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What is Stitch and Glue

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Stitch and Glue
A boat building method combining plywood, fiberglass and epoxy, used mostly for small boats. Also named taped seams.

First generation stitch and glue boats were made of plywood parts glued with fiberglass tape and resin. The panels were stitched together with copper wire to keep the assembly together during the resin cure. The wire was removed later. Many stitch and glue designs still rely mostly on wood framing for structural strength and are not true composite boats.

More recent designs use fiberglass boat building engineering techniques: the seams are structural and replace the wooden framing. Not only are those boats stronger than wooden boats but lighter and much easier to build. All beveling and wood joinery work is eliminated. The stitches are few and made of plastic ties.

In even more sophisticated stitch and glue designs, the plywood is sandwiched between layers of fiberglass, usually directional glass. Only the assembly method is left from the early stitch and glue hulls: these are true composite boats. The plywood is used only as core and for strength, the structure relies on resin and fibers.

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