Do fibreglass and carbon fibre mix?

"Let's put carbon fibre in there," says the marketing director. "That stuff's stronger. And I can sell it as a high-end feature."

"Yup, yup," replies the shop foreman. "We can do that. It's a bit pricey though, maybe we could use just a bit of it mixed with the fibreglass."

Fast forward three years, and both men are scratching their heads over why the component- which was, according to the designer, more than strong enough in fibreglass alone- has failed catastrophically even though they added a "better" material.

TL;DR: Mixing different fibres in the same load path can lead to a component being weaker than it would be if only one type of fibre had been used.

Composite chainplates: The ideal solution for composite hulls

Sometimes, old ways of doing things survive simply because "that's how it's always been".

From time to time, though, it is useful to look at the old ways to see if, in the context of modern knowledge, they still make sense. If they don't, perhaps they should be changed. In today's article, I'd like to take a look at a key component of many sailing yachts- the chainplate. Current chainplate designs date back to before the Industrial Revolution, and I think they're overdue for a redesign.

Mounting hardware on cored decks: Right and wrong ways

Improperly mounted hardware is a constant source of frustration for boat owners. Sometimes it's water leaking in through a bolt hole, sometimes it's rust bleeding onto the deck, sometimes it's a cleat that tears off its mount under load.

Here's how to mount hardware on cored fibreglass decks correctly, so you won't have to deal with it again- and a few examples of why things go wrong otherwise.

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