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Old 02-21-2009
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Glass delamination

Hey,

I am looking at buying an older (more affordable) Pearson, or Alberg 30, or similar boat, how do these boats of early fiberglass era stand up over four plus years? Do they come apart from the core, how would you know?

Any help appreciated.

Mike.
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Old 02-21-2009
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I assume your "four plus years" is meant to be "four plus decades" and I assume you're talking about the delamination of the cored deck. The hull should be solid fiberglass for a boat of that vintage and no hull delamination would be expected or acceptable. Actually the deck delamination is more often a cosmetic than a structural problem; however, still something to be tended to. My 1973 Morgan has exhibited several "soft spots" from water intrusion and subsequent delamination of the balsa cored deck. At these spots I removed the top layer of the deck with a cutting wheel on a rotary tool (about 2 square feet) and removed the soft water damaged balsa core. In this area I laid a new sheet of balsa "tiles" matted on a fiber matrix. These approx. 1" square balsa sheets that I used were purchased from a Hunter dealer, but I'm sure you can find a comparable generic source. The advantage of the small tiles is that each piece will be surrounded by resin and prevent the spread of any furture water intrusion. I ground the balsa down so that it was 1/4" beneath the deck surface and then ground an extended slope into the adjacent deck to allow for maximum adherance of the patch. After carefully adding on overlapping layers of glass cloth impregnated with resin and rolling out any bubbles I ground the finished surface to match the surrounding deck. Since my non-skid is formed from quartz sand addied to a topsides paint, I had no difficulty making a uniform appearing patch that conforms to the rest of the deck. A patterned non-skid would require additional skill.
Back to the original question, if my assumptions were correct, a few delamination spots on an old boat should not discourage a purchase, 'take care and joy, Aythya crew
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Old 02-21-2009
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xort has a spectacular aura about xort has a spectacular aura about xort has a spectacular aura about
the older the boat, the more it depends on the prior owners. Some really nice, well built boats can suffer greatly without decent maintenance. Other low end boats can hold up well if cared for regularly.


BTW, welcome to sailnet
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Old 02-21-2009
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The Balsa for core material is easy to get at any hobbyshop - used in the rasio controlled boats and airplanes, probably less $$ than a dealer too
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Old 02-21-2009
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The balsa that you would use to build a model airplane is not what you would use in your deck. The coring material used in most if not all boats is made by a company called Baltek. It is high density end grain core balsa squares on a fibreglass mat. It is not expensive and is readily available.

Alternately you can recore using a closed cell foam such as kleg cell. It will not wick moisture or rot however it is not quite as dense and on a large flat area your deck would be slightly springy.

If using balsa make sure to seal up any through holes via the epoxy potting method or it may just get wet again.

Gary
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Old 02-21-2009
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Cool Thanks Guys.

Thanks for the information guys. I'm a ways from buying- still debating to go small or big for a first boat.....leaning towards big (30)....so a big purchase and all the info I can get the better!

Cheers.

M.
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Old 02-21-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary M View Post
The balsa that you would use to build a model airplane is not what you would use in your deck. The coring material used in most if not all boats is made by a company called Baltek. It is high density end grain core balsa squares on a fibreglass mat. It is not expensive and is readily available.



Gary
My patch was a 4x6 inch where the (insert many bad words) PO had added a cleat without bedding. Luckily it hadnt spread and I used a 1"x1" x4' carving chunk of the hardest balsa I could find cut into 1" cubes and bedded in epoxy with the grain vertical. Worked great on a small area but I see what you mean about large areas. And no the cleat is no longer there, I never could find a use for it besides smacking my toe.

And, I must confess, at the time I was not aware of Baltek, that's another one for the just in case database.
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