Header Graphic





From his youthful days serving a boatbuilding apprenticeship on the Mississippi river in St. Louis, Missouri building wood and steel boats for inland service to the fastest boats for the SEAL TEAM (USN) in Vietnam, Fry has had opportunity to design and build boats in all the commonly accepted materials.

Today the common materials in use worldwide are: Wood (cold molded), Steel, Aluminum and Fiberglass (Hand lay up or Infusion). All the materials are limited and all have advantages which every Owner must consider before deciding on which is best for his project. The type of boat/yacht often makes the determination easy. The environmental conditions and the builder’s capability are also a big influence.


Above carpenter prepares the 35m hull for
fourth layer 8 x 80mm mahogany plank.


The oldest boats in the world are made of wood a natural and beautiful boat building material. In past decades the building system called “cold molding” has replaces traditional wood construction in most areas. Cold molding involves using multiple lengths of thin planks which are bonded together with epoxy making the finished hull composite unit. With wood there is no smell, no rust and limited noise. The finished product is strong, very durable and with minimum maintenance wood is material of preference for many custom yacht Owners.



For strength and durability no material is better than steel; however, it is heavy material and generally not the best for fast yachts. For Motoryacht and Explorer yachts where weight is not a penalty, steel is the choice of most Owners’ and designers’. For a displacement yacht steel is the most comfortable and seaworthy material both at anchor and underway. Maintenance on the exterior hull is minimum. The life of the boat is determined by the quality of the first coating on the inside of the hull since some areas are not accessible for maintenance. If damaged worldwide steel repair facilities are plentiful.

(Pictured Left) - Steel gives the designer freedom to create (one off) custom designs, at reasonable cost.

Main and bridge deck cabins for M/Y YALLA built by Heesen Yachts


Is an ideal material for custom building of a fast yacht, It can be formed to the desired styling without loss of strength or expensive molds. The higher material is off-set by the ease of construction so that many builders claim the cost to be the same as steel. So for a fast boat you give up some at anchor comfort because of the lighter displacement and hull design. Most steel hulls have aluminum superstructures and doors for weight savings.

Above 105 ft hull easily removed from a split mold even with 10 hard chines and lifting strakes


Fiberglass hit the market in 1960 and quickly became the best material for small production boats where they are building hundreds each day. Now 50 years later yachts up to 50m (164 ft) are being built of fiberglass. As long as Owners accept their custom yacht to be identical to others there can be a cost savings. If a gell coat finish is acceptable (which rarely is above 20m 65 ft) there can be some paint maintenance savings

 Return to Fryco Design
Return to Home Page



3050 Scarlet Oak Pl.

North Fort Myers, FL  

33903-7149, USA 

Ed Fry 


Ed Fry
Email: Click Here

FRYCO Turkey
Rauf Orbay Caddesi
No: 21/2
Tuzla, Istanbul
Mehmet Yurdakul
Email: Click Here