« Back to “GPRS Boat”

Fiberglass boat hull

Fiberglass is the de-facto material for real boats; I thought it would work equally well for miniature boats. Paper Wings tells honestly how easy it is to work with.

The form

I made the form from cardboard and papier mache. The cardboard layers are horizontal, cut against a printed pattern to make the boat symmetric.

Final layer was aluminum foil. I thought it would help the mold come off: BAD idea. Instead just apply plenty of wax over the paper directly.



  • Gas mask, 50 EUR
  • Nitrile gloves, 10 EUR
  • Fiberglass mat, 1 m2, 10 EUR
  • Polyester resin + hardener, 1 kg, 15 EUR
  • Epoxy paint + hardener, 1 kg, 30 EUR

Missing from the list: topcoat/gelcoat. It really is necessary to make the surface smooth and waterproof. My hardware store didn't have any, so I used the epoxy paint. Works ok but costs a lot.

Now, it really wasn't as straightforward as it appears from the photos. More like:
  1. Test over a plastic cup before the real mold. Works great (doh, plastic is not paper).
  2. Fiberglass the real mold. Leaves a lot of air bubbles which supposedly are going to break the structure later on.
  3. Try to remove the mold. Half of it stays behind; remove it with sand paper and get bits of glass fiber everywhere.
  4. Apply several layers of epoxy paint and it hides everything nicely!

– Petteri Aimonen on 9.4.2011

Comment on this page (1 comment so far)