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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi there,
One of the boat models I'm actively seeking out as our first sailboat for our family (30something couple + 2yr old munchkin) is the CS30. However, on a few boats I've viewed, I've noticed cracks in the bilge area in what I believe are the "stringers" (Figerglass beams running perpendicular to the boat, located between pairs of keel boats). I'm told by owners/brokers that these cracks are likely of no concern. I have no boat knowledge but do have some engineering background and these cracks seem suspicious to me. Any thoughts? Especially from current/previous CS owners?
 

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Dirt Free
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I have surveyed more than 30 of these boats and have yet to see one with fractures around the keel sump. I think they are sturdy little boats and although they do have their flaws, they were well built.

It is possible that the fractures are just age related stress in the gelcoat with no laminate damage or maybe the boat has been grounded and there is laminate damage. There is just no way to tell you without seeing it and sounding the area. Sometimes ..... just sometimes photos may be a help.
 

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Impossible to tell without further knowledge. Photos are good to have :)

Cracks may appear from a multityte of reasons.
One example to demonstrate: Re-inforcements, as stringers, are most often added after the hull is made. They are then "glued" or in some way fastened with plastic and fibers. This area are then very often painted with gelcoat (or top-coat to be precise), which use to be rather uneven and thick layers.
As GRP is a rather soft material (look up the E-module and you will understand) it moves a bit. Thick layers of gelcoat does not have any support by fibre, consequently it quite easy cracks ... this is just cosmetic. Doesn't matter.

On the other hand ... if one looks close to the engine, then if the boat has grounded (which more or less all boats have) then there are usually cracks around the motor bed - as the engine is heavy, when the boat hits a rock or something, it will bring some of the motor bed when it moves. Again, if these cracks are just on the surface - these one can find an almost all boats. But deep cracks here are serious.
BTW, these cracks are sometimes very visible as oil and dirt has gone into them That is a sign of oil being in places it shouldn't.

Plenty of other possibilities.

/J
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you all for the prompt replies. Less than 12 hours, and I'm impressed by all the very useful information I've gotten. I do realize a very thorough survey will be part of any potential purchase, however I am hoping to weed out the obvious bad ones even before that process. Well, here's hoping some of the cracks I've noticed are gel-coat only.
 

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Check out Marine Survey 101. It will show you how to weed out the junk before spending money on a surveyor.
 

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Wrong term, "stringers" are longitudinal reinforcements - running fore and aft.
True... the transverse beams are 'floors', and the stringers and floors are commonly referred to overall as the 'grid'.
 
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