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Thread: Clinkerbuilding my epoxy Faering

  1. #1

    Clinkerbuilding my epoxy Faering

    Hello Sawmill Creek, my name is Martijn Bouwman and im from the Netherlands. As an exam project in my kabinetmaker/boatbuilders education i have built an 5 meter long faering together with a buddy of mine. Working together and being on an tight schedule made us make some compromises. I recently accepted his offer to buy him out and im now lacking the hurry and discussions of my buddy so im rethinking some of our choices(for example i removed the not so great ribs we used) now i was thinking about adding rivvets to the boat in order to back up possible weak connections between the strakes (what do you call the part where the strakes overlap?) i only recently found out that the acids in Oak wood that allow the reaction with iron also weaken the epoxy applied to it. So im not that confident about the glue(although when im done rebuilding the ribs it should be fine)

    What is now was wondering is how you guys think about applying rivets to an epoxy sealed boat? the main argument against rivveting is that the rivvets could form an opening for the water to come in and allow the wood to be exposed. (other arguments were cost and time) I think it would improve the authentic feel for the boat myself


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    East Jordan, MI
    It would be good if we could get some other views of the boat. To my eye, something looks different than most of the faerings I've seen.

    You certainly would be introducing the possibility of exposing the wood to water and rot if you use rivets to an epoxy sheathed wood structure. I wouldn't worry too much about the oak weakening the epoxy. Some believe this to be a problem, but I don't think it's a settled argument. As to putting rivets through the "lands," (the part where the strakes overlap) that wouldn't be needed. The epoxy would be strong enough, and the holes drilled for the rivets might even weaken the structure. Whether it's more authentic or not, that's a question for someone other than me.

    John Bailey
    Sawmill Creek is a member supported forum. Click here to donate.

  3. i don't know enough to weigh in, but is also a good resource for this type of question

  4. #4
    the boat is now in winter storage but i've started the rivets(which is some time ago now) not managed to do much before i had to store my boat but im going to 'fasten' the lands with them. I know they are not really necessary but i know how epoxy glue should react and with oak the bond just isnt the same. And the problem isnt really constant it differs per bond. The majority of the glued bonds i do trust but some connections i feel safer knowing the rivets are backing them up.

    im hoping the rivets will not move much due to the fact that the whole is glued together anyway. Thus hopefully minimizing water leaking at the rivets and wood rot. In either way im not planning to keep the boat in the water for longer than a few hours so i hope for the best. One thing i can tell for sure, it's going to take a lot of time making all the connections!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    South Africa
    Somewhere in the back of my mind I remember having read about copper rivets for boats and not iron.

  6. That's a really beautiful boat. For some technical advice on epoxy go to They make epoxy and have been building epoxy boats for years.

  7. #7
    I agree that's a pretty nice boat.
    As far as WestSytems, they do have a quality product and good support so I agree with Martin.
    If you check youtube you can see people doing all kinds of boat projects using their epoxy system.
    Don't get confused between epoxy resin & polyester resin, there is definitely a big difference.
    Epoxy being the most durable but also very expensive.

  8. #8

    John has a few very solid points for you to consider. The plank overlap, if fitted well and glued with epoxy, cured within its desired temperature range, should be adequate. Introducing rivets for this sized planking will distrupt the linear strength of the joint by cutting the grain pattern. In a sence, creating a zipper or the weakest link in stress distribution. If I read your message correctly, your using steel rivets? A choice you will regret for years to come due to the corrosion factor.

    If your concerned for the hull lacking strength, add some transverse frames and rivet through frames/planking with copper rivets. Otherwise it looks to be a rather flexible structure.



  9. #9
    im using copper rivvets, didnt know they used iron rivvets in wooden boats so didnt bother to mention it, i contacted my supplier of epoxy a while back and they stated Oak including the 'acid' could stop the bond from reaching it's full hardening. The couldnt garrantee a good bond, but they couldnt exclude one either, would depend on the type/batch of wood. The framework you see at the photograph is going to be replaced for a more flexible type of frame and more seperate pieces. The ones in the picture have been partially replaced this summer. @ skip jack, Polyester has a very bad tack to wood, i can imagine ripping an wooden boat build with only Polyester bonds to shreds with my bare hands(and im no hulk)

    @ Kent, im interested in the mechanics of your point with the wood grain, i always imagined a glued bond would suffer less from such damage to the wood, simply because you create enough material to bypass the stress, and because using an Glueing method that forms an entirely rigid bond would limit tear in the fibers which you possibly would see in planks without the extra thickness and rigid glue fixation. I know what your stating is true, but im just curious what 'laminating' would do to it in theory

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