Structural damage to hull during winter lay-up - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 39 Old 04-28-2014 Thread Starter
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Structural damage to hull during winter lay-up

Hello! First time sailboat owner here in need of advice. Apparently there was structural hull damage that occurred during winter lay-up likely due to improper placement of stands or not enough stands. I noticed initially that there was a very slight lean towards starboard after the boat was placed on the stand. I didn't make anything of it at the time. Now, maybe too much of the boat's weight was resting on the aft starboard stand pad. There is now an inward bulge in the hull. Luckily, the inside can easily be visualized in the quarter berth. See links for full size pictures http://i.imgur.com/DKlGn6U.jpg and http://i.imgur.com/9GYUrId.jpg
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post #2 of 39 Old 04-29-2014
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Re: Structural damage to hull during winter lay-up

Is that rust coming out of the rudder?

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Re: Structural damage to hull during winter lay-up

Yea it would appear to be... That's a new development. Waterlogged I assume. Was planning to save that project for next fall...
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Re: Structural damage to hull during winter lay-up

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Originally Posted by civdis24 View Post
I noticed initially that there was a very slight lean towards starboard after the boat was placed on the stand. I didn't make anything of it at the time. Now, maybe too much of the boat's weight was resting on the aft starboard stand pad. There is now an inward bulge in the hull.
It is not unusual with a slight lean towards any of the sides - or in other directions. I never put much attention to that, actually it is often good to have the boat to lean slightly to one side, then water will easily flow away.

Some boats are known to be somewhat soft, and need a wide support pad (my pads are in the size 1 ft x 1 ft), this is often recommended with hulls with a sandwich construction. From photo #2 is looks as your pads are of good size.

GRP is in itself quite soft. If there are no support by frames and / or stringers the material will bulge. A soft bulge is not to worry about, but do inspect carefully - look for cracks in the gelcoat. Cracks inside is not to worry about, but ouside should be handled.
- If you look around you will see that many boats actually have cracks on the outside, where owners for one ot the other reason has decided not to repair it. A solid grp hull, where the fibers have bee really saturated, there is not much to worry about.

You could take a small hammer and very lightly knock on the grp around the bulge and at the bulge. Same, "solid" sound - good. If you hear a more un-distinct sound, then there might be a weakened area. There are of course more ways of doing this, with eg ultra-sound, so you might ask a professional to have a look. But it is good to have investigated self first.

It is difficult to see how large (deep) the bulge is from the photo. A minor bulge is no real worry.

For future, it could be good to think about how / where you would like to position the supporting pads. This does take some thinking, as it is not good to have b ulges close to inner support as bulkheads - that will result in cracks and too sharp bends.

As pointed out, rust in the rudder ... not good.

/J
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Re: Structural damage to hull during winter lay-up

I forgot to mention that there is a crack in the fiberglass on the inside as seen in the picture. There is some sort of structural frame (aluminum?, fiberglass?) that is now bent inwards at the bulge and the overlaying fiberglass is split apart (see picture). Suggestions for repair?

Also, any suggestions regarding the rudder? A survey last September showed no cracks or outward sign of damage to the rudder but obviously now that its been draining (or freezing?) all winter, there is rust dripping visible. A google search showed that people drill into the rudder to drain the water then fill the holes up with filler. Should I do work to the rudder before putting her back in the water and if so, what? Thanks for all the help!
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Re: Structural damage to hull during winter lay-up

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Originally Posted by civdis24 View Post
I forgot to mention that there is a crack in the fiberglass on the inside as seen in the picture. There is some sort of structural frame (aluminum?, fiberglass?) that is now bent inwards at the bulge and the overlaying fiberglass is split apart (see picture). Suggestions for repair?
That is probably a stringer (depends on the orientation, could be a frame as well). It is not difficult to repair if you can use an angle grinder and do some grp work - it is easy, you can learn quickly if you are used to tools and some handy work.
Firstly, fix the support on the outside so the is no pressure in creating the bulge. That means you have to make another arrangement for supporting the boat on land. Be creful, so this doesn't happen again.
Then, you might have to apply some preassure from the inside to correct the bulge. Doubt this will need much force, but you must have something to see to that you get the hull back in shape.
Next step is useing the ange grinder, cut away bad parts. Before that you can make some investigations with a chiesel and hammer - do not be afraid to hack away bad patches from the stringer - what is bad should go away. The hull I would be more careful with.
The damage is only in one point, but to repair you have to cover a larger area. When cutting away in the stringer, then the should be over a distance of maybe some 3-5 dm (1 -1Ĺ ft), and both ends should be tapered.
With the angle grinder you have to sand away the gelcoat of the hull in the area. Last stage is to rebuild the stringer, and to get it attached to the hull, all this with grp.
Here, I do not go inte the detail, just indicating the main steps. You have to get more detailed info from eg a book "how to repair fibreglass boats" or something.
To do this repair is neither difficult nor expensive. Use normal grp materials (not epoxy).

It could be good to invest in some thinking on why and what has caused this. It looks as the stringer was too weak, and wasn't fastened enough to the hull (?). Stringers are usually horisontal, and if you are unlucky then there has been water in the fold between stringer and hull. This water may have penetrated in between the stringer and the hull, and maybe frozen (?), and thus causing a separation. Pure speculation from my side.


Quote:
Originally Posted by civdis24 View Post
Also, any suggestions regarding the rudder? A survey last September showed no cracks or outward sign of damage to the rudder but obviously now that its been draining (or freezing?) all winter, there is rust dripping visible. A google search showed that people drill into the rudder to drain the water then fill the holes up with filler. Should I do work to the rudder before putting her back in the water and if so, what? Thanks for all the help!
If you have got water in the rudder (so it seems) the drill a small hole (5-8 mm) at the lowest point where there is a void inside the rudder (light hammer, listen carefully, just light tapping). If water comes out ... OK, then you know that.
Do not fill with a filler! Use a maschine screw instead, which you then remove the following fall (and replace in the spriong and so on).
It is difficult to see in the photo, sometimes one does gets some rust coming out also from stainless - this is as stainless is not really stainless it is just rusting very slowly. But to get this process to slow down, the steel must be open for oxygen ... which will build up a thin layer of oxide. Without this, some rust may be produced.
In itself, som rust stains are not dangerous. They may be a sign of some serious damage inside the rudder - who knows what kind of steel was used?
I would recommend the small hammer again ... listen carefully. If it looks like it is just on the surface (where the rust origin is) the I recommend using a chiesel and removing bad parts, and then rebuild with new grp.

It is difficult to say if you have any serious damage in the rudder or not, based on one photo.

You may have a look on the survey, what did it actually say, and does it include some clauses on damages that were not really identified - a surveyor should give some kind of ensurance that he is worth his pay.

/J
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Re: Structural damage to hull during winter lay-up

Correct me if I'm wrong, but it looks like you're in a cradle not sitting on jack stands ?

I agree with you that it appears that whoever blocked this up did a poor job. The Boat should rest on it's keel 1st and those pads should not be taking the kind of load that would bend your stringer. They should have blocked under the keel 1st to take the load, and then raise the pads to the hull, not the other way around.

You can fix it this year, but, could be back at it again next year if the yard does the same blocking job. Just my opinion mixed with speculation. Would be good to see a shot of the whole blocking job.

Last edited by tempest; 04-29-2014 at 07:47 AM.
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Re: Structural damage to hull during winter lay-up

New London location would suggest the water in your rudder did freeze/thaw over the winter. Many times, most likely, so structural integrity would be in question. I do not want to be in foul weather on LIS with a suspect rudder. I might take my chances in fair weather, not far from shore. YMMV.

As for the hull damage. It would bother me, but I would want a professional's opinion of the damage and best repair, not an internet review of pics. If blocked incorrectly, the yard may have some liability to you on this. Have you spoken with them?
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Re: Structural damage to hull during winter lay-up

Do you have a cored hull?
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post #10 of 39 Old 04-29-2014
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Re: Structural damage to hull during winter lay-up

sorry for you problems...I have seen worse but this is all due to idiots not caring about your boat, so that would be the yard worker

where you there when the boat was hauled...?

you have to be really careful on some boat designs on where you place those stands...

even its a fin keeler the weight should and almost always rests on the keel, blocked up

the stands go on the sides of the hull just under the waterline and sometomes right at the waterline and they are chained up from side to side to prevent slippage...

this is the result especially on light boats, older flexy boats etc

I can give you an example of a boat that you cannot do this to in the aft stern are is the newport 30

no stringers and its too soft to put stands back there like this

the damage while not catastrophic will require quite a bit of work

to me at the least what you need to do is block the boat up correctly in places where there will be no adverse pressure on the deformed areas...

then inside you need to remove and grind away that stringer

then from the inside you need to jack up the hull and press outwards in the indented area...till the hull regains its shape...slowly and steadily

all the while getting ready to add new stringers, glass them in, prime and paint over...

this is if course if there is no indication the hull is deformed...just specific spots...

if your boat looks lobsided from side to side at that area you know you have a big problem

you can also add bulkheads in certain hulls that never came with them as an added measure to stiffen up the hull

usually this is done in stern areas like behind lazarettes or in the ve berth when adding inner stays or watertight chain lockers etc..etc...

anywhoo

good luck

a pic from the stern showing all the hull and from the bow again showing all the hull will give a better overall scenario to look at...

peace

Merit 25 sold...Islander 36 still afloat? who knows...Im still in Columbus, and back...I think...jajajaja!!!!
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