The beginning of the fiberglass boat: the most ubiquitous vessel on the Intracoastal

The invention and development of the Fiberglas boat would forever change the market for small recreational boats.  A boat manufactured out of wood was labor intensive and heavy by Fiberglas standards. It required exacting machinery and processes to produce a watertight vessel. So-called glass wool was developed in the 1930’s for insulation and other purposes by DuPont, Corning Glass, and American Cyanamide.  Research and development efforts to bring World War II to a close would result in the second material needed to make fiberglass or Fiberglas by the end of the 1940’s.

Along with the United States, Great Britain and France worked on the resin necessary to turn the lightweight glass  wool into a solid as strong as some metals.  Molding the product would eliminate the need for precision manufacturing of a leak-free solid.

This two-minute 1958 video by the British Pathe Company ironically shows British leadership in the first useful product made of fiberglass–the small recreational boat the middle-class could afford and wanted now that the war was over  Today, sales of small recreational boats dominate the marketing of all boats in the United States. Dedicated

Tap on this link for a two-minute film here displayed for educational purposes only.

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