Instead of fibreglass

Is there any other cloth that can be used instead of fibreglass, carbon or kevilar. Things like rip stop nylon etc. Just curious? This would be for a boat like a IOM?

Hi Andrew,

If it is for a ‘class legal’ IOM, make sure that the material is in the allowed list.

Hi, if you accept a small reduction in strenght, cotton and silk was used by a modeler in Germany for decoration mixed up with fiberglass/epoxy.
Personally I would like to try with some fantasy coloured cotton fabric.

Model aircraft use a 1/2 oz per square yard ripstop polyester coated with polycarbonate, and a water based polyurethane matrix (Miniwax).
Light and strong without using noxious chemicals.
(I have heard that the actual weight is around 1 oz/sq yd).

You are right if it was for a IOM i would need to check the rules, this really was just one of those thoughts that you get when it is a blizard outside, still hard water and a cold garage. I would not think there would be any weight savings over fibre glass?

Good topic.

OK, so this is fiberglass with carbon fibers* that has been working well for me. I lay in the perpendicular strands at casting and do away with bulkheads except for at keel.


*I have had this cloth for years - I cannot locate more - anyone familiar with this product?

Yar -

I’ve successfully used “panty hose” material as a finish layer. Very fine weave, but lets the epoxy still get through to bond to subsurface.

And for you other sick, twisted freaks … don’t even ask! :wink: :smiley:

Could the panty hose or other similar material work over balsa as the ownly layer. Yar are you sure that was carbon? looks to my like fish net stockings? Hahaha

The Icarex is possibly better as a sail material.

These might work…


I thought I had seen them before. If you left the boat clear coated you could call it “french maid”

I would think so - giving just a bit of scratch/dent protection. Keep in mind, though - it’s more for a “cosmetic” final covering than to provide strength. I have some 1/2 oz. glass cloth, and it is a bit stiffer with epoxy - and I lay up heavy on the epoxy to cut and use as battens. A single layer of panty hose material, by itself, has very little strength - even a couple of layers is still flexible. I’ve gone as many as 4 layers and not found much use beyond a “skin covering” for a boat where the foam remains inside. Just gives a harder/sandable finish than epoxy directly on the foam.

Mr. Linville once did an article for a model boating magazine (RC Boat Modeller?) in which he described using polyester cloth over a wax-covered plug.

Was that the one that was covered in Scotch plaid fabric?