Rebuild fiber glass boat why and why not?

 Chasing some opinions


Anyone done it before? 

Does it end up costing more than a better second hand boat?

Is worth it?

Will it take 3x as long as I suspect?

What's everyone's thoughts?

Iv got a penguin phantom un registered un everything basically

Keen to build the perfect boat for me and always wanted to do it

But do I know what I'm getting my self into? 


 have a fairly good skill set and tools to do it.


Hope the photo worked

All opinions appreciated even negative ones!

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Paul H's picture

Posts: 2088

Date Joined: 18/01/07

 Is it better than a better

Tue, 2018-10-09 19:23


Is it better than a better second hand boat?

Definately - you know whats under the floor and you know how long it will last.  Another second hand boat may have hidden issues already or just around the corner.

Cost of rebuilding - potentially that's up to your skill sets and a number of other things but its not that dear if you do the work yourself

Resale - keep receipts and take pics of the rebuild - the next potential buyer would likely factor this into what they are prepared to buy/pay


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Date Joined: 27/12/14

 stupid question hehe but you

Tue, 2018-10-09 19:36

 stupid question hehe but you know what I mean. 

That's it! I dont want to go stupid with meterials but I

Would like to over do it! More glass for the sake of it!

Swompa's picture

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Date Joined: 14/10/12

 Currently doing something

Tue, 2018-10-09 19:48

 Currently doing something similar. Takes plenty of time. Substantially cheaper than getting someone else to do it and you get out what you put in.

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Date Joined: 01/02/10

Jump on Australian old school

Tue, 2018-10-09 20:06

Jump on Australian old school trailer boats on fb. Lots of knowledge and info there. 


Does anyone know where the love of god goes, when the waves turn the minutes to hours?

sea-kem's picture

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Date Joined: 30/11/09

 I reckon you have the right

Tue, 2018-10-09 20:47

 I reckon you have the right hull to do up.


Love the West!

z00m's picture

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Date Joined: 10/05/14


Wed, 2018-10-10 09:06

 When I did my Caribbean rebuild I had a shipwright do the stringers so I knew they were structurally correct, aligned properly and weren't stuffed up by me. Everything from there up I did myself (Transom was solid as a rock).

As for cost and time it depends on how many times you have to do things twice. Other than that you can get a fair grip on what materials cost.

As for regrets - I wish I hadn't used epoxy in my build. While it is easier to get a good result for someone doing it the first time, you are forever locked into using the more expensive epoxy to make future changes and also for coatings like paint. Flowcoat won't stick to epoxy (not much other than epoxy does) and epoxy paints are more expensive.

Other than that, give it a go and learn to love the itch!


Willlo's picture

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 Yeah get on fb there are a

Wed, 2018-10-10 09:13

 Yeah get on fb there are a few groups that do rebuilds,  old school haines etc.. Ive done a semi rebuild on mine , if i ever decide on another boat i think i would try a full rebuild , but then I'm a sucker for a project.


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Swompa's picture

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Date Joined: 14/10/12

For what it is worth,

Wed, 2018-10-10 11:51

For what it is worth, Fiberglass and Resin Sales are the cheapest around for fiberglass chopped strand mat and polyester resin.

I found a mob on Gumtree that sells sheets of 12mm marine ply for $50 a sheet which is ~$20 a sheet cheaper than bunnings.

bradz's picture

Posts: 608

Date Joined: 29/10/07


Wed, 2018-10-10 15:31

Im coming to the end (I think) of my rebuild. Thoroughly satisfying once you stop making silly mistakes. It has taken twice as long as planned because we had to move houses in the meantime and are currently building a new one.

This was my first foray into fibreglassing and I now really enjoying the little challenges that come along.

Ive been getting my Polyester resin from Allnex in Welshpool. Very good price and a fantastic product.

As for asking if its worth it. Only if you start with a suitable hull. You've got that. Do you have the time and energy to see it through? Do you have an understanding partner? Allow at least twice as much time as you plan for. Set out a program of the tasks you need to do and work out the order in which they need to be done. Always over estimate the cost. List everything. Swich panels, wiring, batteries, bilge pumps, hatches, hoses etc etc etc.

Give yourself a good foundation by making sure you grind out all delaminated glass. Invest in a collection of tyvec suits and really good respirators and goggles. Be prepared for the itch. Grinding fibeglass is hot, itchy and not alot of fun. Oooh, get a vacuum cleaner. Make sure you have somewhere under cover to work. Not so much for the rain but to keep you out of the sun/heat. Polyester resin goes off really quick in direct sunlight and heat. This can lead to all sorts of heartache. Ask me how I worked this one out.

Dont expect that when you come to sell it that you will recover your costs. You wont. Especially if you get someone else to do alot of the work for you. Take your time collecting the ancillary parts you will need. For an old boat you can get alot of second hand gear really cheaply (seats, some electronics, hatches, hardware).

Is it worth it...I'll let you know if a couple of months time (fingers crossed). Feel free to drop me a PM if you want to see what I've been up to.

PS: Once I have finished (practical completion) I will create a post on this forum with photos. Not overly exciting to some, but shows what I did.




I did then the best that I knew how. When I knew better, I did better.

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Date Joined: 27/12/14

 thanks for the responses

Wed, 2018-10-10 20:18

 thanks for the responses all!


im convinced to give it a go! ill be taking a week of this month to hopefully complete the dreaded inital grind/clean up! maybe even start laying the hull!



Posts: 372

Date Joined: 19/06/14

Hurry up.....

Wed, 2018-10-10 22:55

I thought you’d be finished by now. The end result will be a sweet boat. Or I could sell you mine ....:) Then I could do another one ! 


 My wife understands why I clean my rods n reels in the shower....


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Date Joined: 05/12/09

I’m going through same thing

Fri, 2018-10-26 20:44

I’m going through same thing at the moment.

full rebuild on a Haines hunter 580slf Walkaround.

transom stuffed, half the stringers back half stuffed, so redoing the whole thing.

bloke doing it for me Graham at Deepwater marine seems to know his stuff.

im going different method though and not replacing with timber stringers etc and going for glassed in 100mm thick foam.

apparently the ducks nuts and will not rot or absorb water.

i checked out a Bertram he is redoing next to mine and it looks awesome.

will end up being a brand new boat besides outer hull anyway