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  #1  
Old 08-24-2007
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Balsa Cored hull

As I have mentioned, I am looking at the Tartan 33 (1982ish) as well as the Ericson 34/35. I am onto a beautiful T33, and she is close to pristine for a boat that age. The owner is openly referring to some blisters on the hull, which he acknowledges and says he will adjust price for. This would not necessarily bug me, except for the fact that I recently learned that the T33 has a balsa cored hull. I know that much rests on the depth and or extent of the blisters, but in general, should I be more worried about hull malformations because the hull is cored? Thanks for your input.
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Old 08-24-2007
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Are the blisters below or above the water line?? Also, did you have the boat surveyed?? If the boat surveys with a dry core in the hull, the blisters are probably just cosmetic. If the survey reveals the core is wet, delaminating or rotting... then it could be a big problem. YMMV.
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Old 08-24-2007
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SD,
I have not offered on the boat yet. No survey yet. Blisters are below waterline. It will affect my willingness to offer on the boat if the risk of serious hull delamination is higher with the T33 than the E34 which has a solid glass hull.
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Old 08-24-2007
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There is always a risk with a cored hull, but without a survey, there's no way to know if it's a problem or not.
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Old 08-24-2007
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Three seasons ago, my boat was drydocked next to a Nonsuch 30 with a serious below waterline balsa rot problem. The bottom was tented to the pavement, in an attempt to dry out the uncovered balsa.

I made friends with the owner over a couple beers, who was determined to replace the rotted balsa himself. The more he removed, the more he discovered - ended up removing 80% of the bottom. I returned 2 seasons later and the boat was still unfinished.

I learned enough to establish that a balsa cored hull boat, is a definite deal breaker to me. Nice interiors on those N30s, but - What a project!
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Bardo-

The risk of serious delamination problems is always higher on a cored hull boat than a solid glass boat.
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I get that, SD. But if the hull is well cared for, pulled inspected and treated anually, is there reason to expect that I will have a serious problem later? This presumes that a survey finds the hull sound and dry (other than cosmetic blisters) when I purchase?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bardo View Post
I get that, SD. But if the hull is well cared for, pulled inspected and treated anually, is there reason to expect that I will have a serious problem later? This presumes that a survey finds the hull sound and dry (other than cosmetic blisters) when I purchase?


No, provided proper care is taken to avoid introducing water into the hull's cored areas. On one boat I was looking at with a friend...the hull was a bit soggy... and it was because there was a single screw for a wiring harness clip into the hull in the bilge...for a bilge pump...and water had gotten into the core through it...and rotted out about 20 sq. feet of hull. UGH.
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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)

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Old 08-24-2007
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I'm really sad to hear this. I had been tracking on the T33 for some time now, and it all looked good. But I don't want even a fairly low risk of water problems if I can help it. I guess I should opt for a solid glass hull in a similar Ericson.....
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Old 08-24-2007
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Do you live in an area where the boat is likely to freeze in the winter?

Frankly, that's a deal breaker for me, knowing what wet core in deck can do in a freeze...
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