What is this? Cracks in gel coat leaking a brown dry goop! - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 09-06-2007
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What is this? Cracks in gel coat leaking a brown dry goop!

I've got a few cracks in my gelcoat I thought I took care of by careful sanding, gel coat replacement, then painting.

When I got this boat, there was a tarp over it and the parts on each side I am talking about have been constantly covered, so this is odd.

Parts that are affected are both sides of the hull where the tarp was, 4 " below hull/deck joint.

There are some cracks that re-appeared and they slowly seep this brown/tan stuff that feels kinda oily but slightly gummy and sticky. It smells like some sort of wood oil gone bad.

I am totally stumped, I've searched all over, and I have no idea how to address this. It is not a beauty thing, as it takes weeks to grow even a small dab of it less than the tip of a ball point pen, but is there some deeper hidden problem that I should take care of now?

The marine survey I had done for insurance showed "reletively dry readings" on the hull. It's not a saturated balsa core leaking some wicked ooze, and I should sell the boat before I have to rebuild the entire hull is it?

Thanks,

Robert
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Old 09-06-2007
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This is a photo of how it looked when I picked up the boat, in a very "advanced" state of goop-growth. It is now only a couple of spots, cracked back through the paint, and seeping about the size of the O on your screen over a few weeks' time.


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after painting with no spots...

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Old 09-06-2007
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It's not a saturated balsa core leaking some wicked ooze, and I should sell the boat before I have to rebuild the entire hull is it?
Just after reading the title before reading your post, that was my first thought.
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Old 09-06-2007
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is that

the deck to hull overlap? It sounds from what your saying that the core is rotting and the repair was on the surface only. When it heats up in the sun the ooze is the water and rotted core "outgas" seeping out the cracks or finding its own way out by making blisters. when it's cold it freezes and expands also. The bad core has to be dried, epoxy saturatrated and or replaced.

More information about the boat would be helpful because others may own that same boat and know what your facing in fixing it. Don't despair I'm sure it's very repairable. But I know a guy that's looking for a boat cheap! Possibly your overreacting?

good luck!
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Old 09-06-2007
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Sounds like core material rotting...
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Old 09-06-2007
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Well, it is my favorite boat for sure. I'll keep collecting diagnosis and let you guys know what happens through this thread as I get into repairing it. It dies appear on both sides, exactly where the tarp was touching the hull, and I think it also may have something to do with saturation of the fiberglass since there were gelcoat cracks there too.
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Old 09-06-2007
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When styrene dissolves it leaches out in a dark brown colour. Rotten core will not ooze until it is totally liquid, and if it's balsa, it would probably be black by then.

If I am reading correctly, this is in an area that you worked on. I'd venture that something that you used is not compatible with the resins that the boat was made of, hence it is dissolving OR the tarp has somehow funneled enough water into the crack, that the styrene has dissolved and is leaching now.

It might be a good idea to drill a hole in there so you can see what has happened. If you don't want to take such a big step, try running an electronic stud finder along it and see if you get any blips, which can identify very significant differences in density.
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Old 09-07-2007
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If the core was wet wouldn't you here thuds when struck with the back of a screw driver. I would sound out the portions where there are cracks. If you get a dull response then that means the core is wet there and needs to be taken care of.
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Old 09-08-2007
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I worked on a boat will similar, it was the blue tarp heating, cooling and without enough circulation, causes cracks to wick in water. Like was said, use a screwdriver or a rubber malet and test. Start from the bottom of the keel and work up the hull well far away for the area. When you get the area in question your ears will by that point will have a refernce to compare.
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