Cold-molding - Anglers Journal - A Fishing Life

Catching the Horizon, By Chris Landry continued

“Talk about the advantages of cold-molding”


Even though cold-molded is a building technique, the term has come to mean a wood boat encapsulated in fiberglass. The hull comes off of a jig and is built by laminating layers of wood or wood planks. The stringers are usually fir and the planking Okoume plywood. The cold-molded method can be used with other materials, like composites. But a cold-molded boat using wood is the only way I would build a boat. There are a lot of boats built without wood that catch a lot of fish. I am not going to say a cold-molded boat will always catch you more fish, but if you put good captains on a cold-molded boat and a fiberglass boat, the cold-molded boat will do better over time. I know they’re quieter and feel better, and they’re very strong, lightweight and watertight.



Some boats have a little magic in them and some don’t. I don’t think a foam-cored boat fishes nearly as well as a cold-molded wood-cored boat. On some of these all-glass and foam-cored boats the whole boat has a bit of a buzz to it. They resonate a different sound. Cold-molded boats have an excellent strength-to-weight ratio. We could always build a glass boat, but you have to build it up so heavy you lose performance. The combination of the composites and the plywood hull is the ultimate answer.



We have completely solid fiberglass bottoms without any core, which differentiates us from the pack. We adhere to the solid bottom for durability and safety. Fiberglass is definitely a stiffer material, and stiffer will typically transfer noise or vibration more. The wood is not as stiff or dense, so it does have that insulating quality. But it comes down to whether you are able to tolerate a low-frequency noise, a droning effect you might get from a wood hull, versus a high-frequency noise. And how that stacks up against the ability to raise fish, well, that’s part of the black art of this business.



The cold-molded boat is a stronger boat than plank-on-frame. Some guys won’t admit that, but it’s true. We haven’t built anything but cold-molded boats since 1986 or 1985.



The flexibility is a huge benefit. We don’t have a mold. Once you go to a mold your hands are tied if you want to make changes.



We don’t have millions of dollars invested in molds, so it’s easy to adapt to what the customer wants, whether it’s a different look or a larger size. It’s hard to beat the strength-to-weight ratio of cold-molded boats. With that, we have considerable weight savings over solid glass boats, or even many cored boats.


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