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Chris,

It’s always good to see you weigh-in so that we and gain from your experience and knowledge of not just the technical expertise in boat building, but also the history behind this segment of the market. Though I would like to seek clarification of my understanding on what you’re saying in your post.

If I do understand you correctly, you’re not saying that are no differences between the types of resin, nor are you saying that vinlyester and epoxy do not have inherent benefits over polyester. What you seem to be saying, again.. if I understand you correctly, is a value judgement that when cost is factored in that the benefits of the resins do not provide any appreciable benefit.

I’m betting it’s much more complex than this which perhaps why you used epoxy on the outer skin layer and polyester for the rest of the lamination. However, in your May 5, 2017 blog on the Lithium skiff where you talk about Chittums vs the cost of making your own skiff and that using all epoxy for your skiff would only add about $1,000 to the cost of the build. That to me is an insignificant amount of money when it comes to building a boat. So, I’m really confused if you are stating there are no benefits to vinylester or epoxy over polyester, or if the benefits are not worth the extra money (in this case a $1,000).

When with the vast majority of the recreational boating industry proudly proclaiming the use of vinylester and in some cases even epoxy, is this all a marketing scam or is just a matter where the benefits are purely academic and just don’t matter? Do you feel there is a difference in the argument of vinylester versus polyester since the cost factor is less than epoxy?

Last question… does building a boat from epoxy provide a benefit over polyester when the owner decides to later modify the boat by drilling holes in it to replace things like transducers, trolling motors, rod holder, push pole holders, trim tabs? In other words, does a cured epoxy laminate provide better resistance to water absorption than a polyester laminate, or is the benefit gained only when sealing with fresh epoxy?
Great questions, will try to explain better.
Polyester resins from basic boatyard resin to casting resins, can come in many formulas. A blend for winter work, summer heat, super clear for casting tables, for surfboards. Some very hardened so on.
If building a hull with Kevlar cloth you need a resin that has memory qualities…that is if bent when in the cloth it will bend a % and then come back to its original shape without cracking.
Hence the word fiber Glass.
Vinylester resins can have this quality. As epoxy resins if you get these blends.
If you have a resin that cures very hard it will pop out of a Kevlar weave .
The best resins start with epoxy at the top of the chain and then it’s vinylester and down to polyester resin.
Blisters that you see and hear about today are mostly caused by bad shop working conditions when doing old school open molding. That’s hand layup. Dust particle gets on top of the gel coated surface and when hand laid up if not properly rolled out can cause microscopic air holes which water can then migrate into causing a blister.
Using a bottom line polyester gelcoat combined with a dusty dirty shop and casual work standards can make for blisters to come.
Now using vinylester resin or epoxy resin does not guarantee and perfect hull skin. You have to continually check the quality of the manufactures resin against its spec sheet daily. I can write a chapter here about my time dealing with top of the line resins and gelcoat companies.
So…I have always felt that if building by open molding if your build is properly laid up by hand a polyester build like I wrote above will most likely out live all you guys in your 20s.
Now if built properly a vinylester resin build if built to the same above standards will do the same but with a slight advantage being a tighter molecular blend that will inhibit water absorption. If using a blend that has good memory which is a good characteristic of some vinylester blends than you would have a hull if built in core that could be a more long term resilient hull to much abuse.
Ok, epoxy resins… I built a racing trimaran 10 years ago using The top of the line Systems Three epoxy blend that had to be post cured. It cost over $100.00 a gal. Inadequate to build an oven over the entire 34’x26’ boat and cure it with heat to120 degrees for 4 hours. This boat weighed all up, sails, mast, motor everything 3500 lbs. I went through a major gale in it at sea. Amazing how strong it was for the thin skins used. It was an Ian Farrier design.
If money was no object then epoxy is the way to go if you can handle the skin issues.
It’s very technical as it has to be mixed to .01% tolerance.
When I look at old 30-40 + year old polyester boats that I am repairing I get to see all there insides, by removing hardware. The world today has a glut of polyester boats that if left in a swamp or sunk in front of your waterfront house will never go away. It’s just amazing stuff. It can only be ground up to be put in a land fill.
To me the bottom line is ..proper job, good up keep = super long life.
But we are guys and we like cool stuff.
 

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Great questions, will try to explain better.
Polyester resins from basic boatyard resin to casting resins, can come in many formulas. A blend for winter work, summer heat, super clear for casting tables, for surfboards. Some very hardened so on.
If building a hull with Kevlar cloth you need a resin that has memory qualities…that is if bent when in the cloth it will bend a % and then come back to its original shape without cracking.
Hence the word fiber Glass.
Vinylester resins can have this quality. As epoxy resins if you get these blends.
If you have a resin that cures very hard it will pop out of a Kevlar weave .
The best resins start with epoxy at the top of the chain and then it’s vinylester and down to polyester resin.
Blisters that you see and hear about today are mostly caused by bad shop working conditions when doing old school open molding. That’s hand layup. Dust particle gets on top of the gel coated surface and when hand laid up if not properly rolled out can cause microscopic air holes which water can then migrate into causing a blister.
Using a bottom line polyester gelcoat combined with a dusty dirty shop and casual work standards can make for blisters to come.
Now using vinylester resin or epoxy resin does not guarantee and perfect hull skin. You have to continually check the quality of the manufactures resin against its spec sheet daily. I can write a chapter here about my time dealing with top of the line resins and gelcoat companies.
So…I have always felt that if building by open molding if your build is properly laid up by hand a polyester build like I wrote above will most likely out live all you guys in your 20s.
Now if built properly a vinylester resin build if built to the same above standards will do the same but with a slight advantage being a tighter molecular blend that will inhibit water absorption. If using a blend that has good memory which is a good characteristic of some vinylester blends than you would have a hull if built in core that could be a more long term resilient hull to much abuse.
Ok, epoxy resins… I built a racing trimaran 10 years ago using The top of the line Systems Three epoxy blend that had to be post cured. It cost over $100.00 a gal. Inadequate to build an oven over the entire 34’x26’ boat and cure it with heat to120 degrees for 4 hours. This boat weighed all up, sails, mast, motor everything 3500 lbs. I went through a major gale in it at sea. Amazing how strong it was for the thin skins used. It was an Ian Farrier design.
If money was no object then epoxy is the way to go if you can handle the skin issues.
It’s very technical as it has to be mixed to .01% tolerance.
When I look at old 30-40 + year old polyester boats that I am repairing I get to see all there insides, by removing hardware. The world today has a glut of polyester boats that if left in a swamp or sunk in front of your waterfront house will never go away. It’s just amazing stuff. It can only be ground up to be put in a land fill.
To me the bottom line is ..proper job, good up keep = super long life.
But we are guys and we like cool stuff.
Well said. The key is quality materials be it poly, vinyl, or epoxy and a quality lamination using said materials. I think a lot of folks think of poly as a bad choice because so many mass produced chop gun built boats using inferior resins and under qualified help.
 
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I Love microskiff.com!
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Alright everyone. So problem solved. They answered my call and I spoke with them. They’re honoring the price based on when you put your deposit down.
Thats awesome that they did that for you- they definitely didnt have to. I recently had to back out of a build that got $5000 more expensive while i waited in line after submitting my deposit. Bummer for me, but its the builder’s prerogative.
 

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Today was the day! It’s really a thing of beauty, and less than an hour after I picked her up we had slime on the deck. I’ll have more to post in the next several days.

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Today was the day! It’s really a thing of beauty, and less than an hour after I picked her up we had slime on the deck. I’ll have more to post in the next several days.

View attachment 196274
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looks beautiful. Can’t get enough pics. Can’t wait for mine!
 

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Some quick initial thoughts:

This is truly a simple skiff. I love the open cockpit and that was definitely one of the selling points for me. I like the idea of eventually using something like a Yeti chair for passenger travel, and equally the ability to take it out when I’m fishing solo.

The guys at Simple Skiffs have done an excellent job finishing this boat. Again, there’s not a whole lot of bells and whistles, but everything that is there is done really well. I opted for no bow cleat in an effort to keep that super clean front deck look. I went with the classic guide green for the hull and Matterhorn white for the deck and cockpit. Personally I love that classic look!

The trailer from TrailerTech out of Miami is really nice. I-Beam construction, aluminum, and beefed up tires. I think the original plan was to go with Continental trailers, but in the end I think these are nicer than the original plan that SS had. Those that got in at $22k initial price point I think and getting a better deal, as I’m pretty sure the price raise to $24k last week was mainly motivated by the higher trailer price point of these upgraded trailers.

I was really curious to see if this boat would be bouncy on the trailer in my 5 hour ride home, but it was not. The boat is pretty light (around 400 lbs I think), but the ride home was solid. I know my Shadowcast on a Float On seemed to really bounce around all over the place when trailering.

This boat is super stable! Not a surprise from a 70” beam, but I’m a big dude (6’3” 285lbs) and I can hop up on the poling platform and the boat barely moves. It’s definitely a world of difference from the Shadowcast in that respect.

We didn’t run far yesterday but it was pretty windy and handling a light chop was child’s play. Super dry ride, but ultimately we will see more about that when I take her out in some more serious stuff.

That’s it for now, more soon!
 

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Some quick initial thoughts:

This is truly a simple skiff. I love the open cockpit and that was definitely one of the selling points for me. I like the idea of eventually using something like a Yeti chair for passenger travel, and equally the ability to take it out when I’m fishing solo.

The guys at Simple Skiffs have done an excellent job finishing this boat. Again, there’s not a whole lot of bells and whistles, but everything that is there is done really well. I opted for no bow cleat in an effort to keep that super clean front deck look. I went with the classic guide green for the hull and Matterhorn white for the deck and cockpit. Personally I love that classic look!

The trailer from TrailerTech out of Miami is really nice. I-Beam construction, aluminum, and beefed up tires. I think the original plan was to go with Continental trailers, but in the end I think these are nicer than the original plan that SS had. Those that got in at $22k initial price point I think and getting a better deal, as I’m pretty sure the price raise to $24k last week was mainly motivated by the higher trailer price point of these upgraded trailers.

I was really curious to see if this boat would be bouncy on the trailer in my 5 hour ride home, but it was not. The boat is pretty light (around 400 lbs I think), but the ride home was solid. I know my Shadowcast on a Float On seemed to really bounce around all over the place when trailering.

This boat is super stable! Not a surprise from a 70” beam, but I’m a big dude (6’3” 285lbs) and I can hop up on the poling platform and the boat barely moves. It’s definitely a world of difference from the Shadowcast in that respect.

We didn’t run far yesterday but it was pretty windy and handling a light chop was child’s play. Super dry ride, but ultimately we will see more about that when I take her out in some more serious stuff.

That’s it for now, more soon!
Thanks for the report, from the looks of it, catches fish too!
 

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Took her out with my guide buddy this morning on the home waters for the first time. Boat handles very well, turns super tight. Crossed some decent chop and she handled it without issue.
Thanks for the info and congrats on the skiff! Loved the video review on insta. Can't wait to get mine. Every time they post an insta story I'm hoping it's my hull in the form lol.
 
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