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post #1 of 6 Old 08-01-2002 Thread Starter
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Was there a problem with fiberglass materials in the 1980''s.
I have heard that due to the fuel crisis in the 80''s certain oil based materials used in fiberglass were not that readily available and some manufactures scrimped on materials.

If you refer to my post in "General Discussinos" (Screwed) you will know why I asked this question. The 1985 31 Hunter I looked at had surface scratches on the bottom of the hull, visible through the bottom paint, probably not serious according to the surveyor and of course the inverted dent of about 1ft area which was also delaminated. Yard supposedly repaired the dent as I call it but to be inverted there must have been internal structural damage.

Does the Gelcoat cracks pose a serious problem in future on the bottom?
They are still trying to get me to buy the boat.
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post #2 of 6 Old 08-01-2002
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My feelings on below water line damage is if you aren''t comfortable with it WALK. In this case I would not feel confortable with below water line cracks of any kind. Water will eventlually migrate into these cracks and penetrate the hull. THis will result in blisters and major delam.

To give you an example of the level of my concern. Earlier this summer we purchased a 1998 Beneteau 381. The boat looked great and when I asked the owner what was wrong with his boat he mentioned some minor cosmetic issues on deck. With this info we put in an offer, countered and agreed to purchase the boat. Upon survey we hoisted the boat to find two 13" long cracks in the rudder skin. You can imagine how pissed I was so I talked to the broker who new nothing about it and then the owner. He told me Beneteau would not replace the rudder since it was a year passed warrantee (even though the boat was in canada and only used for 4 mo). There suggusted repair was open the cracks larger and put some west system in. Well, this was not only the wrong repair but a poor repair. As the rudder flex''s water will penetrate the foam core and with winter freeze further weaken the structure of the rudder. We told the owner we wanted a new rudder. He would not replace so we walked. I had almost a 1000 bucks into it and I still walked. Not the right boat for me, we were upset with the rudder but we also worried what else we wern''t told about.

I relate this story to you to make you aware of it''s a large expenditure and YOU BETTER FEEL COMFORTABLE with it.

My advice is Walk or get a GREAT DEAL and have it fixed the right way.


Good Luck
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post #3 of 6 Old 08-01-2002
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You know, the type of situation you describe, if I understand you correctly, sounds to me like someone whacked the keel moving along at speed. If the "soft spot" is just aft of the keel, it may well be the result of a grounding, which would push the aft end of the keel upward and delaminate and spider crack the hull aft of the keel. There would also be spider cracks forward of the keel, radiating outward toward the bow from the downward pull of the grounding. I''d check any stringers or floors immediately abaft the keel and those running directly over the keel forward for any indication of stress cracking, delamination or separation......just fixed one, and NO, I was in Puerto Rico watching a football game at the time. I still got blamed because I WASN''T on the boat. I got blamed for another boat losing a race because I WASN''T there. Ahh we.
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post #4 of 6 Old 08-01-2002
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post #5 of 6 Old 08-01-2002
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Mogul,

How much does a new rudder cost? Maybe $1-2k or so? If I liked the boat and that was all that was wrong, I think I would have counter offered with less than the cost of a new rudder. I would think the seller would have taken the offer, it only comes out to less than 1-2% of the price of the boat. And I know if I had a "real" buyer ready to purchase the boat, that I wouldn''t let 1 % price difference kill a deal....Its peanuts in the scheme of things (8-10% is different).


And if I did purchase the boat, I am not so sure that replace the rudder right away. I had a 1980 Watkins sailboat with relatively large cracks in the rudder. I had the boat for 8 years and the rudder never failed or looked like it was going to. I was all prepared to get it properly fixed from the begining and I watched and waited. Nothing happened. I am not sure what it was cored with , but I think it was foam. I keep the boat in the NorthEast and there is a lot of freezing going around and those crack (from what I could see) didn''t get any worse. But then again, I wasn''t going to sail to Bermuda in that boat either.
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post #6 of 6 Old 08-01-2002 Thread Starter
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I WALKED!!!!!!
They repaired the boat but I still said no deal. They lied about the condition and that''s all I needed.

By the way I had the broker put into the contract the following statement:
"seller must make full disclosure of any damages to boat since boat has been in possesion of owner". Seller signed the contract. During the survey the seller admitted to the surveyor, broker and myself that he had prior knowledge of this problem but was told it was ok. Whether I get my mony back or not remains to be seen.


There should be some protection for buyers against this kind of garbage.
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