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  #11  
Old 10-22-2006
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The real issue I have with cored hulls is that if throughhulls are not properly installed in them, they can lead to core delamination and core breakdown with little warning. Any delamination in a cored hull is a very serious issue, and generally requires a very costly repair. I have no problem with properly designed and maintained cored hulls, but most cored hulls are not properly designed, with solid blocks of laminate where the through hulls are located, or properly maintained.

As for hull core materials, while foam has some major benefits, like rot resistance, weight, and such, it is often a poorer choice than end-grain balsa IMHO. End-grain balsa will generally help contain any water intrusion to a fairly localized area to begin with, which foam will not do. It may also be easier to detect water intrusion into a balsa cored hull, rather than a foam cored hull. A foam-cored hull can have much larger areas of delamination, due to the water migrating along the foam/laminate boundary. Foam generally has more adhesion and lamination failure problems than does end-grain balsa as well.

One other thing to consider—the foam core technologies of the 1970s was not very good, especially compared to the foam and core materials available today, so a foam-cored hull from back then is probably at higher risk of having serious lamination failure issues.

I don't know Cooper's reputation, and have never been on a Cooper. if they designed the hull with solid laminate areas for the through hulls, and the previous owners have not mucked it up, by adding through hulls in areas of the hull that are cored, then it very well may be an excellent choice.

However, the boat is almost thirty years old. That is a lot of time for previous owners to make mistakes. The knowledge about the weaknesses and design vulnerabilities of cored hulls was not really well known back in the late 1970s, so I am doubting that the cored hull was designed with features like solid laminate in areas where through hulls were located, as this wasn't a consideration in designing cored hulls that far back.

YMMV. Good luck, but I personally would go with a solid laminate hull on a boat that is of this vintage, as the solid laminate hulls of that era have proven themselves over and over again.
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Last edited by sailingdog; 10-22-2006 at 08:55 AM.
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  #12  
Old 10-22-2006
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Too many sleepless nights! I think I just might pass on the Cooper but am still debating. In the meanwhile there are a couple of Spencer's (1330) that have caught my eye.

Does anyone have an opinion on these boats? I've heard that they are offshore capable and built fairly strong but looking at various specs reveals that they too are cored hulls apart from the very bottom where the thru hulls are attached.

What boats are good boats to look at in the 75K to 100K range that don't have a history of blister problems. I'm not too keen on paying all my hard earned money to surveyors again and again.

Again I must really thank this forum as it has been an invaluable comfort through this whole process. Nothing counts like experience.

Cheers
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  #13  
Old 10-25-2006
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Most sailboats built in the 1970's & 1980's are likely to have some type of blistering problem. The questions as always is how bad? I found out that our boat, a Tartan 37 had blisters a few months after our purchase. I had the hull sandblasted to remove several layers of old bottom paint, and there they were. At first I was very concerned and angered that the surveyor didnt pick up on them more, it was mentioned that there were some moisture concerns but nothing to stop the survey. Turns out they were mostly just cosmetic blisters. I repaired the blisters and we'll see how I did in the spring. With this said, I would still recommend checking out a Tartan 37.

There are several on YachtWorld right now in that price range, some of which look in great shape and well taken care for. I even recall one mentioning that it had a professional bottom job done. Tartans also have great membership organizations such as the Tartan Owners Group, Tartan 37 Association, and more.

You can view several articles on the interent about them and Cruising Wolrd/SAIL Mags mention them with several other higher priced boats in an article about offshore crusing vessels. Older Tartans are generally considered a very good quailty boat at a resonable price.

The bottom line with blisters is...not too many really know much about them. They are a reletivly new (last 10 -15 yeras) occurance with fiberglass boats. If there is strcutual damage, stay away, if they are small insignifacant on a sturdy boat, repair them and monitor them but I wouldnt pass on a good boat just because I found a sign of blisters. Had I known before we settled on our boat that it had blisters, yes i would have asked to reduce the purchase price a bit, but I still would have bought the Tartan over a new lesser built boat.

Of course I am a little biased considering what we sail

Last edited by T37Chef; 10-25-2006 at 04:43 PM.
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  #14  
Old 10-25-2006
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T37 is right - by the time you are looking at 25+ year old boats, some level of blistering is pretty much a given. In many cases some repair has been done previously, the quality of which will be variable. In others it's a recent development.

The blistering you described on the Cooper would have been of little concern in a single skin hull, and may well be largely cosmetic on this one as well. Perhaps you can make contact with other Cooper owners (I can provide a name if you like via PM) to get their perspective on these boats.
As for a reputable boat in your price range and likely to be locally available, I'd suggest checking out the original CS36s, they are solid, comfortable boats, but of course outside the genre of the pilothouse that the Cooper is. Beneteaus and Catalinas also do not generally use cored hulls, so something there might suit you as well. The budget you are working with is a good range for a wide variety of types/age/ etc.

Good Luck.
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Old 10-26-2006
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Any recommendations for a company or outfit who does blister repairs (gel and laminate peeling) in the Vancouver area?

As it might be likely I get an older boat with the pox - I wouldn't mind breating some new life into the old girl if the price is alright.

Cheers
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  #16  
Old 10-26-2006
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FYI...most of the proffesional peel jobs I looked into "start" at $250 per foot (lwl)

Good luck
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Old 11-07-2006
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In for a penny in for a pound ...

Well I took the plunge and am now a new used boat owner. I purchased the Cooper 416, warts (blisters) and all. I got a pretty good price reduction on the boat due in no large part to the blisters she had and have a good deal lined up for getting the bottom peeled and epoxied.

Thanks for all the advice and opinions. Very valuable!

I have some engine questions but will post them accordingly in the proper sections.

Cheers
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  #18  
Old 11-07-2006
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Congrats!!!!!!!! Good luck with that blister repair job.
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Old 11-08-2006
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You're in good company:

"I got blistas on me fingas!"

- Ringo Star

(I'll continue to contribute what I can on the topic of blisters )
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  #20  
Old 11-08-2006
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Good on you, Sunstar, welcome to the bright side!

Did you line up some moorage here in Vancouver??
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