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Old 13-10-2014, 20:39   #121
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Location: Duluth,Minnesota
Boat: Lindenberg 26 & Aloha 8.2
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Re: Balsa Core

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Originally Posted by Is05land View Post
Balsa cores are great . . . but like anything, they must be built properly. I had a Santa Cruz 50, and the surveyor tapped all over the hull and could find no defects or wet spots. The boat was approx. 17 yrs old; in the water all the time. So it comes down to the builder- get references! It's easy to install balsa incorrectly, which has lead to the bad reputation of balsa.
Also, I doubt any (normal) production boat has a balsa hull. Maybe some areas in the deck. Any composite "piercing" must be done through solid glass or suitable filler, never right through the core (balsa, nomex, PVC, etc.).
Most of the builders in Santa Cruz built way better than average boats, some of the best construction of the time in the US imho. I have still seen wet core though.
I have to disagree with the last paragraph though, by far the majority of cored boats built in the US in the last 40 years are balsa cored, both hull and decks.

Steve.
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Old 13-10-2014, 21:12   #122
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Re: Balsa Core

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Originally Posted by minaret View Post
I notice you mention building parts by infusion. Ever infuse the core on a large hull? Just as confident in your results on that scale? Any input on the difference in weight and brittleness infusing in VE resin as opposed to old school core bond? Ever bag core into core bond as opposed to infusing? Personally I think it a much superior method, resulting in a much lighter part which is more flexible, less brittle. Just takes lots more work. It's not the massive time/money saver infusion is, which is why I think we don't see more of it.
Nope, have not done a complete hull yet, im working up to it though and, yes, i have no doubts about achieving the same results at that scale. The last part i did was about 75ft2, I learned as part of a team at one of Derek Kellsals kss workshops where we infused one half of one of his 42ft catamaran hulls as a flat panel.
My resin of choice is VE which has very good elongation, i am not a fan of core bond and while i have used it i prefer bagging into mat, but no more if i can help it. Infusion imho produces a far superior part than any hand layup method and to me was a revelation, it is clean and relatively low stress. I truly believe that it makes balsa a viable core. I started infusing with balsa because i had a lot in inventory and now i am very happy with it.

Steve.
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