Learning the HARD way...
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Boston / Ft Myers Area
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Re: Balsa cored hulls
From what I have seen and please correct me if my observations are wrong, but I have yet to see a production boat, other than pure race boats to be completely foam cored. What I have observed is the foam finishes at the waterline and the underwater part of the hull is solid glass. I do know that Ben, Dahl, Jano and Bov, did look at at some point look at totally foam cored and did make a few boats in all core, but went back to solid glass below the waterline. It may have to do with the fact they all use bolt on keels.
I was looking to buy a 1990 Pearson 34 until I discovered that the entire hull was balsa cored, and observed two dish sized circular cracks in the bottom paint just below the water line. I checked the hull with my moisture meter, and found very high moisture at these circles, and from there down to the keel stub.
Here is a pic;
My theory is that something impacted with the hull below the waterline, enough to crack the outer skin, and allow water penetration to the core. Water traveled down the through the core, and would soon begin to delaminate the hull. Whomever bought this vessel was going to have to pay for a VERY expensive bottom job.
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USCG Licensed OUPV Captain, ASA 101/103/104/105/106/118 Certified Instructor - Also certified in Recreational Marine Electrical Systems
Last edited by eherlihy; 02-11-2013 at 03:51 PM.
Reason: added pic