Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: San Francisco Bay area
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Re: Cracked Cockpit Sole
Yes what happens is that the constant flexing eventually cracks the gelcoat. You can repair it by filling the crack, but it is likely to re-occur if you don't reinforce the area behind the crack to stiffen the structure.
You might take the view that it's taken 26 years to crack, so if it takes as long to re-crack after you fill it, that's not too bad.
If you do want to reinforce, you could do this yourself, if you feel so inclined. You'll reinforce under the corner with epoxy and fibreglass mat. Not too hard.
Casey's "Complete illustrated sailboat maintenance manual" covers this kind of repair in detail.
Some gelcoat cracking in a 26 year old sailboat at the points of highest stress is common and not too much to worry about, btw.
Bristol 31.1, San Francisco Bay