Shelf Life of Resin, Fiberglass Cloth and Gel Coat Affect Quality



   Before comparing other boat prices verify other boats are constructed to United States Coast Guard ABS Rules and the Untied States Navigation and Vessel Inspection Circular standards. Builders with documented certification on standards like Allmand Boats use hull construction materials like Resin, Fiberglass cloth, Gel Coat within weeks of the manufacturing date. Our certified boats and hulls are inspected by the U.S.C.G. to be made according to the United States Coast Guard ABS Rules and the Untied States Navigation and Vessel Inspection Circular.

   All resin, gel coat, and fiberglass cloth materials have a shelf life of less than a year. After the expiration of shelf life fiberglass cloth absorbs moisture from the air over time. As fiberglass absorbs moisture from sitting on the shelf it becomes stiff, less pliable, less able to absorb resin and resists resin infusion. If fiberglass that has moisture is used to make boats it will not bend around corners, angles, or edges very well and air bubbles along edges and corners cannot be avoided. Because it does not absorb resin well it also makes it weak.

   When Gel coat or resin is stored for a long period of time the UV protections and bonding characteristics deteriorate. When the UV protection in Gel coat deteriorates the UV protection is not effective. The boat made with the expired Gel coat will begin to show age very fast. In most cases of white gel coat it will show dullness and pale yellowing spots that cannot be sanded or buffed out. It is not uncommon for expired resin or gel coat to not cure as a normal product would and instead remains rubbery, not hard as it should be. The result is a boat that looks great the day it is made but within a few short months the finish is permanently dull, air bubbles turn into cracks, faded yellow spots appear and weak fiberglass begins to show stress cracks called sheer. In these cases there is no solution to repair the boat.

  When fiberglass material suppliers have materials that are past their shelf life they either sell it for pennies on the dollar or give it away. Who knows where the poor quality material ends up. Check material sources before comparing prices on cheaper boats.