have to assume you aren’t using CA glue!!?
     
  2. bsgkid117

    bsgkid117 Vendor

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    Considering I'm the only captain who's running a plastic boat in all of IRCWCC, I use contact cement. Paint through the silkspan onto the balsa with contact cement, let it dry, paint the hull with contact cement and apply a light layer to the wood to reactivate it. Stick wood to hull paper side towards hull. After wood is on hull, apply outer layer of paper with lacquer or more contact cement thinned with MEK.

    Edit: to aid in release from the hull when the time comes, you can put gorilla tape down on the hull surfaces. Basically sheet the boat in gorilla tape, re cut the windows out of the tape, and apply the CC and wood to the gorilla tape and not directly to the hull.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2023
  3. GregMcFadden

    GregMcFadden Facilitator RCWC Staff

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    I've used several methods, it really depends on the plastic and the adhesive... do a test panel first. For boats like the Duca that are made from whatever plastic is common in kayaks, I torch the contact surfaces just enough to get rid of any gloss on the surface (not enough to melt, and it does make a big difference). From there either contact cement or hot melt glue. Note that hot melt varies a TON in how well it sticks, so get some and test on one panel first (some sticks, will pop right off, others, I can't get the stuff off when I want it off). For 3d printed boats, I have generally been using hot melt, along with the light torching of the surface or some abrasive sanding...

    I have recently had really good luck putting silkspan on with SprayNBond permanent bond Fusible Adhesive.... no more dope stench, spray, let it dry, iron on silkspan with a monokote iron.. Also, don't run the wood too long, the CTE of wood is very different from the plastic, and I have had some issues with very long strips of wood fracturing on warm days without expansion joints... (so I keep things below about a foot generally now...) And the second heat application when using the iron on silkspan approach really seems to help the hot melt adhere well...
     
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  4. bsgkid117

    bsgkid117 Vendor

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    In my experience there is nothing "special" required with sheeting a plastic boat vs a glass or wooden boat. The only serious concern I had was in removing the wood when the time came to resheet, as my traditional method involves blowtorching a chisel until its red hot and scraping the wood off. That would obviously not work well on a plastic hull, hence the gorilla tape underlayment trick. No dope, no ironing, no fracturing, no torching or sanding. Sometimes I dont even use silkspan, I sheeted Indiana this most recent time using single ply short-strand toilet paper (actually, holed really well @ regionals this last weekend).
     
  5. JustinScott

    JustinScott Well-Known Member

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    Thanks guys!