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Author Topic:   Wavey Fiberglass
MilwaukeeWhaler posted 04-01-2002 04:08 PM ET (US)   Profile for MilwaukeeWhaler   Send Email to MilwaukeeWhaler  
The more I look at pictures of Whalers on the this site the more I notice the "waves" in my fiberglass. What would cause this? I thought the boat was pretty mint when I bought it.
Landlocked posted 04-01-2002 04:23 PM ET (US)     Profile for Landlocked  Send Email to Landlocked     
My montauk has the waves in the sides too. I have always assumed these were probably related to some ammount of delamination. Don't know for sure and I guess to be honest, I don't really want to know. Sometimes I feel like we worry too much.

Boat looks good, performs good, and I feel like she'll be around for a long time. I've see the waves in several whalers.


MilwaukeeWhaler posted 04-01-2002 04:25 PM ET (US)     Profile for MilwaukeeWhaler  Send Email to MilwaukeeWhaler     
You took the words out of my keyboard.
Salmon Tub posted 04-01-2002 05:38 PM ET (US)     Profile for Salmon Tub  Send Email to Salmon Tub     
I seem to recall that since the molds for the 17' hull have been around forever, they have, with time distorted a bit, and thus, the waves have formed. I have them on mine too, but no flex or other signs of delamination. If it is a distortion in the mold, then the wave pattern should be identical in all hulls, especially ones that are similar in age. It would be interesting to somehow compare several hulls to each other.
Landlocked posted 04-01-2002 05:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for Landlocked  Send Email to Landlocked     
Could we do it by measuring the distances to "Peaks and valleys" from a common point on the stern of our boats and comparing measurements?

My boat is a 78 built in 77.


MilwaukeeWhaler posted 04-01-2002 08:33 PM ET (US)     Profile for MilwaukeeWhaler  Send Email to MilwaukeeWhaler     
I will compare my hull to others at one of the rendezvous this summer. I own a '95 Montauk. But it will be at the dealer for a couple of weeks, so I can't help with measurements.
Tom W Clark posted 04-01-2002 09:29 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     
No, the "waves" are not from the mold! Come on guys, is that logical? No it is not. Do you really think they would let the hulls out the door without fixing the mold? Cripes, the mold are reinforced with steel every which way. They ain’t goin’ anywhere.

The distortions you are seeing are not unusual at all nor are they a sign of anything terrible, so relax. I do not know for sure what causes them but I will tell what I have heard. I should also add that more 1980's vintage whalers than not that I have seen have them to some degree. My last Whaler, a 1983 Outrage 18 had them as did a 1989 Outrage 25 WD that I just looked at (belongs to Pete Elke).

They are not from delamination. Thump your hull and you will note that it is solid.

lhg maintains that they can be the result of uneven loading on the hull from improper storage support out of the water. I do not buy this but I cannot prove it incorrect either.

The first 18 Outrages had a terrible problem with an extreme version of this puckering in the early 80's and I was told be my dealer that it was the result of the foam in the hull shrinking and pulling the sides in with it. Whaler presumably changed foam vendors and the problem went away or at least became minimized.

There is some sense to this scenario. If the foam were to shrink, it would be the flat sides (especially the 18'-25' hulls) that would deform. The foam itself is very well attached to the glass hull and can exert a lot of pull. A flat surface will "oil can" very easily whereas a complex shape, like the bottom or bow will remain rigid. This might be why we only see this on the sides of our boats.

Landlocked posted 04-01-2002 09:36 PM ET (US)     Profile for Landlocked  Send Email to Landlocked     
Got to thinking after posting, If my boat is a 77 hull, would it not have come from a new mold since the hull was re-designed that year? Kind of does away with the old mold theory.


Salmon Tub posted 04-01-2002 09:45 PM ET (US)     Profile for Salmon Tub  Send Email to Salmon Tub     
You don't see many other boats with this same problem, but you guys are right, the old mold theory, on second though does not wash. It may be the fact that since these boats have pretty straight lines and no ribs or bulkheads every few feet, it is just a natural occurance with these materials. It may be a by-product of the drying process. If I remember, I will call Whaler tommorow, and ask them, heck, they got to know.
PMUCCIOLO posted 04-02-2002 03:51 AM ET (US)     Profile for PMUCCIOLO    
After reviewing this string, I inspected the gunwales and sides of my Alert 17. There are no ripples in the hull whatsoever. However, the rolled edge of the gunwale (just medial to the rub rail) has very small variations in it.


Bigshot posted 04-02-2002 10:28 AM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
Helen Keller could read the side of my boat, yet my 1976 13' is relatively straight.
dfmcintyre posted 04-02-2002 11:47 AM ET (US)     Profile for dfmcintyre  Send Email to dfmcintyre     
Both my 80's 25' Revenge and Walt Steffens' early 90's Revenge had/has some (read few) minor "waves", more noticible around the waterlines than anywhere else.

I also don't quite buy the improper storage support. Walt's trailer is a four bunked trailer with rollers. The trailer that I had for the 25 was a two bunked trailer with rollers.

The foam shrinkage theory (especially since both hulls thunked solid) in certain areas may make sense. Do idential hulls, within a certain serial number exhibit the save waveyness in the same areas?


NEVER SCARED posted 04-02-2002 01:26 PM ET (US)     Profile for NEVER SCARED    
My Outrage has a very slight amount of "waves", but they are so slight that I think they are just from the manufacturing process. I did see a whaler at a dealer that had waves 1 to 2in deep!!! That was probably delamination. It was near the "whaler" stickers!
Wreckdiver posted 04-02-2002 05:06 PM ET (US)     Profile for Wreckdiver  Send Email to Wreckdiver     
My 1995 “Sea Ray” Dauntless 13 had near perfect glass. The new legendary Montauk, I now own, doesn't show a straight panel on the boat. I would guess the problem comes from a slight amount of shrinkage as the fiberglass lay-up cures. A flat panel actually needs to be a bit convex to hide these imperfections. The sailboats I owned would print the edges of the bulkhead through even rounded portions of the hull. I think designers understand material properties much better than they did even a few years ago. I would bet that the new Montauk is a lot more rounded than the classic. It may not actually be any “straighter”, but will appear to be.
Salmon Tub posted 04-04-2002 02:22 PM ET (US)     Profile for Salmon Tub  Send Email to Salmon Tub     
Not to call anyone a horse, but this just in from the horses mouth, called whaler - the plant not 800-whaler9, the answering service, talked to somebody who was taking Chuck's place while he was gone for a few days. Was told the foam has been different from the late 70's, 78 I believe he said, and the foam since then, does not obsorb water. Also, regarding the waves, he said none of their hulls are "geometrically straight do to the process. foam goes into wet glass, and the pressure created does indeed distort the molds a bit even though they are steel molds. He said that despite the thickness of the steel, the pressure created by the expand foam does distort them a little.
MilwaukeeWhaler posted 04-04-2002 02:27 PM ET (US)     Profile for MilwaukeeWhaler  Send Email to MilwaukeeWhaler     
Good to know it's not structural. Thanks ST for your follow thru. MW
Tom W Clark posted 04-09-2002 10:21 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     
I've just stumbled across some very interesting information about foam and shrinkage in Whalers. It is contained in an article written by Hank Wieand Bowman for Popular Boating, September 1961. Thanks to Dave Wheeler (Lil Whaler Lover) who sent the article to me.

This article makes reference to the fact that Whaler used polyurethane foam even back then. It goes on to discuss how Dick Fisher acknowledged that they had trouble with the foam in the beginning. I will quote from the article here:

"Some of the early models of the Whaler were badly distorted after a year. Some actually were partially shrivelled and wrinkled, due to shrinkage of the foam. This problem was corrected, Fisher said, after the cause was discovered: insufficient temperature and humidity controls during construction. Customers' investments were protected by the manufacturer, who replaced or repaired these damaged hulls.

Swelling of the foam proved just as damaging as shrinkage, but careful research now makes it possible to pre-check foam formulations for any tendency to shrink or swell, and rigid controls give mechanical stability to the urethane during its curing period. For several years Whaler hulls have been free of damage due to either cause."

Remember this is from 1961 when Whaler had only been around for maybe four years, yet it sound very much like the problem they had with those early Outrage 18's.

If the foam has changed through the years, and I believe it has, it has always been polyurethane foam of some sort (or brand) or another. The analysis of CSW's and other's foams has not yielded evidence of any substantive difference in the foam itself. I'm not really sure what to make of the Whaler customer service's response to Salmon Tub's query.

MilwaukeeWhaler posted 04-09-2002 11:49 PM ET (US)     Profile for MilwaukeeWhaler  Send Email to MilwaukeeWhaler     
Could the 10 year warranty come into effect here? I'll drive the darn thing down there and bring home a new hull. Maybe even meet Bigshot at the factory for a tour and a beer.

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