Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Experimenting with Xynole -- 374 hours

I got the idea of using Xynole from David at BoatSmith, he is a professional Wharram builder down in Jupiter Florida. He had told me once in a conversation that he used Xynole on the hull exterior instead of FG as called for in the plans. Also on the RAKA site they call Xynole the poor man's Kevlar.  It's supposed to have much higher impact and abrasion resistance than fiberglass.
So in with my last epoxy order I bought a couple yards of 68ich wide 4oz  Xynole. It was $8.75/ydr compared to $6.50/ydr for 60inch wide 4oz plain weave fiberglass cloth.

My test spot was in the stern buoyancy compartment below the stiffener, a small triangular area. I wanted to observe the wet-out up close and make sure the wet-out was thorough. So first I cut a pattern using craft paper then cut the Xynole and did the wet-out on my plastic covered work bench.  I found out it really soaks up the epoxy. It seemed to use 2 or 3 times the amount of epoxy than my 12oz FG biaxial tape. Next the transfer from bench to hull was tricky since the cloth stretches and flops around easily due to the open weave.
Stern buoyancy compartment, Xynole experiment. 
I think it's obvious this is not the material to use for a clear coat:) Above the stiffener the plywood has just 2 coats of epoxy and sanded. Oh well, this is why I did my experiment in the bottom of the buoyancy compartment, a place only viewed by serious contortions. But should there ever be a puncture event in this area, the Xynole will deflect and absorb the hit and hopefully keep water from entry. I'm debating if I should use the Xynole on the interior of the bow buoyancy compartment, this is the area most likely to encounter some mysterious object in the middle of the ocean in the middle of the night.

I should note that I've planned not to paint the buoyancy compartments and other lower areas of the hull. I don't ever want creeping wood rot hiding behind paint. If there is a problem, I'd rather see it earlier than later.

No comments:

Post a Comment