gelcoat cracks beneteau 361 - SailNet Community

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Old 07-09-2011
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gelcoat cracks beneteau 361

I have a lightly used fresh water only 2003 beneteau 361. Numberous fine cracks have appeared in the gelcoat on the deck as well as in the fiberglass of the steering pedestal and cockpit seats. Is this a common problem or a manufacturing defect? The cracks began to appear when the boat was new and have continued to develop. Beneteau and the local dealer have not been helpful. Has anyone else experienced this problem with their beneteau?
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Old 07-09-2011
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Jim--

It is not unusual to find some stress-cracks at tightly radiused corners, particularly if the yacht's been worked hard but finding them in flat deck areas is very uncommon in my experience. Unfortunately, the boat is now 8 years old or so (you did say 2003) and it is a bit late to be going back to Beneteau at this point. Just how bad are these cracks you describe.
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gelcoat cracks

cracks are generally 2-4 inches in length in flat areas or deck. Has developed extensive cracking at radius corners of cockpit seat/lazarette covers. Originally spoke with Beneteau dealer as they began to develop and received minimal to no help. Beneteau equally unhelpful. Dealer did attempt several repairs in non skid but discolored and cracks have returned. Very unhappy with the quality.
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It sounds as if you may have unusually brittle gel-coat and I wonder whether boats built at the same time as yours--with the same gel-coat batch-are having similar problems. For what its worth, Beneteau does sell Gel-Coat patch kits in matched colors although I do not know old the boats may be before the repair kits become unavailable. Another alternative is repair kit source is Spectrum Color I have used the Spectrum kit and found it pretty good. Frankly, I also found that a thin mix of MarineTex, applied sparingly and "polished" with 600 and then 1000 grit works pretty well too.
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Jim
I have a 2008 Beneteau 40 with the same problem. Again, the dealer has made some repairs, but they and Beneteau say it is normal. Mine existed at time of purchase- boat was two years old and had sat in the yard one year and only lightly sailed as a demo the next year. I have also noted very thin gelcoat in places- almost like it is worn through. My speculation is that this is poor construction by Beneteau. There have been other similiar problems with the boat. Have you figured a way to repair all these cracks?
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I was looking at my 84 Bristol yesterday, and there are a couple of spots with gelcoat cracks. They are all at points where stress is concentrated when crew move around.

A few cracks on the deck where you first step when boarding the boat. A few more on the corner by the lazarette when you would step as you enter the cockpit. A couple of spots at the rear, adjacent to the cleats. (can see those causing some stress)

I was alarmed at the time, now I feel better
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Quote:
Originally Posted by svHyLyte View Post
It sounds as if you may have unusually brittle gel-coat and I wonder whether boats built at the same time as yours--with the same gel-coat batch-are having similar problems. For what its worth, Beneteau does sell Gel-Coat patch kits in matched colors although I do not know old the boats may be before the repair kits become unavailable. Another alternative is repair kit source is Spectrum Color I have used the Spectrum kit and found it pretty good. Frankly, I also found that a thin mix of MarineTex, applied sparingly and "polished" with 600 and then 1000 grit works pretty well too.
I tried to find some info on the UV resistance of the white MarineTex, and didn't really. Do you think it has good lifetime with respect to UV? Or should it be painted over?
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