My O'Day 19 has a seemingly fatal design flaw. The top of the deck, where it meets the side of the hull has a lip that juts out about two inches and provides a sharp spot that catches on the dock, making me worry that I'll bust it off in heavy waves. Is there anything I can do to modify the boat to make up for this problem?
Dan Dickison responds:
Thanks for your question. A hull-deck flange like the one you describe isn't ideal, you're right, but altering is a bigger job than you might think. And I suspect that doing so wouldn't be cost-effective when judged relative to the value of your boat. Consider that you'd first have to haul the boat out and saw or grind off the flange. Then you'd be left without a hull-deck joint, so you'd need to engineer another system. You might be able to employ successive layers of fiberglass over the outside and inside of this joint to create a smooth, strong bond that would replace the flange. That would certainly solve your problems at the dock, but keep in mind that this project would probably require in the neighborhood of 25-plus hours of work grinding and fiberglassing. Are you up for that?
The other fix that you might consider is adding a rubrail over the flange. I used to own a Cal 25 that had its hull and deck seamed together in the same way. The flange that protruded from the hull and deck was encased with a rub rail made from a rubbery vinyl that was stretched around the bow from the starboard transom to the port transom. At each end it was anchored with bolts run through a bracket. A rub rail won't keep this protrusion from catching on the dock, but it will protect the joint and other objects that it's apt to bump into. To resolve the problems at the dock, I suggest you try altering the method you use to tie up the boat. Use spring lines or breast lines to keep the boat off the dock. That's the easier solution to your problem.
Here's hoping that this information helps.