Waviness and Spider Cracking in c.1989 Boat

Repair or modification of Boston Whaler boats, their engines, trailers, and gear
jmauld
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Joined: Wed Nov 07, 2018 2:09 pm

Waviness and Spider Cracking in c.1989 Boat

Postby jmauld » Wed Nov 07, 2018 2:31 pm

I looked at a [1989 Sport 13] over the weekend and there were a couple of things wrong with the hull. The gelcoat had a lot of spider crack--almost everywhere. I assume this is probably normal for a 30-year-old boat, and especially one with bottom paint to indicate it's been sitting in the water.

The starboard side transom was wavy. Is this a common problem? Or, is [a wavy transom] a cause for concern?

The boat seems to be priced fairly at $3,000.

Right away [the 1989 SPORT 13] needs a new battery and a bilge pump. Some of the interior board pieces were also cracked, but the boat could still be used with those in place.

jimh
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Location: Michigan, Lower Peninsula
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Re: Waviness and Spider Cracking in c.1989 Boat

Postby jimh » Thu Nov 08, 2018 8:55 am

jmauld wrote:...The starboard side transom was wavy. Is this a common problem? Or, is [a wavy transom] a cause for concern?

The incidence of wavy hull sides in 13-foot Boston Whaler boats by my recollection has been very low, and I cannot actually recall anyone ever mentioning this in the 13-foot hulls. Generally some waviness in the hull sides might be seen occasionally in larger hulls that have much larger flat hull sides in which a bit of deviation from perfectly flat can be seen. For waviness in the hull side to occur in the transom also seems unusual to me.

I would not infer that because the boat was made in 1989 that in 2018 there is an expectation that all hulls would typically show a defect of waviness in the transom.

jmauld wrote:...The gelcoat had a lot of spider crack--almost everywhere. I assume this is probably normal for a 30-year-old boat...


For a Boston Whaler boat made in c.1989 to exhibit gel coat spider cracking everywhere is NOT typical. Spider cracks in gel coat that are widespread are usually indications that the boat was exposed to the weather for long periods, saw lots of sun, and was not particularly well-cared for. The owner's manual for a Boston Whaler 13-foot boat includes specific advice and instructions for care to be given to gel coat to protect it. See

http://continuouswave.com/whaler/reference/manual9-17/maintenance.html#gelcoat

dtmackey
Posts: 252
Joined: Thu Sep 28, 2017 9:29 pm

Re: Waviness and Spider Cracking in c.1989 Boat

Postby dtmackey » Mon Nov 12, 2018 10:38 pm

Not familiar with waviness in the transom, but I've seen it in the hull sides in 13, 15 and 17 sport models - as Jim says, more common in larger baots. I think this is a function of pumping in expandable foam and it flexing the outer skin as it expands and I do not consider this a problem at at all.

As for the spider cracks I'm not sure what to make of this as I've seen very old boats that sit behind the dock for 30+ years and have very few cracks and others where cracks are bad and it's a seasonal boat. One case in point is a lobsterman friend of mine, his late 80s model 13 stays in all year, except for a weekend to pull and paint the bottom) and he used the Whaler to get to his bigger boat moored in the harbor. The boat exhibits almost no cracks at all, yet my 15' that is about the same age had bad cracking all over the interior and was a seasonal boat and either covered or stored indoors in the off season. The hull sides are still in perfect condition and almost as good as the day they came out of the mold.

Based on these two boats I find it difficult to draw conclusions from exposure to sun and environment since they both defy what would be expected.

The classic 13, 15 and 17 Whalers are very common around here since they were made in MA and were considered the gold standard of small boats, so they seem to be everywhere. In Marblehead I've counted over 40 at one point and didn't check behind every dock, so there may have been more. With the number of boats, you get to see a large sampling neglect, usage and cosmetic finishes. Overall, I'd say they hold up quite well.

D-