Hmmmmm, I think it's because they tend to get Loathed more than any other type, that the few people that have FC or believe in FC, tend to priase them more towards the other end of the spectrum.
I think it is important to maintain perspective from bothsides. I encourage Jeffs comments, as I have said, it brings about good discussion.
I think we all agree, there are good points and bad points on any material a boat is built from and it is good to talk about all the apsects of building a boat in what ever material. Each material has it's own positive strengths along with negative ones.
Unfair for me to put words Jeff's mouth but if I may suggest the point of view that Jeff maybe coming from. I would presume Jeff is looking at boat design from a present day, modern design/build point of view. Fast, lightweight, easy to handle and strong stength to weight ratio. FC would be a poor choice for any of that.
OK, so my side of the fence. I like the older style boat. Character. A crusier. I don't care about weight. Infact I like that "ship" feel. I have no interest in racing
my boat. Not to say I don't like racing
, but for Dawn and I, it is all about relaxing and exploring and seeing nature. The romance of it all. So the style of boat kinda blends into that. My boat does not have a clipper bow, but I would have loved one. Full Keel
big volume. You don't get those designs in the modern design world today so much. Yes there are a couple out there, but mate, they are way out of my dream budget
range, let alone an affordable range.
But there are many of us that still want that "character" boat and if someone wants to build one, then the choice of materials and the ability for an amature to build in them become, IMO, limited. It takes a lot of skill and money
to build a traditional hull
in timber today. Not impossible, but harder than FC. Steel
is a good choice and is why it tends to be the most common. But there are also some major ongoing maintenance
issues with steel. Plus as I have said earlier, I have seen some steel hulls I would never want to go to sea in. I could never trust the welding on at least two I have seen built. Yes it's hard to survey
a FC hull
for defects, but how the heck do you know if a weld is made properly. I have seen stuff that looked like bird crap(honest) and faired over beautifully. The finished article looked majic. The welds were still crap and the new owner will never know.
Trying to build a traditonal style hull in GRP for an amature is next to impossible, both from equipment
required, expertise and cost.
So FC becomes an achievable and in many aspects, an affordable medium to build a boat with. Especially by an amature in a backyard. Remember, issues of buildings and equipment
come into the overall budget
. FC requires little of either and the fact that a building not being required to house the project
, makes a big difference to anyones budget.
Weight to strength arguments from Jeffs point of view are valid arguments. But from my point of view when weight isn't an issue, only solid steel is stronger and even then, in some instances, FC can be stronger than. Plus FC is lighter than steel and you have none of the issues you get with steel. Plus you have to admit, hard chined flat plate steel boats look butt ugly (sorry) and round hulls in steel are next to impossible for an amature to economicaly produce.
Then there are a whole lot of interior
aspects of FC that can make it a pleasure to live in. I have so many people make comments about how quite, how fresh the interior
feels and smells and that it doesn't move around like a cork when they step onboard. OK, maybe that's a negative with weight, but it is fantastic for the many I get that are scared of the boat moving and heeling etc etc.