Monday, October 19, 2015

The Saloon Wall (Tuggers Vol. 65)

Hiaqua 37VT03 with the stainless window frames removed
Knowing how the wall was made will aid in the diagnosis and repair of wall problems. Wall problems are almost exclusively caused by water leaking past the saloon windows. The saloon's wall is made up of six distinct layers. Layer (1) on the weather side of the wall is a white gel coat. Next, layers (2), (3) and (4) comprise a 1-1/2" thick fiberglass-balsa core-fiberglass sandwich. The sandwich's width is the yellowish/white area in Hiaqua 37VT03's window jam pictured above. The sandwich was laid up inside the topside's mold pictured below. Next up is the saloon's wall itself. It's made of layer (5), a 1/2" thick plywood, with layer (6), a melamine-like finish attached to it. The plywood is fastened to the fiberglass with furring strips. There's space between the furring strips and that's why in the picture above there are voids visible between the sandwich and the plywood inner wall. Note: the wall's plywood thickness and finish varied over the LNVT 37's production run. Lady, for example, has a 1/4" plywood wall with no melamine-like finish.
The LNVT 37 hull and topsides molds

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