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Old 09-27-2013
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Would you buy an early 80's cored hull boat?

I know that the cored hull issue has been kicked around for some time now but I am wondering if those who support the cored hull concept would consider buying a 30-35 year old cored hull boat. Since I have started seriously considering buying another boat I have begun to have doubts about a cored hull that is that long in the tooth so to speak. I know that the chances of water intrusion would increase with age but I don't have any idea of what the odds would be or to what extent. If anyone has experience with this Please enlighten me.
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Old 09-28-2013
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Re: Would you buy an early 80's cored hull boat?

Sure. Water intrusion is most likely where the hull has been penetrated, for example, cockpit drains, exhaust discharge, through hulls, knot log, depth sounder, etc. You should inspect these areas particularly carefully. Sometimes you'll find that the manufacturer has solid glass in these areas.
Initially I'd be more concerned about leaks in the deck particularly around the chainplates.
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Old 09-28-2013
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Re: Would you buy an early 80's cored hull boat?

A survey should spot a wet cored hull. Decks are of WAY more concern.
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Old 09-28-2013
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Re: Would you buy an early 80's cored hull boat?

you mean balsa cored... foam cored is ok... you know like a Capri... hehehe
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Old 09-28-2013
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Re: Would you buy an early 80's cored hull boat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by contrarian View Post
I know that the cored hull issue has been kicked around for some time now but I am wondering if those who support the cored hull concept would consider buying a 30-35 year old cored hull boat. Since I have started seriously considering buying another boat I have begun to have doubts about a cored hull that is that long in the tooth so to speak. I know that the chances of water intrusion would increase with age but I don't have any idea of what the odds would be or to what extent. If anyone has experience with this Please enlighten me.
Yes I would, after a thorough marine survey on the hard and the expectation that I might be repairing the hull at some point at great expense/inconvenience. The answer to your question depends on the builder and the maintenance. Some hulls were only cored about the waterline, others the entire hull. C&Cs, J/boats and early Olsons were all well-built cored boats that are still out there winning races and cruising.

Wet core is not the end of the world. It can be repaired and it does not necessarily diminish structural strength to the point where you would be in peril.

There are some more thorough discussions on this topic over in Sailing Anarchy, because more racing sailboats than cruising sailboats were cored. It seems many buy cored boats with the expectation that they will initially repair the trouble spots, often the transom with an external-hung rudder, and thru-hulls, and monitor the hull for degradation.
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Old 09-28-2013
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Re: Would you buy an early 80's cored hull boat?

I personally would prefer a solid FRP hull but some cored hulls of that vintage are still as dry and sound as the day they were built. it all depends on the builder. In those days a QC program was a rare thing and some builders built great boats on Tuesday and crap on Thursday. Any boat with a cored hull (whatever it's cored with) should be out of the water for 48hrs before survey.

Numbers off the top of my head ...... My experience shows that J-boats and Nonsuchs have a 50-50 chance of serious core degradation in the bottom, C&C's approx. 30%.

The cost to re-core the deck on a typical 30' sailboat in Southern Ontario is somewhere over 10k. I was recently involved with a Nonsuch 30 bottom core job that was quoted at 60k.

The cost to recore a bottom is much higher than decks because of the difficulty of working overhead and the extreme amount of fairing involved.

be careful and you can still find a good one.
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Old 09-28-2013
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I own a 1977-built boat with an airex foam cored hull. No problems, and many nice pluses over a solid hull.

I would most definitely examine the hull closely before purchasing. Pay close attention to any owner-installed thru fittings. Ensure you know the history of the boat (any hard groundings). Get a good survey. Research the original build quality.

If the answers all come back positive, then I'd have no concerns buying the boat.
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Old 09-28-2013
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Re: Would you buy an early 80's cored hull boat?

Quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I personally would prefer a solid FRP hull but some cored hulls of that vintage are still as dry and sound as the day they were built. it all depends on the builder. In those days a QC program was a rare thing and some builders built great boats on Tuesday and crap on Thursday. Any boat with a cored hull (whatever it's cored with) should be out of the water for 48hrs before survey.
Boat Poker, you make some interesting points especially the 48 hours on the hard before a survey is initiated. This was part of my concern as well, in that I believe there is always saturation before de-lamination and the possibility that it could be missed in the survey. Of course I wouldn’t have the expertise of Dave Pascoe ( Cheap Shot… Sorry ) to make the determination. There are posts on this forum regarding saturated hull cores that do give me pause, one in particular by Sailing Dog with respect to a mounting screw for a bilge pump that created an enormous amount of saturation. I know this probably seems a little paranoid for the purchase of a <30k boat but for me it’s probably equivalent to Bill Gates buying a Billion dollar boat (can’t comment on Larry Ellison). Anyway the boat in question is a Tartan 33 which has coring below the waterline and is one of the boats on my short list. As I put the pluses and minuses down on paper I am counting the cored hull as a minus. It’s not a deal breaker but it definitely has my attention.

While I am at it I thought I would throw out some of my thoughts on my short list and see if I can get any additional feedback. What I like about the Tartan is the Scheel keel which gives shallow draft without some of the pitfalls of the wing keel although it is a double edged sword in that the pointing ability of the boat is compromised. I like the cockpit configuration of the boat and I just like the way the boat looks…sweet lines topsides anyway, down below not so much but definitely acceptable. The downside is I don’t think it would be a great light air boat which I kinda need, doesn’t point well and then there’s the cored hull issue.

Other boats on the short list are the Beneteau First series from the mid eighties, 345,325,305 in that order.
The only ones I am considering are the tiller steered shoal draft versions. While I don’t find these quite as aesthetically pleasing as the Tartan they are quite acceptable in that regard and I find that the interior layout below to be superior. I believe that the 325 and 345 even with the shoal draft would point higher and sail faster in light wind than any of the other boats on my list but I am guessing on the basis of PHRF ratings and not on actual experience.

The other boats rounding out the list are the Niagara 31, the Ericson 32-3 and finally the Pearson 10m simply because it is local, can be bought cheap and Dan Pfiefer has a terrific support site, otherwise I really wouldn’t consider the Pearson because of the draft.
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Old 09-28-2013
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Re: Would you buy an early 80's cored hull boat?

Not all 80 C&C are cored boats. Our 83 MKIII is not except the topside is.

Are well taken maintained of cored boat has no other difficulties than any other boat. The balsa core adds strength and stiffness.

Dave

Quote:
Originally Posted by jameswilson29 View Post
Yes I would, after a thorough marine survey on the hard and the expectation that I might be repairing the hull at some point at great expense/inconvenience. The answer to your question depends on the builder and the maintenance. Some hulls were only cored about the waterline, others the entire hull. C&Cs, J/boats and early Olsons were all well-built cored boats that are still out there winning races and cruising.

Wet core is not the end of the world. It can be repaired and it does not necessarily diminish structural strength to the point where you would be in peril.

There are some more thorough discussions on this topic over in Sailing Anarchy, because more racing sailboats than cruising sailboats were cored. It seems many buy cored boats with the expectation that they will initially repair the trouble spots, often the transom with an external-hung rudder, and thru-hulls, and monitor the hull for degradation.
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Last edited by chef2sail; 09-28-2013 at 08:22 PM.
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Old 09-28-2013
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Re: Would you buy an early 80's cored hull boat?

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Originally Posted by chef2sail View Post
Not all 80 C&C are cored boats. Our 83 MKIII is not except the topside
Dave what am I missing here, the brochures found on line for these boats say "balsa cored hull" and the ones I have looked had balsa to within 13" of the keel.

PS. I find the word topside confusing as most use it improperly. The "topside" is the area between the water line and the toe rail, is this what you meant ?
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