SailNet Community - Reply to Topic
Thread: Balsa Core Reply to Thread
Title:
Message:
Trackback:
Send Trackbacks to (Separate multiple URLs with spaces) :
Post Icons
You may choose an icon for your message from the following list:
 

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the SailNet Community forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
Please note: After entering 3 characters a list of Usernames already in use will appear and the list will disappear once a valid Username is entered.


User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in









Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



  Additional Options
Miscellaneous Options

Click here to view the posting rules you are bound to when clicking the
'Submit Reply' button below


  Topic Review (Newest First)
1 Week Ago 03:25 PM
ketcher1nthedry Thanks for all the replies. As to the quality of construction on the Freedoms, I've done a lot of reading and digging and crawling on the web, even finding the naval architect who designed it. Tracked him down while he's sailing the Caribbean. Found a fellow who actually worked on the very boat built back in 1983, including also finding the plant manager at the time. I'm satisfied with the build quality. And am happy that the moisture is confined to a very limited area. It's thanks to that moisture area that comes up on survey inspections that made the boat affordable to take the risk in any case. The only reason I'm willing to take this task on, is that I'm not going to disturb the outer hull at all cosmetically or in any other way, and can simply reach all the problem area through the quarter berth by removing the plywood bed sections, revealing the entire inner hull for that area without anything attached to it.
I would love to have someone else do it, but I guess I'll stick my head in there and take it on myself to justify the cost. I don't think it's going to be all that difficult. I say that about every project that blows up in my face. I'm going to have to get married to West System for a while. Even after 33 years of intensive sailing and salt water oceans and in the freshwater lakes of the Great Lakes, there is no other area on the boat that has water penetration, according to the survey which I hope I can trust. I'll be back on this forum quite a bit I think, because I can sure use all of your help, even to the point of how to rig this thing of beauty. Wouldn't mind hearing from anybody on the Forum who has successfully taken on fiberglassing balsa as a DIY.
2 Weeks Ago 02:46 PM
Stumble
Re: Balsa Core

Quote:
Originally Posted by SHNOOL View Post
Sorry I didn't mean to turn this into TPI bashing... I am a huge fan of J-boats, but I've been really shy of buying one because most I've seen have had issues with core rot. Fascinatingly there have been other performance boats I've owned that are much older (1980s vintage) built by S2, WD Schock, and Catalina that have not had nearly the issues I've found with these newer machines from J. I had assumed it was because the boats were raced harder.
There are some specific hulls that have been absolutly destroyed by racing, but generally racing alone isn't the culprit. In many J-Boats cases it's the poor attention to core protection that is the problem.

I really don't know if this is a TPI problem, or a J-Boats problem, either are believable. Protecting every deck penetration would add thousands to the cost of a 35' boat. And someone has decided that it wasn't warranted, but I just don't know who. I tend to believe that it's a J-Boat decision that TPI just implements, but I could be wrong.
2 Weeks Ago 02:34 PM
SHNOOL
Re: Balsa Core

Sorry I didn't mean to turn this into TPI bashing... I am a huge fan of J-boats, but I've been really shy of buying one because most I've seen have had issues with core rot. Fascinatingly there have been other performance boats I've owned that are much older (1980s vintage) built by S2, WD Schock, and Catalina that have not had nearly the issues I've found with these newer machines from J. I had assumed it was because the boats were raced harder.
2 Weeks Ago 12:09 PM
overbored
Re: Balsa Core

I have looked at several J boats over the years and every one by TPI have had soggy hulls and/or decks. never found a good one to buy.
2 Weeks Ago 11:25 AM
Stumble
Re: Balsa Core

Quote:
Originally Posted by SHNOOL View Post
Having seen a new(er) model (2006) J80 from TPI with delamination issues on deck where no fittings or through hulls exist, I can honestly say that I'm not entirely convinced its just poor maintenance from a PO that causes these problems.
TPI is not a particularly high quality builder. They are ok at best.

I used to work on a J-130 that atthe time was two years old, one of the first things we had to do was pull all the winches off the boat, epoxy seal the balsa core (starting to rot), then have backing plates built since TPI was of the opinion that primary winches on a 13m sailboat didn't need so much as a fender washer let alone backing plates.

Now I am not sure if it was a TPI issue or J-Boats issue, but TPI paid for the warranty work.

Even today TPI boats as a rule do not come with deck hardware epoxy sealed, and substandard backing plates.
2 Weeks Ago 11:01 AM
SHNOOL
Re: Balsa Core

Having seen a new(er) model (2006) J80 from TPI with delamination issues on deck where no fittings or through hulls exist, I can honestly say that I'm not entirely convinced its just poor maintenance from a PO that causes these problems.
2 Weeks Ago 09:21 AM
miatapaul
Re: Balsa Core

I think if it is wet, it really is not all that retentive how much is wet, to a point. If it is one square foot, or 00 square feet it will be about the same as far as the repair goes. Sure a bit more materials, but the labor should not be all that different if doing it yourself. What would concern me more would be multiple areas of infiltration. But after finding that the decontamination was much worse on my project boat, than I realized it is something to really consider. Now if you are thinking of paying someone to do the work, any would be too much!

I wonder if you are seeing PO installed or worked on thru-hulls?

Keep in mind I don't own a Freedom, but did look at a few and ruled the ones I looked at due to general poor condition.
2 Weeks Ago 11:13 PM
ketcher1nthedry
Re: Balsa Core

I just bought a Freedom 28 Cat/Ketch, 1983. I did a lot of research on the web and also talked to ex-TPI Pearson staff from the 80's about the carbon fiber masts and the balsa core. I got confirmation that through-hulls were for the most part kept in the area of solid fiberglass. I am told the first 12" along either side of the keel is solid. The unstayed masts require no deck and hull attachments to stress out and weaken their connections to the hull, thus causing leaks and core problems. Mine, however, has water intrusion around the exhaust pipe where no maintenance rebedding has been done on it. Water has worked into the stern core surrounding the exhaust through-hull, and has migrated to the port quarter, but not so extensively it can't be fixed. This is all accessible from the inside quarter berth, so I intend to fix the problem right there, leaving the outside alone. I know there are many more places on hull and deck to pay attention to, and I intend to do just that. I will have a lot of questions that hopefully you experienced old salts can comment on. I will appreciate it.
10-28-2008 03:27 PM
r.furborough Tillotson-Pearson made the Freedom hull and currently make the J-Boats. They are a very reputable company, pioneers in the use of cored hulls and are known for making excellent boats.

I have a Freedom 32 and have recently replaced several thru-hulls and every one I replaced had had the coring material cut out and the coring sealed, on my boat, a 1985 model I have no significant problems with moisture in the hull or deck coring except for an area around an aft cabin opening port where the sealant used has failed.

I would suggest what you are finding is bad maintenance. sealants used in manufacturing do not last the lifetime of the boat as pointed out in your own posting, exposed deck fittings are expected to be removed and resealed. It is also possible the addition of extra sail and line handling hardware added to the decks, as many boat have, was not installed correctly.

This applies to most boats as they generally all have cored decks.

What Freedoms of this era do suffer from is gel coat spider cracks that are caused by the gel coat being applied too thick and the use of an unstayed masts where the forces are transferred through the mast base and deck partners only and not via stays and shrouds as on conventionally rigged boats. Thick gel coat is not as flexible as thinner gel coat and crack rather than yields to the changing forces. This is more of a cosmetic problem as the cracks very rarely are deeper than the gel coat itself.

Regarding repairs. The extent of the repair and the effectiveness is not so relevent, it is the depth of the owners pockets. I am aware of whole decks being stripped back and re-cored, though not on Freedoms, this can be from above or from below when the original deck surfaces need to be retained for cosmetic reasons.
10-27-2008 09:43 PM
hjubyhavn
Balsa Core

I have been looking at used Freedoms (80's) but have found that the builder did not seal any through-core/through-hull fittings. This becomes a problem as the boats age because it is usually the exterior caulking that gives up first and start leaking, and the interior does not leak until the core is good and wet.

How much damage is acceptable around a through hull before the whole thing has to be torn open and what is an industrywide rule of thumb for determining at what point the hull is permanenently weakened by a "peel-back" repair ???

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome