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1994 Catalina 270
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59 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I finally went to see my Catalina 270 which was dry-docked about a month ago. I noticed that the cabin sole had an upward bulge with stress fractures around the opening for the bilge on all four corners.

No marina folks were around to talk to about this problem. I am assuming that when they placed the boat down, they stacked too many blocks under the keel and that placed an undue weight burden on the keel. I plan to contact the marina on Monday.

I am now worried about the structural integrity of my boat. Is the boatyard responsible for this? Should I require them to pay for a professional survey of my boat?

Does anyone have any other information about this problem or suggestions?

Thank you!
Jim
 

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Telstar 28
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Never having been on a Catalina 270, I don't know how the cabin sole and the hull are connected. Do you have photos?
 

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It is my understanding that when properly blocked, the keel should support the boat. The stanctions are primarily used to keep the boat upright and have little if any weight bearing support. Perhaps the yard let your boat down too fast and it bumped the blocks. I hope it wasn't droped.
 

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Retired and happy
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I have never heard of this problem before, but others may be able to comment on your particular situation with a Catalina. In general terms, however, a boat should be able to rest on its keel. This may well happen as a matter of course (eg when "drying out" for maintenance or repairs or when inadvertently being aground on a falling tide). Where I come from, in the East coast of Scotland, drying harbours are common and boats have to rest on their keels in between tides (sometimes up against the harbour wall), so I certainly would not expect this to be a problem. From my point of view, it would point to a structural integrity problem (sorry!) but wait to see what others have to say.

Stuart
 

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Is there any distortion visible from outside the hull?

I'm assuming the boat is supported on keel blocks and boat stands. The keel blocks support most of the weight of the boat and the boat stands are primarily there for balance, not to support the weight of the hull.

If the distortion is around the cabin sole, not the hull, the problem may not have anything to do with the way she is supported. Did you have a lot of water in the bilge that froze? That could have distorted the cabin sole.

You can check the Brownell website site, maker of boat stands, with guidelines on how to's and do's and don'ts for using the stands.

Some of their key guidelines include:
Use blocking along centerline of the boat to rest all the weight on.
Use a V-Stand under the bow of all fin keel sailboats.
If this is truly a problem with the blocking or stands, you want to get her properly supported immediately.
 

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Some Catalinas are infamous for having a wooden mast step which, in combination with the force of the boat's weight resting on the keel with a rotten step which is inevitable, might cause this malady. Should be easy enough to inspect.
 

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There are some Catalinas, the 30 is one I am familiar with, that have a fin keel that is angled. That is that when blocked correctly on the hard, to be level, the front of the fin keel requires more blocking than the back. If this is not done the whole weight of the boat is just on the back end of the fin keel. This normally results in the 'Catalina Smile' which is a cracking of the laminate forward end of the fin keel where it meets the hull. I have not heard of this causing an issue with the cabin sole though.

Maybe, with a rotten mast step, as K1vdk suggested, or a rotten bulkhead or failed tabbing on a bulkhead plus bad blocking and stand placement by the yard, i.e. stands not placed where the hull is supported by a bulkhead, could lead to sufficient hull distortion to cause the cabin sole to buckle.
 

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1994 Catalina 270
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59 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Photos of stress fractures

Here are a few photos of the problem click here. I could not show the bulge of the interior sole with a photo though.
 

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In the second photo from the top, on the left, it DOEs appear that your keel is pushing up into the hull! In 1982 I owned a 1976 Hunter 27. When they went to put her in the water for the season the called me and said the keel was falling off, and it was! The whole bottom of the boat was delaminated in the area around the keel. What a job fixing it. I had to remove every stringer in the bottom of the boat and about 50 lbs of glass, then rebuilte everything, doubling the stringers, adding large stainless plates etc. The boa sailed so MUCH better afterwards it was amazing! I must have had one of those tilting keels.

I sold the boat to a guy who sailed it up and down the east coast from NJ to Florida. Eight years later he calls me, and says that he heard the bilge pump running for the first time, that he never had any water in the bilge, only dust. I suggested that the rubber padding I put under the stainless plates may have dry rotted. He called back a few days to tell me that it was exactly the cause and replacing the rubber fixed it.
 

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Telstar 28
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Those do look like cracks caused by something pushing up (or down) there. Not good. Do you have a wider view of the interior where you can see all four corners of the sole.
 

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Tres...I would call Catalina tech support and find out for sure how that particular boat should be blocked and supported. That should not be happening and I am concerned that the minor crazing in the floor may be indicative of some delamination of the hull below unless this is a KNOWN issue at Catalina.
 

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Lynger1
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Hi I saw pictures
1. Looks like inpack damage drop on keel (90% sure)
2.Place 2 supporting beams of meters long around 500mm outward from keel,jack both pieces gentle up by 50-100mm up wards
Inspect that floor gets back in original position if so that Will confirm dropping of boat
3. open floor and inspect wath supports are broken from moulding,repair can be done with full pressure relieve from keel
4.install extra cross beams in hull and Fiberglas this in strongly
cover over 3 time the damaged aria.

As a retired engineer i would suggest to try to claim on insurance(i hope you have this)
Other way is to claim to the yard will be hard to prove without Anny withnes

Normal i would not sail this boat in blue water Anny more:
This will be a major repair bill and it still would be very hard to re-insures with a new survey report
 

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1994 Catalina 270
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59 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Another response I received:

"uh, ummm, GET TO THE MANAGER OF THE MARINA AS SOON AS YOU CAN!!!!!!!!!!

this was caused (in my opinion) by either dropping the boat, OR the chain running under the front of the keel between the two stands.

If they give you any grief about it being a grounding, simply state that the "damage" would be on the back side of the sole, not the front."
 

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1994 Catalina 270
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59 Posts
Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
New Photos

Here are some more photos from 1/4/08. The boatyard was off for the week and called to tell me that they repositioned the boat on 1/5/08. I have not seen the boat since then.

DIOGI - Problems

The first few pics show stress cracks around sole where bilge is located.

(1) One thing that was mentioned by the boatyard on my haul-out receipt was:
"Interior of boat very wet - we noticed while it was raining that water was coming in from decks on port & starboard sides"

This problem was not there prior to it being hauled out. I'm wondering if they may have put this note on my receipt to cover a mistake they made???

I saw no indication of water damage except the bilge was full of water again. I have not yet talked to the boatyard as to exactly what THEY saw.

(2) I looked more closely at the keel this time and noticed cracks on the front of it. (see photos). The bottom was scraped and painted last June.

(3) I spoke with my insurance company. They asked if the boatyard admitted to making a mistake. I told them "no". If I wanted my insurance company to have someone to look at the boat, that would be initiating a claim ($1000 deductible).

It is so unike a claim for your car being damaged. At least with a car, the damage is usually obvious. Boats seem to be a totally different matter.

Any advice is appreciated.

Thank you!
 

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I hate to say it, but those cracks don't look new to me. They don't look like something that just happened. They look like something that has been going on for a long time.

Gary H. Lucas
 

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1994 Catalina 270
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59 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Thanks for your note. Were you referring to the sole cracks or outside keel?

I just made an edit to my post since I forgot to note the the bottom was scraped and painted June of last year. I don't know if that will help anyone when looking at those photos.
 

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moderate?
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I agree Gary...looks like damage from a grounding to me...When was the keel painted? Is there damage visible on front unerside of the keel? Given the interior stress cracking...I'd say there is a likelihood of some structural damage and that the keel will need to be dropped and hull/bolts/stub inspected for repair needs. To me it seems highly unlikely that the damage could be caused by the yard. Insurance may cover grounding damage.
Your leaks could easily be caused by hull deformation on jack stands opening up some caulking. Typical issue.
 

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Lynger1
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25 Posts
Hi I saw pictures
1. Looks like inpack damage drop on keel (90% sure)
2.Place 2 supporting beams of meters long around 500mm outward from keel,jack both pieces gentle up by 50-100mm up wards
Inspect that floor gets back in original position if so that Will confirm dropping of boat
3. open floor and inspect wath supports are broken from moulding,repair can be done with full pressure relieve from keel
4.install extra cross beams in hull and Fiberglas this in strongly
cover over 3 time the damaged aria.

As a retired engineer i would suggest to try to claim on insurance(i hope you have this)
Other way is to claim to the yard will be hard to prove without Anny withnes

Normal i would not sail this boat in blue water Anny more:
This will be a major repair bill and it still would be very hard to re-insures with a new survey report
Hi having seen this lot of pic a agree wit damage done.
Looking at it a assume the front bottom of keel had in pack toward to the back of boat,this caused to pull down-wards and cracked hull
When pressure is applied on blocks this Will bulge in
1. Cracks looks old but when water was in keel this will change within a few hours when salt water is exposed to air
2. Lines in front off keel seems to be from lifting straps
3. There are two possibilities front under water in-pact or while lifting boat out of water knock against something?

Just try to let keel hang from hull i think this will drop back in his normal position(if so this will support this)
 

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Trescool,

If your insurance company is dragging its feet, you might consider hiring a surveyor to inspect the damage and try to ascertain cause. This way you have a professional opinion to back up any claim with the insurance company or the marina.
 
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