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  • Boat Building
    Most boats were mainly built of natural materials, chiefly wood, up until the mid 19th century. Then around that time, a steel or iron wire framework was used to construct the boats hull, which was then covered with cement (called a 'ferro-cement boat construction, patented by the French in 1855). Steel ships and boats then became more commonplace, and replaced wooden boats in many industrial uses. Then aluminium became the popular material around the mid 20th century. Boats (especially recreational) made from fibreglass then became popular around the mid 1960s. The advantage of a fibreglass boat is that the material is extremely strong and does not rust or corrode. The disadvantages are that fibreglass can be heavy (to balance this lighter components need to be incorporated into the design), and that sunlight and temperature extremes can degrade the structural integrity over time. A lot of home built vessels today are constructed using plywood and then either covered in fibreglass and resin, or painted.