Older Boats-How Long will they Last? - Page 3 - SailNet Community

   Search Sailnet:

 forums  store  


Quick Menu
Forums           
Articles          
Galleries        
Boat Reviews  
Classifieds     
Search SailNet 
Boat Search (new)

Shop the
SailNet Store
Anchor Locker
Boatbuilding & Repair
Charts
Clothing
Electrical
Electronics
Engine
Hatches and Portlights
Interior And Galley
Maintenance
Marine Electronics
Navigation
Other Items
Plumbing and Pumps
Rigging
Safety
Sailing Hardware
Trailer & Watersports
Clearance Items

Advertise Here






Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Boat Review and Purchase Forum
 Not a Member? 


Like Tree3Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
  #21  
Old 07-08-2007
USCGRET1990's Avatar
SENIOR CHIEF
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: YORKTOWN, VA
Posts: 1,380
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 8
USCGRET1990 is on a distinguished road
Some of you must be quite bored in that you are writing mini-novels saying what I said in a sentence or two....
...as for dock damage or whatever, a serious crack in an old FG hull is easily spotted and repaired...
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #22  
Old 07-08-2007
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Beacon, New York
Posts: 652
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 8
Tartan34C will become famous soon enough
Fiberglass is not an unknown material today. A lot of papers have been written and a lot of testing has been done to put numbers to this question of useful life span. Three studies immediately come to mind and they are the cutting of sections from a particular Coast Guard motor life boat every 10 years over the life of the boat, the cutting of sections from the fairing around the sail on a submarine also on a set schedule and the study done by Gibbs & Cox at the request of Owens Corning to determine the design properties and fatigue life of polyester laminates. In 40 years of testing the mechanical properties of the glass did not change in any of the tests on the motor lifeboat or submarine. And the testing done by Gibbs & Cox set a design value for stress cycles that translates into some huge number that meant you had to sail every day in above average wind and seas for over 70 years to see a change for a properly designed structure. Unfortunately I don’t have the papers in front of me so I can’t give you exact numbers but glass is going to be around for a long time.

The thing you want to pay attention to is the design and construction of the boat. A weak design will fail in just a few years and a suitable design has proven itself over 40 years and its still going strong. The debate should be about how to care for the glass and what constitutes a good design. The things like superficial crazing of the surface of the waterproofing of the underwater areas of the boat are things that need to be addressed. Buy a suitable boat for the sailing you do and take care of her and she will outlast you.
All the best,
Robert Gainer
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #23  
Old 07-08-2007
danjarch's Avatar
Siren 17
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Grapevine TX
Posts: 1,862
Thanks: 1
Thanked 4 Times in 4 Posts
Rep Power: 8
danjarch will become famous soon enough
Oh well, it's been fun, but my girl is coming over and I should really vacume this place. See you guys later.
__________________
!! WARNING !! The above information is to be used by intelligent people only. If you are Stupid, could be considered a moron, or otherwise. You are instructed to disregard this information and seek the help of a licensed and bonded professional.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #24  
Old 07-08-2007
USCGRET1990's Avatar
SENIOR CHIEF
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: YORKTOWN, VA
Posts: 1,380
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 8
USCGRET1990 is on a distinguished road
Maintaining Fiberglass
Regular fiberglass care prolongs boat life

Fiberglass boats are maintenance free. You'll read it and hear it while you're looking at boats, but don't believe a word of it. I suppose in comparison to wooden boats, fiberglass boats might be termed "virtually maintenance free," but you'd still better plan to spend a few weekends to keep that dream boat in perfect shape. Let's take a look at some of the areas you'll need to work on, starting at the bottom and working upwards.

Bottom
The underwater surfaces of your boat need to be protected from the growth of barnacles and algae, even if you only plan to leave your boat in the water for a short time. You'll find noticeable growth in a few days in most areas, and barnacles that attach themselves to an unprotected hull can permanently scar the fiberglass surface. The solution is to cover the entire bottom with so-called "antifouling" paint, which contains various poisons to retard growth. There are a multitude of different antifouling paints, designed for different areas and different boat types. A racing sailboat, for example, should have a hard antifouling paint so that drag is kept to a minimum. A cruising sailboat might use a softer bottom paint since speed isn't as much of a concern as the longevity of the paint. Talk to owners of similar boats as well as boatyards and boat dealers to see what they recommend in your area. Some paint companies formulate different paints depending upon the area, since growth occurs more rapidly in warm climates such as Florida and California than it does in colder waters of the northern areas.

Whatever paint you choose, be sure that the bottom is prepared correctly. Bare fiberglass should be etched with a chemical preparation or carefully sanded to insure good adhesion of the paint. If you have to sand down an existing antifouling paint, be sure you wear a breathing mask and clothing to keep the dust off your skin, since the paint is still poisonous. The majority of boatyards and do-it-yourselfers use rollers to apply the bottom paint, and you'll find that the average boat can be done in a few hours.

Topsides
The topsides of a boat are the area between the waterline and the rail, and they take a tremendous beating from the effects of spray, sun, and even the occasional brush with a pier. Fiberglass boats have the color molded into the surface gelcoat, but you'll need to polish the topsides at least yearly to keep it bright and shiny. Without care, the color layer can oxidize, causing white hulls to turn dull and colored hulls to take on a hazy cast. To keep the fiberglass in like-new condition, you should wax it regularly, using a wax formulated for marine use since automotive waxes don't have the fillers needed to seal the pores in the gel coat. If you wax the hull regularly, you'll never need to worry about any oxidation, but you'd be the exception. Most of us have to use a mild rubbing compound first to remove the haze and then finish up with a good marine wax to restore the shine. You can do it by hand, but you'll be a lot happier if you buy or rent an automotive buffer with several different pads. Keep the buffer moving so it doesn't heat up the fiberglass and watch out for edges or corners where you can accidentally buff through the color coat.

Deck
The deck of your boat also takes a beating from the sun, from dirt and grime ground in by the non-slip treads of deck shoes, and even from an occasional spilled coffee or soft drink. Regular washings with fresh water and a mild soap will keep the deck clean, and most stains can be removed with a liquid detergent. The non-slip areas of the deck should never be waxed, but you can get the rough surface clean by using a stiff-bristled brush. If a stain is particularly stubborn, you might try a little household abrasive cleanser on it, but never use the cleanser on a smooth fiberglass surface! Smooth areas of the cabin sides can be waxed just like the hull, but don't wax any area where you're likely to walk.

Wood
Most fiberglass sailboats have a minimum amount of wood on the deck, but you'll still have to take care of whatever there is. Teak is both the easiest and the most difficult material, since you have a variety of choices and finishes. Teak can be left alone until it weathers to a whitish-gray finish that some people like and others hate. If you'd rather have the look of Scandinavian furniture, then you'll want to use one of the commercial teak oils on your teak. This is, however, an on-going commitment since the teak oil isn't permanent. The teak will start to darken after one season so you'll have to remove the oil by chemicals or sanding and then re-oil the teak. The last method is to varnish the teak, but teak is such an oily wood that you need extra care to insure that the varnish adheres properly. Like oil, you'll need to renew your varnish yearly, and more often if you're in a sunny climate or if your varnish is chipped or scuffed.

The other common wood found on fiberglass sailboats is mahogany, which has it's own set of requirements. Mahogany can be finished with varnish, but you'll probably like the color better if you use a wood stain first to enhance the grain and even out the tones. After one or two seasons, you'll see that chips in the varnish have allowed saltwater to seep in and darken the mahogany. If it doesn't bother you, then you can simply varnish over the dark spots, but if you prefer more perfection, you'll need to strip off the varnish, sand and bleach the bare wood, re-stain and re-varnish. That sounds like a lot of trouble for a toe-rail or cockpit coaming, but it makes a pleasant afternoon project.

Interior
The interior of your boat is likely to have a variety of materials that will need your attention periodically. The bulkheads may be solid wood, veneer, formica, or simply painted plywood and you'll need to find out which is which before you do any maintenance. If you plan to varnish the bulkheads or other wood areas, you might want to use a satin finish varnish to reduce the reflections and glare, although a gloss finish can certainly make your boat sparkle.

Bunk cushions should be aired out regularly to prevent mildew, particularly if they've gotten wet. The salt that remains after a cushion dries will pick up moisture from the air and create a damp feeling. You can have the cushions professionally cleaned, or you can simply remove the foam and hose down the fabric cover to get rid of most of the dirt and salt.

Mast and Rigging
The rigging and gear on a sailboat should be maintained as regularly as you have your car tuned up. The aluminum mast should be rinsed off to remove corrosive salt spray as well as dirt that can stain sails, and you should plan to go aloft several times a year to check everything over. The wire shrouds and stays should be inspected for kinks or broken strands (replace them immediately if you find any!), the spreaders should be cleaned off and the tape protecting the spreader tips should be replaced. Once a year, you should plan to put a coat of car wax on your mast to help it resist the elements and make it easier to clean. If your mast is anodized, it'll be less likely to pit, but bare aluminum will soon develop a coat of oxidation. You can leave it alone, since it doesn't affect strength, you can lightly wet-sand and wax the mast yearly to reduce the corrosion, or you can paint the spar. Modern two-part finishes should be sprayed by a professional, but they can assure you of a flawless mast for many seasons.

Winches should be disassembled, the residue of old grease, dirt and salt removed, and then the manufacturers instructions should be followed to lubricate and reassemble them. All running rigging should be inspected regularly, but once a year you should make a point to dump all your lines into fresh water for a good rinsing to restore their original flexibility.

Sails
You'll find yourself checking your sails as you sail, and any small rips or tears should be repaired immediately before they grow larger. It's a good idea to leave your sails with your sailmaker yearly for the inspection and repair of any flaws, and many sailmakers can have your sails washed for you at the same time. In Dacron, the material rarely fails except when pierced by a sharp object but, since the fabric is so hard, the stitching remains on top rather than sinking in. This means that any chafing on mast or rigging is directly on the stitching, which can wear or break. Given annual attention, a set of sails can have years of useful life.

Engines
Even though the wind is your primary power, your engine should be ready to perform when you need it, and that will only happen if you take care of it. There's nothing mystical about keeping your engine tuned, but it is something that you want to schedule regularly. Unlike your car, however, where you think in terms of mileage between servicings, you'll want to think in months for your boat. Even if you only use your boat occasionally, plan to change the oil and check the engine over as though you'd used it regularly. Like any engine, marine power plants need clean oil and fuel, a fully-charged battery and a reasonable state of tune. Diesels are less picky than gasoline engines, but don't let your guard down. Check the alternator/generator belts for wear, check the oil levels whenever you leave the dock, check the cooling system for leaks, and watch the bilge area under the engine for oil leaks. Spark plug wires tend to self-destruct rapidly in the marine atmosphere, as do the distributor points, so be sure to carry spares and plan to change them on a regular basis.

Sound like a lot of work? It's really not bad at all, and most boat owners enjoy the rituals of keeping their boat in tip-top shape. If you plan ahead, make a list of projects, and see that they get done, you'll find that your boat will look and run like new for years.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #25  
Old 07-08-2007
sailingdog's Avatar
Telstar 28
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: New England
Posts: 43,291
Thanks: 0
Thanked 9 Times in 9 Posts
Rep Power: 13
sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice
We really don't know how long a GRP hull can last. They don't really rot. The older hulls, which were often laid up with far heavier schedules than newer boats may well last 70+ years. I don't think that is true of the newer, cored construction hulls—which are subject to far more forms of degradation than the older solid laminate hull are.
__________________
Sailingdog

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Telstar 28
New England

You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

If you're new to the Sailnet Forums... please read this
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
.

Still—DON'T READ THAT POST AGAIN.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #26  
Old 07-08-2007
bestfriend's Avatar
Hitchin' a ride
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: In my mind, I live in Oslo
Posts: 3,191
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 10
bestfriend is a jewel in the rough bestfriend is a jewel in the rough bestfriend is a jewel in the rough
Only time will tell....
Just a note on police and other rescue boats, since they were mentioned. Police, Fire, and others have long since switched to Aluminum or composite. Unsinkable, self righting boats are the preferred method of transport. And of course when I say unsinkable, I mean as unsinkable as unsinkable can be in reality. The boats are extremely strong and will resist damage to a higher breaking point. The trade off being that when they fail, it is catastrophic. But, unlike us, the government just goes out and buys a replacement.
__________________
Great men always have too much sail up. - Christopher Buckley


Vaya con Dios
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #27  
Old 07-08-2007
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Beacon, New York
Posts: 652
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 8
Tartan34C will become famous soon enough
USCGRET1990,
How fast can you type? Even if I had that much to say it would take me the day to type it.
All the best,
Robert Gainer
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #28  
Old 07-08-2007
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 318
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
wildcard is an unknown quantity at this point
Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog
We really don't know how long a GRP hull can last. They don't really rot. The older hulls, which were often laid up with far heavier schedules than newer boats may well last 70+ years. I don't think that is true of the newer, cored construction hulls—which are subject to far more forms of degradation than the older solid laminate hull are.
My boat is old, by most anyones standards, 43 now. The awe and amasement of bot the surveyor and broker as to how this boat was built said a lot. And now, they were not working together to BS me. It has never had osmosis and i have seen the surveys way back. It has had many upgrades over the years by several owners and in many ways is in far better shape that boats 1/4 it's age. Soon it will get a new barrier coat and thru hulls, just to make sure. Im betting this boat will sill be looking good and sailing far long after Im gone.
Compairing GRP boat hulls to Aluminum aircraft frames is apples and lima beans, not even close enough to be oranges.
Looking at the constuction of some of the newer boats out there, I'll bet my life on my safe old well constructed boat over a plastic bathtub boat any day.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #29  
Old 07-08-2007
USCGRET1990's Avatar
SENIOR CHIEF
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: YORKTOWN, VA
Posts: 1,380
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 8
USCGRET1990 is on a distinguished road
Wink

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tartan34C
USCGRET1990,
How fast can you type? Even if I had that much to say it would take me the day to type it.
All the best,
Robert Gainer
Google- Research/Cut and Paste...Cut and Paste...lets all say blah, blah, blah...
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #30  
Old 07-08-2007
camaraderie's Avatar
moderate?
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: East Coast
Posts: 13,878
Thanks: 0
Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Rep Power: 15
camaraderie is a jewel in the rough camaraderie is a jewel in the rough camaraderie is a jewel in the rough
Robert...thank you for the real data on this issue! It is always nice to have more than an opinion!!
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

 
Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may post attachments
You may edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Windward performance deseely General Discussion (sailing related) 21 04-01-2012 02:42 PM
Buying first boat JandS Boat Review and Purchase Forum 13 12-09-2010 12:14 PM
Production blue water boats JakeLevi Boat Review and Purchase Forum 73 07-31-2009 10:07 PM
Confused about overhangs... msl Boat Review and Purchase Forum 15 09-23-2003 06:17 PM
buying first boat jerrycooper14 Boat Review and Purchase Forum 21 04-23-2002 02:15 PM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 08:13 AM.

Add to My Yahoo!         
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
SEO by vBSEO 3.6.1
(c) Marine.com LLC 2000-2012