slight bulge in side of boat - SailNet Community

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Old 11-27-2002
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slight bulge in side of boat

I have noticed a slight bulge on the outside of the hull of by boat (64'' Triton). It is only a slight bulge, running vertically. It seems to match up to where the bulkhead is tabbed to the inside of the boat. The previous owner assured me it had "allways been there", but now I''m starting to wonder. Is this a problem or could it have allways been there?
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Old 11-27-2002
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slight bulge in side of boat

Finding a "hard" spot in the hull is not all that unusual. But go to this site and ask your question there for the experience of other Triton owners: http://www.tritonclass.org
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Old 11-27-2002
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slight bulge in side of boat

My guess is you have developed a supercritical eye. I had an occasion a number of years ago to investigate some tabbing on a bulkhead on my Ranger 26. Although there was no damage, I learned to "see" bulkheads on everyone else''s boat!!!

What you have is a hull laminate that is laid up and cured. Typically, laminates will creep or shrink about 2% while curing. A few weeks later, the bulkeads are tabbed into place. They adhere to the cured hull laminate and undergo there own creep (or try). The resulting "pull" induces some stress in the hull laminate. Over time the stress elastically relieves itself, not before a minute deflection is created, just enough to bend the light while sighting down the hull. Cored laminates, Tritons hull laminates pre-date these, make this less visible from the exterior. (Read about Larry Ellison''s sled in the Syd-Hobart race pulling the tabs right off of the inner laminate!!!)

Things to watch in the hull at bulkheads are punching shear action created by slamming in to a wharf finger or glancing collisions. These will show up as star fractures in the gelcoat.

Of more concern on a boat of that vintage is the integrity of the bulkhead materal.

Now go see if you find the other bulkheads on the Triton or you neighbor''s boat. Bet you can.

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Old 11-28-2002
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slight bulge in side of boat

While it is unlikely that it has always been there, the bulge probably appeared in the first few years of your boat''s life. Pearson during that era tended to use a lot of acellerators in their resin and allow a comparatively short cure time. Tritons, also had a minimum of internal framing. Allof this would promote a tendancy toward the hardspot to be especially pronounced compared to later, and better built boats.

Whether you should be concerned with this or not depends on how you plan to use your boat. These hardspots tend to be more fatigue prone than other areas of topsides. Given the more brittle resins and laminates of the era, this typically would be an area of decreased strength over other portions of the topsides. Used normally this weakening should be of no problem, but exposed to the kind of thrashing involved in major long distance passage making eventually this could prove to be a problem.

As the prior poster noted, the bigger problem is the condition of the bulkead and tabbing. Pearsns of this era had structural bulkheads and they were often covered with Formica, which both can foster and can mask ongoing rot problems.

Jeff
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Old 11-29-2002
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slight bulge in side of boat

I wonder if it might be that it is the
result if stays being too tight for a
length of time?
But I guess that would be an indention
not a bulge.
PaulB
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