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A Home for Old Fiberglass Boats?

By August 31, 2010

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We've all seen them: the old fiberglass boats in the back of boatyards, shreds of an old winter cover wrapped around the jack stands, mottled wood on deck and piles of leaves in the cockpit suggesting abandonment. Someone's dream once, but now too expensive to restore when you can buy a good used boat for less than the parts needed to restore an older one. What happens to these old boats? Is it a downside of fiberglass that it seems to last forever?

I've always thought there must be some creative uses for fiberglass hulls that won't see the water again. Seal them up and join them together as pontoons for a floating city? Invert them as roofs woven into the structure of a fantastic pagoda? Surely someone has a creative solution for repurposing old fiberglass in beautiful shapes?

On the other hand, there are boats worth saving and there are people with the love and energy to do it. I heard recently about a family in the U.K. rebuilding a classic Contessa 32 from a fiberglass hull up. Their goal is to build as green as possible, such as with a decking of Kebony, a sustainable wood alternative to tropic hardwoods, and a Hybrid Marine engine. Their blog Building Calypso is inspirational for both classic sailors and environmentalists. If only the world had thousands more families like this!


September 10, 2010 at 9:11 am
(1) Port Clinton Docks[ says:

Do you love boats and enjoy riding on it? If you love to,have a goal to build as green as possible.

August 24, 2011 at 6:03 am
(2) Boats for Sale Australia says:

I really would think that you can rebuild a wood boat forever as long as you stay it on top of repairs. But fiberglass….I would think will degrade at the same time.

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