The other day we all looked at a very beautiful boat. Yet she sure had some bottom issues and I spoke about creative solutions. Now. To be clear. If your boat is a special boat. Then a 5200 bottom is for sure the way to go. But. As I have matured in this passion, my mind has opened to different options for different reasons. For example, living out West where its a dry climate. A fiberglassed bottom makes 100% sense. Done well, as they do at Sierra Boat Company.
Stinky has been encased in Fiberglass since the early 60’s and guess what. She still floats ..ish. If she had been that barn for 40 years without that? Not sure what sort of wreck I would be dealing with. And since she is a painted boat. Who cares? Not me!
Now here is a thought I have had, and makes a ton of sense for certain boats. The boats that are not worth the money to replace a bottom on. take a 17 foot utility. When a new bottom is required, you are gonna put plywood down anyway, then cover in planks. Why? For an original appearance? Thats really it. So put another hit of plywood on with some 5200. Done.
Like fast done. And to take it even a step further. A cruiser like the other day? Think how may cruisers could be saved this way? Think how many 17 utilities could be saved, used and loved. Ya ya, so shoot me. Its not a crazy idea.
Cold molded bottoms, fiberglass over plywood, heck, if it gets you out boating safely in a boat that would otherwise sit in your garage half done. DO IT!