North America and Europe are fiberglass and metallic destinations.
Nearly all of the yachts from there are constructed of fiberglass or metal.
Turkey is different. Fiber-w rules supreme in Turkey. What is
fiber-w? It's plain old-fashioned wood.
Modern sailors tend to scorn wooden boats. They like their fiberglass
yachts and may even tell you that it's maintenance free. Their
seductive fiberglass gospel sounds good, especially if your yacht is going
to sail the calm seas of Marina Land ninety-nine percent of the time.
Fiberglass works extremely well for boats that spend their time in marinas.
But take those light displacement fiberglass yachts offshore for a couple of
years, and you'll discover why so many real mariners still love fiber-w.
The sea has a habit of testing yachts to destruction. The ocean
doesn't care about your yacht, and it never tires of assaulting your hull
with the full force of nature. That's why fiber-w is often superior to
fiberglass. When the chips are down, a lightly constructed fiberglass hull
can fail, whereas, the same size wooden hull can flex forever without loss
Most people don't realize that when you flex a fiberglass panel it loses
strength over time. Laboratories can put a fiberglass panel in a
machine that flexes the panel hundreds of thousands of times, and they can
record the reduction in panel strength as a function of the number
of times the panel flexes. What they are doing is exactly what the
ocean does to your yacht. They are flexing a panel of fiberglass the
way the ocean flexes the hull on your yacht. The only difference is that
they know exactly how much weaker the hull becomes each time your hull
flexes at sea.
Fiber-w is completely different; it's almost totally resistant to damage
from forces that cause it to flex. You can subject a wooden panel to a
million cycles of flexion, and its strength remains undiminished.
That should not come as a great surprise, because there are trees blowing in
the wind everywhere, and they experience trillions of flexing cycles without breaking. Hurricane force winds may bend a tree over and even
uproot it, but the tree trunk rarely breaks. That's why we see giant
trees that are five-hundred years old. They're made of fiber-w, and
wood fiber may bend, but it usually doesn't break.
Wood is susceptible to worms and dry rot, but it's not susceptible to damage
from repeated cycles of flexing at sea. Old time mariners loved wood
because they could work it with their hands, and they could trust it to
survive the most savage seas. As a boat building material, it's
unsurpassed, and if you take care of it, it will take care of you.
Take a look at these Turkish gulets made out of fiber-w. They are
awesomely beautiful and incredibly strong. They can take a licking and
keep on ticking for ten lifetimes if properly maintained.
If I was building a catamaran, I would construct the hull out of fiber-w and
sheath it in fiberglass. The fiber-w would provide lifelong strength,
and the fiberglass sheath would protect it from dry rot and toredo worms.
God didn't make fiberglass trees for a reason. He didn't want to us
live in a fiberglass jungle in which we we are always getting clobbered by
fractured fiberglass trunks falling over on us. Instead, He gave us a
magnificent gift called wood. Fiber-w is as good as it gets.