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Laminate material for building outline of a boat


alanbain
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'm looking to build a lightweight structure resembling the wreck of a boat for stage use as shown in the front and side sketches below. I'm looking at materials to use for the frames (the cross hatched pieces). Obviously in real life they would be solid wood. I'd like to keep weight down (it gets moved around) compared to say using thick plywood and wondered if there were a suitable composite material (for example 6mm ply sandwiched with a foam core and then another layer of 6mm ply) which might appear to have the thickness of solid timber without the weight. Any suggestions welcome?

 

http://www.the-sot.org/iodg/boat_small.png

 

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A bit of research on how boats are constructed might not come amiss :)

 

It's OK, I know how to build boats (and have done so) but a certain amount of experience tells me that construction for the stage often doesn't just mirror construction in real life (I certainly remember the huge roars of laughter when I made a dovetailed drawer for use in a set) and sometimes giving people the impression that they are seeing what they expect to see is more important than showing them what the object would actually look like. Usually the frames are either steam bent (for small boats) or made from series of sawn sections joined with plated scarf joints in order to keep the grain as straight as possible.

 

But in general one doesn't pick boats up very often (at least not without a crane)!

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This may be laughed out of court but one of the best "representative" boats we did was a Viking longboat we built out of lengths of bamboo split lengthways. It was 30 feet long with a 25 foot mast, had hardboard shields and could be easily carried by 2 or 3 people. We stole the design and adapted it from the Sun Voyager sculpture in Iceland.
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