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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am looking at my first sailboat. I have a fantastic opportunity on a 1977 Seafarer 26. The only problem is I don't know if these are serious signs of an underlying problem or not. The cost of a survey would be more than the boat so that's not happening. The cracks are all on the interior liner mostly in the V-birth storage, but some are in other locations ie Head wall and cabin floor.
birth storage wall
birth storage floor
cabin floor edge as it turns up

Thanks all, I know there are some very knowledgeable sailors here that will help.

Dan
 

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The cabin floor picture looks like crazing due to some stress and the top some of them are interesting as they are spider web looking like impact cracks. It depends where the cracks are to know if they are serious. Like are they at joints or random spots in the cabin?
 

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Without knowing how deep they are, it isn't really possible to know for sure. I know you said a survey isn't in the future but the depth of the cracks is what a surveyor would look at which is certainly something ypou could investigate.

Surface only indicates crazing; deeper cracks indicate a walk-away.
 

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you can find out if they are structural, its not a perfect test and you would need the owners permission to do it. lucky its not really a destructive test and it takes only a few mins to do. like i said its not perfect but it can show up cracks that are just more than gel coat.

get some sand paper grits 80 and 150, then you need some sort of dye, what works well is red kool aid.

first lightly sand the crack, not a real large area, infact using the edge of a folded piece is best. apply some koolaid mixed strong, wait about 1 min then wipe clean, then using the edge of a piece of 80 grit folded sand the crack some more, basicly opening it to a V just till you hit the fiber glass or until the line goes away. as you sand watch and wipe it out every so often. if the fine line that the koolaid drew into goes away it is just the gel coat. if it does not go away it goes deeper. if it does go away you can double check it buy putting more koolaid in to the V let it sit then wipe with a damp rag. hopefully it all stays one solid shade of pink if the line returns then it does go deeper.

if all is okay sand again with the 150 folded to get rid of the stain, and use gel coat filler to fill up the V ( optional if you own or are going to buy the boat )

this is a trick i learned when i used to run remote control submarines, and i built a run of 9 foot long fiber glass hulls
 

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Midwest Puddle Pirate
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you can find out if they are structural, its not a perfect test and you would need the owners permission to do it. lucky its not really a destructive test and it takes only a few mins to do. like i said its not perfect but it can show up cracks that are just more than gel coat.

get some sand paper grits 80 and 150, then you need some sort of dye, what works well is red kool aid.

first lightly sand the crack, not a real large area, infact using the edge of a folded piece is best. apply some koolaid mixed strong, wait about 1 min then wipe clean, then using the edge of a piece of 80 grit folded sand the crack some more, basicly opening it to a V just till you hit the fiber glass or until the line goes away. as you sand watch and wipe it out every so often. if the fine line that the koolaid drew into goes away it is just the gel coat. if it does not go away it goes deeper. if it does go away you can double check it buy putting more koolaid in to the V let it sit then wipe with a damp rag. hopefully it all stays one solid shade of pink if the line returns then it does go deeper.

if all is okay sand again with the 150 folded to get rid of the stain, and use gel coat filler to fill up the V ( optional if you own or are going to buy the boat )

this is a trick i learned when i used to run remote control submarines, and i built a run of 9 foot long fiber glass hulls
This is a very good method, and cheap too. Rep for you.

I'm trying to figure out the last sentence though. Why on earth would anyone want a remote control submarine? Once you dive, what is there to see? Maybe it's the thrill of wondering if your years of hard work will resurface?? I don't get it.
 

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Why on earth would anyone want a remote control submarine? Once you dive, what is there to see? Maybe it's the thrill of wondering if your years of hard work will resurface?? I don't get it.
well they have fail safes, if they lose radio signal for a set time they blow ballast. you also dont run them at great distances away from you. as for seeing where they go, thats why a friend of mine and i designed and built a fiberoptic periscope system using a 2.4 giga hertz video transmitter and a ccd camera in the hull. it was close to scale in size and shape, and worked well. but at 1500 we did not sell many.

here is a vid just to show you what they can be like. turn down the volumn the motor is causing problems with the mike

edit not my sub or my camera system

YouTube - Ride Onboard an RC Submarine
 

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Midwest Puddle Pirate
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OK, I get it. I was just thinking about running them out at one of our local lakes. Visibility is about 3 inches. I can see running them in a pool where you can see what it's doing though.
 

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Aquaholic
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woah, those are cool!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Scotty
Let me see if I got this right. Your testing to see if it is only gel coat deep and if so then the issue is cosmetic? Does it make a difference that the outer hull has no indication of cracking and that is is only an inner lining shell? In the cockpit lockers where the is no liner and you see the outer hulls inside the glass is fine, of course it's not gel coated either.
Thanks for the testing method.
Dan
 

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It looks to me like you've got point impacts on the horizontal plane, and flex cracks on the vertical plane. First thing that comes to my mind is some kind of impact that flexed the bottom.
 

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Telstar 28
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The star shaped ones are impact cracks—and as such probably not as big a concern as the parallel lines which are stress cracks caused by the laminate flexing.
 

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The cost of a survey would be more than the boat so that's not happening.
Dan,

A survey for a simple boat is about $10-15/foot. Are you getting this boat for less than $400 ?? If so, go ahead and buy it and don't worry about the crazing in the liner. But do expect other problems on a boat that is being sold to you for less than 1/10 the normal market value.;)

Long-time members probably can't begin to count the number of times folks have come on here after the fact grousing about problems on boats that they purchased without surveying. So, caveat emptor.

If you are truly getting the boat at a giveaway price, then it's a judgement call on your part whether to have it surveyed. Clearly the owner giving it away is not going to remedy any defects, but the survey would still have value because it might save you from taking over someone else's expensive problem child. This could save you a lot of money in the long run.

If you go forward with the purchase anyway, the survey would at least give you a road map of suggested problems and remedies.
 

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John gives good advice. Who knows, in this market you may be able to talk a good surveyor down in price a little. Be really flexible in your schedule, be courteous, choose one that doesn't have to travel far at all, and make it worth his while.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks John
Yes it is literally a giveaway. The owner has passed away and the family just wants to see it gone. It has sat floating at a dock for several years with minimal attention. A friend just paid $500 to have his old beyond repair boat disposed of and other quotes were 2 to 3 time that. I don't want to be there anytime soon. Also don't really like the idea of taking on water through the hull.
 

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Well, if you can accept the risk of potential major problems, then it's your call.

If I were in your place, I would go ahead and get the survey and plan to use it as a repair/remedy roadmap (you may need one for insurance regardless). In which case, I suppose it doesn't really matter whether you have the survey done before or after you take possession, but why not do it ahead, just in case?

Even with the cost of the survey, you'll still be getting this boat for a steal.

Here's hoping it works out well for you. Post more photos when you have the chance!:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I suppose your right John, there is a lot of value i just knowing what needs to be done. Work is slow and the budget is tight but when a real deal comes along... and $500- $600 instead of a survey can sure help with new running rigging as I wouldn't even try to keep my pants up with the sun rotted stuff on deck. Thanks again John at this price I'm sure I could sell it for a profit just as salvage items alone.
 

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I would highly recommend that you read the Boat Inspection Trip Tips thread that I started if you're not going to get the boat surveyed. That will help you determine whether getting the boat is a good idea or not.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks SD, I read them when I decided I wanted a boat. Good info that everyone looking to buy should use. Can save an inspection fee by pre-screening the obvious deal breakers before money starts changing hands.
 

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Can you see the backsides of the panels with the cracks? If so look for anything out of the ordinary.

Since the areas you show are storage and high traffic areas, it would be very surprising to see them in pristine condition on a 32 year old unrestored boat. Anchors, food tins, tool boxes, spare parts, even stuffing soft goods into the locker all have potential to produce those stars in the storage areas, also pretty normal to see stress cracks along an edge as shown in the sole pic.

None of those look like anything -I- would be overly concerned with.

Bounce around on the sole, and press against the walls in the storage areas while watching for any movement that shouldn't be there.

Ken.
 

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Yes, that's why I wrote it. :)
Thanks SD, I read them when I decided I wanted a boat. Good info that everyone looking to buy should use. Can save an inspection fee by pre-screening the obvious deal breakers before money starts changing hands.
 
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