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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Boat Review and Purchase Forum > Older Boats-How Long will they Last?
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Thread: Older Boats-How Long will they Last? Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
12-18-2010 03:31 PM
zeehag reason for no slips in this day if many many fiberglass abandoned boats is just that-- wood would fall apart and sink. fiberglass just doesnt fall part on a dock for no reason.
12-18-2010 02:29 PM
newhaul thanks faster i couldn't remember the race my 1966 wayfarer islander Bahama 24 is up to 5 inches thick and 1 inch solid decks. sister ships have sailed around the world the only issue i have is with the deck seal on my pop top leaked and PO didn't fix it so now small rotten spot however not structural just nuisance for now tarped and will fix it in the spring (didn't show on survey last spring)
12-18-2010 02:16 PM
Jeff_H
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeartsContent View Post
The fact is that no fiberglass boat has cracked in half and sunk. There is no record of a catastrophic failure of a fiberglass boat due to it's age. We simply do not know the "end-date" on a fiberglass boat's fiberglass.
Actually that is very far from the truth. About 10 years ago the marine insurance industry did a widely circulated study of older boats which had suffered catastrophic failures, and the report looked a wide range of failures including boats which had failures while simply sailing. There was a long list of case studies. These included failures of the hull adjacent to keel areas, and hull to deck joints as well as significantly greater impact damage than might otherwise be expected.

The report also included destructive testing of older boat hull panels and found that they were greatly reduced in strength from fatigue and poorer materials and lay-up techniques.

Jeff
12-18-2010 02:01 PM
Faster
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeartsContent View Post
The fact is that no fiberglass boat has cracked in half and sunk. ...
Though we're not talking production cruisers.....

12-18-2010 01:30 PM
HeartsContent The fact is that no fiberglass boat has cracked in half and sunk. There is no record of a catastrophic failure of a fiberglass boat due to it's age. We simply do not know the "end-date" on a fiberglass boat's fiberglass.

Bad designs and building shortcuts along with poor workmanship would be my bigger concerns.

But it's fun to watch the know-it-alls go at it!

12-18-2010 01:05 PM
CaptainJesse You, nor your offspring's offspring will see the day that this particular boat will collapse into a pile of glass and resin rubble. With minimal maintenance this boat should outlast anyone we know. If I am not mistaken, the USCG, as of several years ago, still had in operation a 1948 fiberglass boat. My brother recently sold his 1958 Pearson yawl to a young couple who sanded and painted the topsides, deck and house surface, installed new port lights and thru-hull fittings, replaced the wooden rudder with a fiberglass unit, restored the gasoline Atomic 4 and are now motoring about awaiting their new sails.
11-30-2010 06:11 AM
SkywalkerII Just thought of a couple of points to add.

Boats in the northeast sit on stands 6 months out of the year.
Boats sit in slips or on moorings 80% of the time
Boats rarely go out in 20+ kts

So, boats rarely see stress. Age and deterioration are probably bigger factors for most boats.
11-30-2010 02:48 AM
centaursailor Have to say the Fiber Glass failing and falling apart theory dosn,t hold much water. My 1975 Westerly Centaur just passed her 5 year survey with no structural issues. Shes built to Loydds of London standards and the hull is I inch thick GRP. There are a few small skin blisters below the waterline and I may pop and fill them someday. As they are superficial I recon she,ll see me out and my son has already decided he wants her in the will. Any boat can give problems but the solidly built GRP ones will take a fair bit of abuse and keep going.
Regards Brian
11-29-2010 11:38 PM
SJ34 My former Dyer Dink is still going strong at 81yrs old. I did a complete restoration on her 20 yrs ago. My Cal25 is still very sound at 43 and my San Juan is like new at 24.

My former Lightning had a date with a chainsaw because of severe neglect by her first owner. His answer to maintenance was to slap on another layer of glass. I spent a couple of years chasing rot between sailing seasons then gave up and scrapped her.
11-29-2010 02:19 AM
sailorjohn34 hmm... the way I see it.. you can always add more fiberglass to reinforce any area that seems to be getting weak. how many of the 100 year old + boats have all thier original planks? I've abused my boat for the last 5 years.. she hasn't had bottom paint in 10 years, she's 1/2" thick at her tops and over one inch at her keel, she shows no blisters, and she still won't flex. granted she was build in a garage in 1971 by a man and his son, she's a good example of how long they can last unattended. she's been neglected as I've been sailing my catalina 27 all over the pacific. I've put over 90,000 miles on my catalina in the past 8 years and just lost her last week in the worst storm southern california has seen in 2 years.. as to why I was out in a storm... santa barbara harbor denied me safe harbor due to lack of funds since I had just lost my wallet and all my money.
let's see how many of the newer thin layup boats are still going strong in 30 or 40 years... I'll bet my thick frp boat is still going... I hope she is anyhow.
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