Spider Cracking opinions wanted - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 10 Old 03-26-2013 Thread Starter
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Question Spider Cracking opinions wanted

Hi All,

I've been narrowing down my list of boats and there is one I am considering making an offer on. I've been aboard 4 times now and I spent three hours aboard her last week (yeah, you'd hate to be the broker showing me boats)

Anyway, I went through her very closely and I'm concerned over spider cracks and some cracking on the deck. A friend said he was concerned over the plumbing. I will have her surveyed, but before I lay out $1,500 I'd like to feel a little more at ease and I don't know enough about this subject to make an educated decision.

Please give me your real world opinions of what you see here.

She's a 1987 Morgan 43 CC

https://plus.google.com/photos/11661...COfN_YStw7qVAw

Future Liveaboard Larry
(Currently a 2 wheeled Land Sailor)
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Last edited by RealST; 03-26-2013 at 09:45 AM.
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post #2 of 10 Old 03-26-2013
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Re: Spider Cracking opinions wanted

How old is the boat? The only thing that really stood out for me on an initial glance was the dark staining on that bulkhead. You expect gelcoat cracks on boats once they get a few years old, plus the usual mish-mash of wiring and plumbing, and a few bits of maintenance here and there. Let's just say that I have seen a *lot* worse.

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post #3 of 10 Old 03-26-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: Spider Cracking opinions wanted

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Originally Posted by PaulinVictoria View Post
How old is the boat? The only thing that really stood out for me on an initial glance was the dark staining on that bulkhead. You expect gelcoat cracks on boats once they get a few years old, plus the usual mish-mash of wiring and plumbing, and a few bits of maintenance here and there. Let's just say that I have seen a *lot* worse.
Oops, that is kind of important.

She's a 1987 Morgan 43 CC

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post #4 of 10 Old 03-26-2013
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Re: Spider Cracking opinions wanted

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Originally Posted by RealST View Post
Hi All,

I've been narrowing down my list of boats and there is one I am considering making an offer on. I've been aboard 4 times now and I spent three hours aboard her last week (yeah, you'd hate to be the broker showing me boats)

Anyway, I went through her very closely and I'm concerned over spider cracks and some cracking on the deck. A friend said he was concerned over the plumbing. I will have her surveyed, but before I lay out $1,500 I'd like to feel a little more at ease and I don't know enough about this subject to make an educated decision.

Please give me your real world opinions of what you see here.

She's a 1987 Morgan 43 CC

https://plus.google.com/photos/11661...COfN_YStw7qVAw
Some of that cracking is cosmetic. Some, it's hard to tell from a photo. As Paul stated, I'd be wondering about that bulkhead stain.

Don't be afraid to ask your surveyor for discount to stop the survey if he finds anything that would break the sale. Many of them will tell you about the option in advance.

Marine surveyors work on repeat business just like anyone else. If they are good to you, you will use them again. They understand how painful it is to customer to have to complete a survey when, after an hour into it, they found something horribly wrong.

We get emotionally invested and it's tough to walk away. I hired a guy in Long Island who knew it was going bad and had to ask me three times if I wanted to end it now and walk away. I think he could tell that I wanted it to work out, yet he knew it wouldn't, I felt like I was getting dumped
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post #5 of 10 Old 03-26-2013
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Re: Spider Cracking opinions wanted

Some of those spider's must have been big ones - but I doubt any of them are more than cosmetic - and they are normal. Boats move - gelcoat doesn't. Most of them are just that- stress related. I saw a couple that are more impact related.
I too noted the dark water stain on the one bulkhead, just a leak, but the wood bears a poking at to test for rot.
There was a shot were some bolts came through with no washer, nut - and obviously no sealant. At least one of the previous owners needs a hand slap.

Over all, I saw nothing that would alarm me greatly from a mark I eyeball point of view.

That is the same exact year as my Irwin 38 CC; which was a dock queen most of her life. Go forth and spend wisely.

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post #6 of 10 Old 03-26-2013
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Re: Spider Cracking opinions wanted

Why are you expecting the survey to be $1500? Granted, my boat was smaller (31'), but our survey was less than $500, plus $200 to have her hauled and power washed.

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post #7 of 10 Old 03-26-2013
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Re: Spider Cracking opinions wanted

Hey,

My boat has similar cracking around the bow pulpit. When it was surveyed the surveyor noted "The fiberglass deck has a molded non skid finish. No damage was soon. gelcoat cracks were noted around the forward stanchions and the chain plates. Sealing these cracks will prevent moisture incursion into the balsa core and will prolong the life of the deck."

Considering the size of those cracks I bet that there will be some moisture in the deck. I have no idea if that is significant or not, but you should be aware of it.

She looks like a nice boat.

Good luck.
Barry

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Mt. Sinai, NY

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post #8 of 10 Old 03-26-2013
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Re: Spider Cracking opinions wanted

Nice looking boat! They have a great expression used in rental properties which sums this up for me: "Mark(blemish) consistent with age". The boat looks fine, and as long as the condition (moderate) is reflected in the price, a survey seems reasonable.

From the photos, there were no obvious red flags, but a few "orange flags", i.e. areas for a surveyor to look at which may turn out to be showstoppers. The bulkhead staining, I wonder what was under the duct tape, crack under the stanchion, etc. As Paul said, typically for boats that age there will likely be some interesting plumbing and electrical "enhancements".

I also noticed (like my boat) she has a shorter keel. Consequently she may not point as high as a modern boat, but would be ideal for gunkholing.
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post #9 of 10 Old 03-26-2013 Thread Starter
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Thanks all. I'll pay close attention to those missing washes and staining.

I was on this boat twice while she was in the water and twice when out. There has never been any water in the holds any time I've been aboard and no musty smell - ever.

Don't know what that means, but I know the current owner is very meticulous as I think can be seen in the pics?

What kind of expense is it to redo a deck?

As for Survey costs, I'm simply going by what I was told to expect. I have not called anyone yet.

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post #10 of 10 Old 03-26-2013
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Re: Spider Cracking opinions wanted

I've had spider cracking on two boats, including the one I have now. As mentioned above, it's just the gel coat. As far as permanently getting rid of it, forget it unless you want to grind off all the old gel coat. The best solution is to consider it a maintenance issue which will spur you on to repaint every ten years:-) If you clean with a good solvent, squeegee some epoxy in, overcoat with a high-build primer and then give it a nice Awlgrip finish, it will last 10 years, showing the first sign of the cracks reappearing after 5 yrs or so but they WILL reappear. I've never heard of any other options other than to grind it off, lay another complete layer of fine cloth over it, or cover it temporarily.

+1 On BarryL's comment on core rot. That can be a major problem.

Alberg 35: With a philosophical flourish Cato throws himself upon his sword; I quietly take to the ship.

Last edited by smurphny; 03-26-2013 at 03:33 PM.
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