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  Chopped glass in a whaler???

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Author Topic:   Chopped glass in a whaler???
Rover posted 02-12-2002 08:12 AM ET (US)   Profile for Rover   Send Email to Rover  
I was talking to a guy this weekend that said he ran a chopper gun at the Rockland, Ma Whaler plant. Does anyone know if whaler halls are hand laid or chopped glass?
russellbailey posted 02-12-2002 08:52 AM ET (US)     Profile for russellbailey  Send Email to russellbailey     
There could be some hand-laid glass cloth or woven roving in there to reinforce some areas, I'm not sure. But I know there is chopper-gun glass in there. There is one spot on the point of a chine on our 1980 Striper 15 where the gelcoat flaked off (a hard spot to mold well) and you could clearly see the distinctive pattern of a chopper glass layup.
Tom W Clark posted 02-12-2002 12:07 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     

I've got a chunk of 1970 Whaler sitting on my desk right now. It's chopped glass. I believe this is, and always has been, the Whaler method of constructing the skins of their hulls. It's also one of the reasons why Whalers have such consistently smooth and unblemished hulls.

Dick posted 02-12-2002 01:00 PM ET (US)     Profile for Dick  Send Email to Dick     
I got a tour of the Rockland plant in the mid 80s while at a dealer meeting. They were using chopper guns at that time.
At the time I was both a Whaler and Bayliner dealer in Alaska. After the Whaler dealer meeting I atended the Bayliner meeting at Rosario Resort in the San Juan Islands.
Back to back meetings realy gives you insight into quality and construction.
Bayliner flew us to the factory from Rosario in a company plane and gave us a great tour. They wined and dined us at one of the finest resorts in Washington for 3 days.
The Bayliner factory was far larger than the Rockland Whaler factory but in spite of both using chopper guns you could allmost eat off of the floor at Rockland and had no idea what you were stepping in at Bayliner. We all know that there is no comparison in quality betwen the two but touring both factories in the same week it was eye opening to see the construction procedures and compare them while everythig was fresh in your mind.
Bayliner won in the wining and dining catagory, even though Whaler fed me the best lobster I have ever eaten.
Whaler won in all other catagories, and as we all know, including construction.

I might have got a little out in left field on this post but having toured several boat factories Rockland was the winner.

Arch Autenreith posted 02-12-2002 01:03 PM ET (US)     Profile for Arch Autenreith  Send Email to Arch Autenreith     
The main reason for chopped glass is that it doesn't show the pattern as would weaved glass matting on the gelcoat, at least in many construction methods. It is less expensive than matting as it doesn't require nearly the labor. (Shooting vs. wetting, cutting, laying, rolling.)

Much of the strength of the Whaler (and other similar) design is not so much in the skin thickness or chopped vs. matt but more of the 'sandwich' design. There are exceptions, however, as in the transom specifically. There's wood to help in the reinforcement and also the design of the spash well is a big factor in the strength of the transom.

lhg posted 02-12-2002 02:57 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
When I visited Edgewater in 1990, they told me all Whalers were chopper gun glassed. Contrary to what some believe, this is not sub-standard construction at all, and is uniquely suited to the Whaler foam hull construction. I would guess that the rough, still wet glass/resin mix from the gun makes an idea bond to the foam. As we know, this combination of glass work and foam makes the toughest & strongest hull on the market.

Large repairs to the hull, however, do need to made with woven glass matting.

NEVER SCARED posted 02-12-2002 03:15 PM ET (US)     Profile for NEVER SCARED    
I agree that a chopper gun is used, but around the splash well of my 87 Outrage 18,
I could see a woven pattern beneath the gelcoat from certain angles!
Dick posted 02-12-2002 05:22 PM ET (US)     Profile for Dick  Send Email to Dick     
There is nothing wrong with chopper gun manufacturing if it done right, as Whaler has done.
Jerry Townsend posted 02-12-2002 10:45 PM ET (US)     Profile for Jerry Townsend  Send Email to Jerry Townsend     
As many have mentioned, there is nothing wrong with chopped glass - if it is done right. The strongest glass is, however, the cloth - again done right.

lhg - the lay-up of the boats use a "lay-up" resin - which does not have the wax, therefore, the outer-most resin surface, even though it feels firm is still uncured and bonds easily to the next resin material it sees - namely the foam. Gelcoat and other exposed glass surfaces are installed using a resin incorporating a wax which will let the resin cure.

Dick - I toured the BW plant in Edgewater in 1997 and they didn't provide me with any lobster - who do you know? --- Jerry/Idaho

Dick posted 02-13-2002 09:58 PM ET (US)     Profile for Dick  Send Email to Dick     
At the time I was a Whaler dealer and there for a dealer meeting. They feed you lobster and you order more boats.
Rover posted 04-19-2002 01:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for Rover  Send Email to Rover     
tuna1 posted 04-19-2002 10:09 PM ET (US)     Profile for tuna1  Send Email to tuna1     
Directly against the gel coat is a chopper spray layup,then depending on layup schedule for that area of the hull there are 2 or more layers of woven roving used.The whole layup is not done with a chopper gun.Depending on strenght required in a particular area of the boat the layup schedule is varied.Again the chopper is used to prevent print thur of the glass cloth pattern used in the layup schedule.

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