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justmike 09-18-2007 11:57 PM

Newbie Q: Paint or gelcoat crazing?
In my ongoing quest for my first keelboat, I looked at a 1977 Catalina 27 today which turned out to have a rather bad complexion. The boat has reportedly been Awlgripped in the past, and I thought this was the Awlgrip cracking, but the owner claims it's gelcoat cracking.

Here are some sample pictures:


(Sorry for the lack of proper links; apparently newbies aren't allowed to submit posts with links, or even text w/ URLs. :confused:)

I otherwise liked the boat, so I'd like to know what this problem is and whether it's a hopeless case, and thought I would consult the Oracle (that's you guys :)). Thanks for any illumination.


sailingdog 09-19-2007 09:23 AM

While it is really hard to say for sure, it looks a lot like traditional paint alligatoring due to poor preparation. I don't think the gelcoat would chip off like what is shown in the first photo from just crazing. Poorly adhered paint would though.

BTW, once you get past 10 posts, you'll be able to post links, it's an anti-link-spamming feature...

Jotun 09-19-2007 09:28 AM

Looked to me like a couple of those chips were down into the fiberglass. Even so, if there is no water in there, you can fix for relatively cheap. How much is the boat? Are there other features that are very atttractive (new sails)? All these things you need to consider. There are always more boats, especially C-27s.

camaraderie 09-19-2007 10:35 AM

I took a look at all the pictures of the boat. Walk away. The chainplates have been repositioned...possiblehull damage...extremely poor upkeep...sail repairs needed...terrible gel coat crazing etc. etc....there are way too many problems here for the value of the boat.

sailingdog 09-19-2007 11:04 AM

If you haven't bought the boat, I'd have to agree with Cam... walk away. After reading cam's post, I went and looked at all the photos as well.

For instance, on photo eight, the bilge pump has wiring in the bilge with a connection/splice right in the bilge.

In image 12, the stitching on the tack of the headsail is in really poor shape, with a lot of it missing altogether.

In page 13, there are clearly some serious stress cracks around the bases of both bow pulpit stanchions. Which probably also means there's some deck/core issues there too.

Page 19 has definite impact type cracks in the gelcoat, as well as stress cracks in the corners.

Page 21-23 has obvious damage to the side of the boat, that was badly repaired IMHO.

There is probably a lot more in the way of problems that isn't shown in these photos.

sailhog 09-19-2007 11:16 AM

Cam mentioned that the chainplates have been repositioned. Tell me if I'm wrong, but it looks like they were replaced. I know that on pre-1979 C30s they retrofitted beefier chainplates. The new chainplates on Mike's c27 appear to extend further than the holes in the bulkhead would appear to allow the originals to extend.

camaraderie 09-19-2007 11:26 AM

Hawg...I agree they have been replaced but it looks like they were moved slightly as well. You would not do that except to correct a problem. I actually owned a 1977 C27 at one point and really thought highly of the sailing qualities of the boat...but this one is a mess.

bswinhart 09-19-2007 12:04 PM

Im new to sailing also. I bought a boat that has some of these problems. A 18' Cortez (weekend/daysailor). I sail it a couple times a week. Luckly I can store it in a day place. Im a DIY'er so Ive been there.

It comes down to $

I paid $300 for my "project boat"

rhaley 09-19-2007 12:28 PM

If you guys are referring to picture #9 for the starboard chainplate, I think that the owner used an old chainplate for a backing plate and the backing plate is what you see. It doens't extend far enough up to get to the side deck and picture 7 shows the port side chainplate in the original location on the forward side of the bulkhead. My guess is the backing plate was put in place to try and stop the bolts from pulling through a rotting bulkhead, as evidenced by the top of the "backing plate" in picture #9. It appears to be sinking into the bulkhead, and the water damage there tends to start at the top. Just my $0.02.


justmike 09-19-2007 05:41 PM

The bad, the ugly and the uglier it seems...
Yikes. I'm humbled (and terrified) at the stuff I stared right at and didn't see. I thought the boat was a bit rough (they all are in my area and price range, it seems), but didn't recognize much of what y'all have pointed out, or at least recognize the severity.

As for the chainplates, the standing rigging was supposedly replaced in 1999, so I believe the chainplate (which were backed on the other side of the bulkheads w/ identical plates) strangeness was probably introduced then.

C'est la vie, the search continues (seeing an S2 7.3 this weekend). My copy of This Old Boat arrived today as well, so I'm putting my head down in that as well.


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