Seaplanes Aircraft that typically take off and land on water...radio control seaplane discussions are in here.

What is the best covering for seaplane/

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Old 01-27-2018, 05:19 PM
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ziggy138
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Default What is the best covering for seaplane/

Building a Sea Dancer plane and almost ready to cover it. Problem is this is my first seaplane and I am not sure which covering to use on it. Film is faster and lighter in weight but not sure it will hold up. Fabric is stronger but weights a lot more and takes more time to paint. Can you guys please give me some first hand experience and pros and cons of each. Thanks for any help you can give me.
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Old 01-28-2018, 05:35 AM
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scale only 4 me
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Fiberglass and paint is the only way to go IMO. Iron on film on the floats or a seaplane hull will come loose and leak eventually,

good luck
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Old 01-28-2018, 07:52 AM
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Default Seaplane covering.

Like your answer. Problem is this plane has open structure on wings and back half of fuse. I will fiberglass floats and solid sections of fuse. NOW what to do with open areas ????? Cover with film, fabric or sheet balsa. Balsa would stick out and look like an after thought. So now only film and fabric left. I am leaning toward fabric as I believe it will hold up longer. I plan to cover frame work with Balsarite first and then cover frame work. I will have to fill fabric weave with primer and then paint all of plane. I know this will add a load of weight and time to build.
Question is, all that worth time and effort ?? Will it hold up to repeated water take offs and landing ?? Anything I can do to help myself out ??
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Old 01-28-2018, 08:21 AM
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Use iron-on covering as it's been done that way for decades. No issues with it if it is done properly.

You need to keep float/sea planes light. If you plan on sheeting, using fabric/Coverite, and/or painting....make sure the plane is overpowered !
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Old 01-28-2018, 09:49 AM
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Default Packing tape over the iron-on film

Put a layer of transparent packing tape over the iron-on film on the bottom of the hull. Fiberglass not necessary.
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Old 01-29-2018, 08:54 AM
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Default Seaplane covering.

THANKS TO BOTH FLYINWALENDA AND OLIVEDRAB, Both ideas are valid and sound good to me. Packing tape is something NEW to me, sounds like a good way to stop covering from becoming lose and leaking at seams. Yes I am over powering my Sea Dancer as Fred Reese designed plane for .40 to 60 engine I am using a OS 61 FX with 12 or 13 inch 3 blade prop. I did raise engine pylon 1 inch for larger props and to keep water spray down. I am also going to fiberglass hull bottom with 3/4 oz. cloth just to be safe on water tight and hull strength. I also increased aileron width by 1/2 inch and added flaps too. Film will be easy to repair and lot fast to cover.
Any other help out there ??
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Old 02-04-2018, 11:16 AM
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RDJeff
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Maybe a bit late here, but something else that works is to cover the open bays with Solartex, then paint everything with System III paint. It is a WBPU boat paint, so it is waterproof, and with the cross-linker added, is fuel proof also. There is a good thread about this paint over at RCG.

Also, I found that Minwax makes a polyurethane sanding sealer that I like to use before the System III paint. I've had good results so far using the sanding sealer and no primer.
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Old 02-05-2018, 04:54 PM
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Default covering sea plane.

Thank you, your answer is very good and I will give it a try. Ken C
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Old 02-05-2018, 06:10 PM
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RDJeff
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Here's one I did. It has Chinakote on the wings, and the rest is done with System III. This was done with foam brushes, no spraying.
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Old 03-20-2018, 01:02 AM
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RDJeff,

That's a really interesting plane! Any more pictures/details available?
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