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Old 03-08-2012
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How to proceed? New boat questions.

I just got a 1983 Balbao 24. It has some gel-coat cracks, a lot actually, but the fiberglass is solid. I am guessing it is from the really thick gel coat in the Texas heat. Some of the wood below the through deck fittings is dry rotted. However, this is only the case for non-crucial things (a stanctions).

I am not concerned with appearance too much.

So, should i rip out the headliner and replace all the wood and try to refinish the inside (which is in good condition)? or do I just replace what I can, when It needs it?

I want to know the effort vs. resale value. I got the boat for cheap, probably because the cracks are unsightly. This boat is about me learning to sail a bigger boat and maintenance.

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Old 03-08-2012
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Re: How to proceed? New boat questions.

Which is the priority? Learn to sail? or learn boat maintenance and upkeep/upgrading?

Unless you go full tilt, re fair and repaint there's not likely going to be a great gain on resale vs effort given the unsightliness of the gel coat condition. If you're mainly wanting to learn the ins and outs of core replacement, rebedding fittings etc then I suppose you've got an inexpensive platform for that, with a potential bonus if it all works out, and minimal loss if it doesn't.

You may find the damage more widespread than it appears once you dive into it.. tough to stop once you start if that's the case. So it's difficult to say at this early stage just what you're getting yourself into.

If you want to work on the sailing aspect then make it sound enough, forget the aesthetics, and go sailing. Then let some other soul reap the same benefits when you let it go for the next one!
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Old 03-08-2012
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Re: How to proceed? New boat questions.

Make some minor cosmetic improvements so you can look at those and smile, and sail the heck out of it.
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Old 03-09-2012
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Re: How to proceed? New boat questions.

What I would do:

Rebed the hardware properly: dig out the core around each fitting, soak with epoxy, empty, fill with thickened epoxy, redrill, bed with butyl.

Paint with epoxy primer, or fill larger cracks and dings with thickened epoxy, and paint with 2 part paint... then sail the hell out of it.
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Old 03-09-2012
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Re: How to proceed? New boat questions.

Sailing first! I spent years getting ready/ wasting sailing time--Big mistake!! Fix what you have to But; Sail it when you can!!......Dale
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Old 03-09-2012
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Re: How to proceed? New boat questions.

Balboa, the wood beneath the stanchions is normally part of the deck core, and the deck core is STRUCTURAL. Once there is water penetration in the deck, the odds are that is spreads and that is not dry rot, it is going to be rot, plain and simple. Ripping out the headliner and replacing the deck coring is not a trivial job. Possible yes, not trivial. That's why a deck core problem can destroy the resale value of a boat.

Please do make sure you know what you are getting into, before you buy that boat. For you it may be a simple repair--or a major problem. It isn't quite as simple as hanging sheetrock in a house. Or anywhere near as cheap to get professional help if you need it.
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Old 03-09-2012
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Re: How to proceed? New boat questions.

Can the argument be made, that despite having a saturated core in a few localized areas, the deck would probably still be strong enough for typical day sailing or coastal cruising? (assuming hardware is re-bedded properly to prevent more water getting in)
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Re: How to proceed? New boat questions.

Probably? You know, since Jimmy the Greek died, getting solid odds ain't easy.

Strong enough? Depends on how strong the wind blows, does it? And how extensive the problems are.

Impossible to say without hands-on. Or knowing how lucky the owner is. Or whether the mast is deck-stepped and any fittings bolted into weak spots.

Going back to the original question "versus resale value", it would be very easy to put more money into deck repairs alone, than the boat could ever sell for, even in mint condition. And impossible to tell from a distance.
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