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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > How long will my fiberglass hull last?
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Thread: How long will my fiberglass hull last? Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
05-13-2010 04:50 PM
maureeno123 The mast was unstepped (? terminology) twice, to have the boat worked on, inside). We can check the backstay setting. Thank you for that thought. We were the ones that set it, and there is so much to think of and to do, might we have not done that one carefully enough. Again, thank you.

Maureen

ps - I will let you know the setting when I get down to the boat, and check it.
05-13-2010 04:48 PM
maureeno123 Thank yo for your reply. The good part of loving an old boat, and not wanting to lose it, is that you have to learn so much. To that end, I have been very serious about trying to understand.

We do not have matching spider cracks in the inside. We can climb into, open up drawers, etc, and check the inside.

The spider cracks seem to be just that, spider, where I cannot get a fingernail in them.

They are mathching on both sides of the boat and seem to match stringer (is that the word for the ribs?) locations.

They seem to be where the re-faring (or whatever you call when you hand-sand, and re-fare) ws the heaviest.

The boat was not taken out of the water, with the exception of short-hauls, for the past twenty years or so, we soda-blasted, refared, repainted with the hard coat, repainted the hull, the hull having, I believe five coats of different color ablative paint. When it is hauled, it sits for a bit on its keel whilst they power clean the hull, required in Long island Sound now.

Thank you and kind regards,

Maureen
05-12-2010 08:00 PM
dsholler Maureeno..
I am no expert, but you say you can see this cracking from both the inside (near the ribs) and the outside? My first guess would go all the way back to the beginning of this thread, and guess that something is causing the hull to flex there. Hulls do flex, and I have seen boats that have developed stress crazing in the gelcoat from (for example) having the backstay overtightened.

you mentioned all the stuff you did to the exterior to repair the blisters, did you do anything to the interior that might have changed the way the hull would flex? (move a bulkhead, for example? )
05-06-2010 09:40 AM
maureeno123
spider cracks in the hull

Thank you for the encouragement. We bought a moisture meeting, GRP-33 and found the numbers to be between 8 - 15. We did not peg the meter at any point. We walked around our marina, where there are many, many boats on the hard, and measured all their hulls. We found many of them pegged the meter, a few of them were better than we were, but for the most part, we were kind of in the middle of the numbers. BUT, in capital letters, what about the spider cracks. Where do they come from. We are thinking in the fall, take off the ablative coats of paint, look at the hard coat, and go from there. The spider cracks are matching, port and starboard sides, and at the ribs. Thank you. Please, any info will rest my mind.
05-03-2010 04:04 PM
Finallybuyingaboat My Shark 24 is 47 years old this year, built in 1963. She shows no sign of fiberglass degradation. Heck, my 5 year old son could still have this thing when he grows up. So, in response to your question,the old hulls may last forever!
05-03-2010 03:44 PM
maureeno123
72 pearson little spider cracks in hull

We bought a 1972 Pearson, love her and never want to sell her. We are retired and everything about her, we love, and are willing to put money, time, care into her for us and our children and grandchildren. With that in mind, we need some direction.

When we had her soda-blasted in 2008, the gentleman found extensive blisters, brought in an honest surveyor and the decision was made that the water was not that much. She is a center cockpit 390, 39 long, 13ft beam. Beautiful lines.

We had her hand sanded to remove the blisters and I presume by such removed much of the hard coat. I don't know that much, and knew much less at the time.

She was "refared", and painted with a gray, two-part paint, which he referred to as her hard coat. Several coats, I believe. He is reputable, and used all name brand products. We have pictures of the work as it was done.

The deck was soft in several spots, and he opened those up, replaced the balsa? wood, and again, I have pictures of the products and the work.

The hull was painted with an ablative paint, several coats, and everything seemed hunky dory. We then replaced the sole with teak and maple, and continued to upgrade her to our retirement standards, for grandchildren and ourselves. She is beautiful

This spring, we are on Long Island Sound, CT side, we noticed small spider cracks in several spots in the hull (they are darker green and easy to see). We have pictures. A fiberglass "expert" at the marina put a meter on her and found readings of 12 where the cracks were, (not through cracks, remember, spidery), and did percussion tests. Above waterline, the number was 0, at other spots below waterline, the number varied from the 12 at the cracks (there are four spots - all four where heavy ribs are - we can see it internally), and the percussions tests made the sounds of empty everywhere but where the cracks show.

In her previous life, she has circumnavigated the globe several times, and settled into happiness down in the Caribbean.

We are desperate for good knowledge, and really not looking for a beating - we love the boat (her name is Will You Go), which tells a lot, and have no intention of abandonment, but only want to proceed to have her live "forever." Although we are not experienced sailors, we have been around boats all our lives, and all eight children own some form of boat - power, freshwater, and racing.

Thank you for your help. I remain deeply indebted.

Maureen
04-12-2010 04:56 PM
sailingdog Lost—

You'd really be better off posting this as its own thread. Please read the POST in my signature to find out how to do that and a lot of other good stuff to help you get the most out of sailnet.
04-12-2010 04:42 PM
Lost
1974 Morgan 33 with moist to wet bow readings

I have been reading everyones posts quite avidly after i just found out the above about my boat i am working on. Sadly, it is my first boat, i paid too much and i am learning alot of hard lessons. I am still having fun, but this latest one has me a bit depressed.
I hope Jeff is still posting as his answers seemed to be very informative. My question bascially relates to the orginal poster who asked how long his boat will last, or is the thing going to break up mid ocean?

In the bow, above the waterline i have moist to wet readings. My brand new paint job with has been properly done with high-build and 545 primer and 2 coats of awlgrip is blistering only in the bow, which prompted the moisture meter.

Anyway, the painter says i have three options.
#1. Drill 3/4" holes all over the bow and leave it for 6 months to dry out, fill with West System 107 (i think) and patch/paint.
#2. Plane down the gel coat and take as much of the delaminating fiberglass wove out as necessary to get it all out and rebuild the bow (this sounds like it is out of budget - it is only a Morgan, not a Swan)
#3. Leave it as is, painter says, once i get it back in the water the blisters will subside. reason being is that in the dry heat on the hard is drying it out.

I am concerned about my safety then, as a second priority the cost of repairations balanced with the actual cost of the boat.
I won't get into how much i have in the boat already, lets just say by the time i am done, and i cannot turn around now, it will cost double the initial price. The cost of education is expensive, and i am learning quickly.
So my question for the group is, what is the best thing to do now?
Do i have a serious problem that needs to be repaired?
Which repair is the best considering the current situation?
Or will i be ok out there on the water and for how much longer if i ignore this issue? Is there any other repair that can be done?
One guy mentions putting a giant Dehu inside and drying out the interior. Will it suck out all the humidity from the inside?
Your help is very much appreciated.
01-15-2010 04:32 PM
Kiskadee
Cored hull FRP

Yes, fibreglass hulls should outlive most owners but a wooden cored hull may not. Osmosis or cracks in solid fibreglass are repairable. If a wooden core gets wet the boat may be beyond economical repair. To many people it isn't an issue, but I'd never buy a boat with a cored hull.
Years ago an experienced surveyor told me that if the hull is sound, then most anything else can be fixed. If the hull is soft, then it doesn't matter how beautiful the interior looks, the boat's not worth the money. He also refused to finish a survey in the winter as every wet hull is solid when frozen.
If your boat has a cored hull then make sure you have a current survey proving it to be dry and sound. Some insurance companies have use cored hulls as an excuse not to payout after a boat is destroyed. Once holed and on the bottom the core will become wet. After being raised for salvage the insurance company claims that the hull failed as it already was wet and therefore soft. Unless you can prove that the hull was dry and sound they may not pay anything.
Cheers, Dana
11-22-2009 01:41 AM
poopdeckpappy
Quote:
Originally Posted by cutterorient View Post
Does it make sense to spend $15 on a boat when its equivalent can be bought for $10?
Thats where pride of ownership kicks in, I bought a 26 footer and sunk a boat load of money and labor hrs into it, the new sails alone were worth more than the purchase value of the boat, but the boat was sound, had beautiful lines and was a fast & fun boat to sail.

I had some people tell me it should have been removed from the marine and crushed, when it was done, I had people asking if I would sell her, I did eventually and it only took one day, put a sign on her on a sunday afternoon, had her sold monday night.

I saw her not to long ago and she's still in the water, looks like they race her and she still looks great for 40yrs old
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