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Old 06-06-2010, 15:54   #1
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CharlieCobra Tell Me About C-Flex

I'm considering putting a C-Flex shell on a 55 year old sailboat. What can you tell me about it?

Thanks
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Old 06-06-2010, 16:02   #2
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Having spent some time around OH Joy..I will tell you what i know till Charlie get around here.

Its allot thinner then I thought..about 1/8" thick...His is very well done who ever did it did a fantastic job and it is very well saturated.. It appears to be laid up in strips about 8" wide butted or stitched together and stapled to the hull before glassing. I have know Idea how exactly its all done..Im sure he will.
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Old 06-06-2010, 16:24   #3
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C-Flex is a very interesting way of protecting a wooden hull that has the largest sized fasteners in it all ready or that will be exposed to toredo worms. Here are the steps:

1. Pull the boat and strip/sand all paint off of the hull.
2. Let dry for a minimum of 30-60 days (in a shed if in a rainy climate).
3. Trowel on 5200 like they do tile grout.
4. Roll out the C-Flex onto the 5200 from the keel up, back roll it to press it in and staple every foot or so with monel staples.
5. Wet in the C-Flex cloth with resin (special resin for the purpose).
6. Once cured, apply fairing compound and shape.
7. Fair the boat (very labor intensive).
8. Prime with epoxy two part primer.
9. Apply barrier coat.
10. Apply paint.
11. Apply bottom paint.

I don't know where your boat is located but the outfit that did Oh Joy is in FL. I still have their info and talked to the guy who did Oh Joy. We are going to offer C-Flex applications as well at my shop. There are also folks down in CA who do it but the price usually starts at 50K and goes up these days. I think we could beat those prices. I would need measurements and photos.

Also, any bad planks and hull damage must be fixed prior to C-Flex. The same for broken ribs because it's much more difficult to do afterwards. If the boat needs refastening, it should be done prior to applying C-Flex. Once that stuff is on, it ain't coming off. It's very tough as far as abrasions and impacts go. Oh Joy has some gouges and hickeys from prior impacts with object substantial enough to crack ribs and planks. The hull does not leak. PM me for my email and we can further discuss this. Oh and post a picture of your boat. We all love wooden boat porn...
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Old 06-06-2010, 17:23   #4
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Thanks for the quick reply gents. I've been working on & fairing Favona for over 20 years so I'm no stranger to a long board. If I had the money, I'd love to have her frames & planking replaced like I see in magazines, but I'm afraid I can't seem to pick the right six numbers. I imagined that you might apply the c-flex planks fore & aft, but I gather, in this application, you go vertically. How did you treat the joint where the keelson meets the ballast keel?

Is there a lamination of FG mat on the outside of the c-flex? What do you mean "back roll"? I'm not familiar with the term.

It sounds like the secret to the the c-flex system is setting it in 5200. What would be the downside of using regular fiberglass, other than the loss of c-flex's structural properties?

I've read that a wooden boat, wrapped in 'glass, has about a 10 year life expectancy. What is your experience with your boat?

Thanks for letting me pick your brain on this.
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Old 06-06-2010, 18:39   #5
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The lead keel is also encapsulated. There can be a laminate of CSM on top of the C-Flex to build the sheathing up. I think there are two on Oh Joy IIRC. Back rolling is using a heavy metal roller to press the C-Flex into the 5200. Regular fiberglass isn't as flexible as the C-Flex nor as strong as the rods in the C-Flex. C-Flex stretches 300% more than standard FRP cloth which makes it great for sheathing a living, moving wood boat. Oh Joy had this done in 1996 and the C-Flex was still perfect. The issues were cause by rain water leaks from topside, not anything to do with the hull. I think she'll last another 50 years with proper maintenance.

http://seemanncomposites.com/CFLEX%20MANUAL-WEB.pdf
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Old 06-06-2010, 19:28   #6
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I guess the point of building up the sheathing is impact resistance? It sounds like the way to go. Thanks again for the info. Please don't hesitate to let me know about anything that pops into your mind relevant to this.
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Old 06-06-2010, 19:45   #7
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One thing I'll tell ya is that C-Flex is TOUGH. Where I had to cut away some was really tough to do. It would eat up multimaster blades as fast as cutting stainless.
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