Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 06-01-2014, 19:37   #1
Registered User
 
endoftheroad's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Key West
Boat: Westsail 32 and Herreshoff 28
Posts: 1,159
How Does One Become A Fiberglasser?

How do you become a professional Fiberglasser?
I can't seem to find much info on the Internet regarding schooling or training.
I'm a skilled and sucessfull house painter that's been self employed for many years but my passion is boats and sailing. I really need to consider learning a new trade that's boat related. I don't need to transform overnight. I make good money painting houses and I don't have any financial debt so there's no stress there but I could start working in boatyards and such in between painting projects.
Any suggestions?
endoftheroad
__________________

__________________
endoftheroad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2014, 19:59   #2
Senior Cruiser
 
Opie91's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: CT
Boat: C&C 34
Posts: 811
Re: How Does One Become A Fiberglasser?

Have you considered being a painter? I worked in a few yards were all the senior guys got away spraying and started to do the varnish/brush work stuff. Mostly to get away from the real bad chemicals, but it is a skill that can pay.

Hopefully Minaret will chime in and point you in the right direction.
__________________

__________________
Opie91 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2014, 20:05   #3
Registered User
 
Cotemar's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2007
Boat: FP, Helia 44 Evo
Posts: 5,717
Re: How Does One Become A Fiberglasser?

Hopefully one of our CF pro fiberglass guys will chime in and tell you how they got their start in the business.
__________________
Cotemar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2014, 20:10   #4
Registered User

Join Date: May 2013
Location: Connecticut
Boat: 38' Pearson Invicta
Posts: 127
Re: How Does One Become A Fiberglasser?

Do not know what it takes to become employed as a professional fiberglasser (repair I assume) but I do know that at the boat yard I am at there is a one year backlog in having repairs done. To add to that one of the estimates I have gotten to get work done like patching thru-hulls is in the thousands. I have to believe it must be something not to many people can do correctly. This worries me because I have seven thru hulls to patch as well as some other fiberglass repairs. If I do mine right does that make me a pro? Most likely I will find out five to six years from now when they still hold without de-laminating. My deck repairs with replacing end grain balsa are still solid after six years but that was not a hole in the bottom of the boat!
__________________
Noreastern is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2014, 20:14   #5
Resin Head
 
minaret's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Seattle WA
Boat: Nauticat
Posts: 7,199
Images: 52
Re: How Does One Become A Fiberglasser?

Quote:
Originally Posted by endoftheroad View Post
How do you become a professional Fiberglasser?
I can't seem to find much info on the Internet regarding schooling or training.
I'm a skilled and sucessfull house painter that's been self employed for many years but my passion is boats and sailing. I really need to consider learning a new trade that's boat related. I don't need to transform overnight. I make good money painting houses and I don't have any financial debt so there's no stress there but I could start working in boatyards and such in between painting projects.
Any suggestions?
endoftheroad



Third time my post to you has disappeared, so I'll just keep it to links of my alma maters. Every time someone else posts to the thread my iPad loses its post. Frustrating!


Northwest School of Wooden Boat Building | Port Hadlock, Washington



Marine Carpentry Overview Wood Technology Center Seattle Central Community College Seattle Marine Carpentry (Boatbuilding), Cabinet Making & Carpentry Programs



The Landing School ? Educating Future Leaders - Marine Industry
__________________
O you who turn the wheel and look to windward,

Consider Phlebas, who was once handsome and tall as you.
minaret is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2014, 20:16   #6
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Cruising the Gulf of Mexico.
Boat: 1980 Morgan 415
Posts: 1,439
I did some fiberglass work for a plastics outfit for a summer job. Acetone, MEK, resin and glass mat were the ingredients then and not much has changed.

Get involved with some repairs. Read about the various resins. Auto body shops do a lot of glass work.

It ain't rocket science.
__________________
Working on spending my children's inheritance.
Cap Erict3 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2014, 20:42   #7
Registered User

Join Date: May 2013
Location: Connecticut
Boat: 38' Pearson Invicta
Posts: 127
Re: How Does One Become A Fiberglasser?

No, not rocket science. But to be good you need a certain talent. It is like welding, some can make good beads, but the best make perfect all the time.
__________________
Noreastern is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2014, 20:52   #8
Registered User
 
endoftheroad's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Key West
Boat: Westsail 32 and Herreshoff 28
Posts: 1,159
Re: How Does One Become A Fiberglasser?

These are some great replies, I really appreciate all imput

I enjoy working on most boat related stuff, diesel motors, electrical, whatever, but the reason I'm considering fiberglassing is because I enjoy crafting an object and FRP is something you can get creative with. I'm also very comfortable and profecient with prep work. I just spent 40 hours grinding 4 layers of paint off my hull (W32) in prep for a barrier coat and I almost enjoyed it. I should resume painting houses in a few weeks and I'm already wishing my days here in the boatyard don't burn away too fast. I was told today by another boater that the other contractors in the yard have been observing me and are impressed with how smooth I managed my gelcoat to survive.
My elbow is killing me though.

The money painting houses pays me pretty good and it wouldn't make sense for me to just quit it all and work in this yard for kibbles and bits.

endoftheroad
__________________
endoftheroad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2014, 21:29   #9
Registered User

Join Date: May 2008
Location: daytona beach florida
Boat: csy 37
Posts: 2,844
Images: 1
Re: How Does One Become A Fiberglasser?

and i would guess that painting houses in the fresh air might be a bit healthier than laying fiberglass inside a shed. those chemicals can't be doing anyone any good.

last spring i hauled my boat and ground off many layers of hard bottom paint with 7" electric grinder. the yard required me to tent my boat all around. in spite of commercial grade respirator and new tyvek suit every day, i know i swallowed some of that bottom paint dust. i felt congested for weeks afterwards, lord knows what kind of permanent damage it's done....
__________________
onestepcsy37 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2014, 22:01   #10
Marine Service Provider

Join Date: May 2012
Location: New Orleans
Boat: We have a problem... A serious addiction issue.
Posts: 3,940
Re: How Does One Become A Fiberglasser?

I started doing fiberglass while working for a racing program. The master glass guy was hired to come fair the hull and new keel, and I spent the summer being his lackey pretty much watching him work, carrying stuff, doing the corse work. After three months of fairing work with him, the yard started hiring me to do work for them when the big boat was out of town. Which over time resulted in a job with them while I was going to law school.

As a house painter already I would think starting to do boat painting would be an easier step.
__________________
Greg

- If animals weren't meant to be eaten then they wouldn't be made of food.
Stumble is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2014, 22:12   #11
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Edmonton
Boat: Cheoy Lee OS40
Posts: 26
Re: How Does One Become A Fiberglasser?

I did some fiberglass a few years ago and found the first thing to learn is how to scratch.

oldtomcat
__________________
oldtomcat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2014, 22:16   #12
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: WY / Currently in Hayes VA on the Chesapeake
Boat: Ocean Alexander, Ocean 44
Posts: 922
Re: How Does One Become A Fiberglasser?

"As a house painter already I would think starting to do boat painting would be an easier step. ____"

I was thinking the same thing. Learning to roll and tip might be an easy step for you. I don't know how much demand there is for it but I'm busting my tail on my boat and my friend who spent his youth as a house painter sure does a better job than I seem to be able to.
__________________
darylat8750 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2014, 22:24   #13
Senior Cruiser
 
Jim Cate's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: May 2008
Location: cruising SW Pacific
Boat: Jon Sayer 1-off 46 ft fract rig sloop strip plank in W Red Cedar
Posts: 11,447
Re: How Does One Become A Fiberglasser?

G'Day EOTR,

I have it on good authority that the first step in becoming a professional, full time FG worker is going to hospital and having half of your brains sucked out. (Just kidding, Minaret!).

But seriously, if you have good painting skills, boat painting is a well paid and much appreciated skill, and you don't itch as much. There are health hazards in both trades, and you will spend much time suited up with supplied air respirators strapped on your face. Some folks find that oppressive, others not so much. I spent too much time in hot labs to ever want to wear that sort of kit again!

I too kinda enjoy the occasional foray into glassing something, and in general working around boatyards, so I can understand where you are coming from. Hope that you can find a smooth way to transition.

Cheers,

Jim
__________________
Jim and Ann s/v Insatiable II , lying Port Cygnet, Tasmania once again
Jim Cate is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2014, 22:43   #14
Resin Head
 
minaret's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Seattle WA
Boat: Nauticat
Posts: 7,199
Images: 52
Re: How Does One Become A Fiberglasser?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
G'Day EOTR,

I have it on good authority that the first step in becoming a professional, full time FG worker is going to hospital and having half of your brains sucked out. (Just kidding, Minaret!).





Could be.



Really, you just have to have a sick love of boats, to the point where you're willing to roll around on the ground under a keel in a puddle of rainwater and glass dust while grinding with a fullface and Tyvek, daily, because the boat's broke and she deserves to be whole again. If that's you, go for it! It's the only thing that's kept me in it this long, I truly love boats. You certainly won't get rich doing it.
__________________
O you who turn the wheel and look to windward,

Consider Phlebas, who was once handsome and tall as you.
minaret is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2014, 22:53   #15
Registered User
 
Teknav's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Texas - USA
Boat: Twin Otter de Havilland Floatplane
Posts: 1,838
Re: How Does One Become A Fiberglasser?

Have you considered being a part-time diesel engine repairer, instead of repairing fiber glass? While it will take you a while to suffocate from inhaling diesel fumes exhaust, still it does not compare to inhaling fiber glass. No matter which brand mask you'll wear to protect yourself, you will still inhale fiber glass. Lungs filled with fiber glass have similar symptoms as those coal miners having "black lungs"; an incurable disease that ends one's life in a very painful slow death.

Now you know the reason, why not many people are eager to pursue this "lucrative" trade. You don't have to take my advice, though. Research it yourself! Good luck!

Mauritz
Reality check...
__________________

__________________
Retired - Don't Ask Me To Do A Damn Thing!
Teknav is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
fiberglass

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 07:52.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.