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RC Boat Hull Reinforcement

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  • RC Boat Hull Reinforcement

    If the boating bug bites you hard enough and you start hitting consistent 60-70+mph speeds with a fiberglass hull it's a matter of time before you damage it. With great speed on water comes great challenges to overcome one of which is keeping the hull in tact if you have a wreck at speed. Water is very hard at 60+mph and sometimes even a minor spill can split a hull open like a banana peeling. It's not the speed so much as it is the sudden stops at the given speeds that can cause damage. If one of the large batteries moves even a little, that alone can split the hull and or pop motor mounts, pop battery tray mounts, and cause a lot of damage. The Zelos hull below was damaged not from a blow-back type crash. At speed one of the sponson's dug in instantly hooking the boat around into a 90deg turn. All that forward momentum instantly turned into side momentum flexing the hull, breaking a batt tray w/battery loose, and that slammed the side of the hull splitting it at the seam where the top is joined to the bottom. One of the motor mounts with motor attached was torn loose as well. In a split second I went from doing 65mph to having a completely broke boat needing a lot of repair to return it to the pond.

    I don't like to leave any of my expensive toy's broke so to the internet I went to get some tips and a crash course on doing composite repairs and carbon fiber reinforcements to RC boats. I was very surprised how easy it was to do all in all. It's like soldering in that it takes a lot of time and many repairs to start to find what works best for you but it get's easier the more you do it. It's very tedious work with many small steps. The part I dread the most is the measuring, cutting, and placing of each carbon fiber piece into the hull before applying the resin. I use a spray adhesive on each and every piece to hold it in place. I use a surf board resin (cheap, easy to fin in CA) and brush it over the carbon fiber. Another thing that's popular to do in the RC boating world is pouring the tips and fork seam. Using a mixture of resin and chopped up carbon fiber you pour in enough to fill the tips some and reinforce the seam. It's a great way to keep the front of the boat very strong. Figuring out how much resin you need is also not easy at first and you usually wind up going overboard on the resin. Some even use vacuum bags on their hull to squeeze the resin through the cloth using a minimal amount of material to get the maximum amount of strength and a very clean factory look.

    Once the hull has been reinforced and the tips/seam poured it's basically a tank. It then should be able to take most any spill at speed and not get damaged. You might bend a rudder but the hull won't split on you that's for sure!



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  • #2
    Hi I know it’s been a while since you posted your hull reinforcement Video but I was wondering how it has held up?

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    • #3
      Welcome to Hobby Sqauwk Danpalys1 ...yeah RCGuy83, spill the beans!

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