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Author Topic:   Question on cracking
Ed posted 03-20-2000 09:00 AM ET (US)   Profile for Ed   Send Email to Ed  
I was looking at a 1973 13' Whaler yesterday and noticed some stress type cracks in the glass in various places inside the boat.

Mostly around curves in the design. I was wondering if these cracks are nromal for this age hull and if they spell pending death for the hull. Also, can they be repaired by a handy amature?

It appears the boat has been kept under cover, so I don't think water has seeped in yet, but will the foam break down if it has? Is there a preferred way to seal the cracks?



kent posted 03-20-2000 11:16 AM ET (US)     Profile for kent    
Ed. I am working on an old 13 ft. Whaler. My boat had lots of those small cracks too. I took the boat to my local fibreglas shop to get their opinion. They told me that these small stress cracks were normal with older fibreglas and that they were cosmetic in nature. They said that only the gelcoat was crazing and the fibreglas was still structurally sound. They see it all the time on old fibreglas, boats or otherwise. The foam should be OK as the cracking would not be through to it. BW foam is supposed to non-absorbing.

This is how they told me to repair the cracks.

1. The boat must be cleaned with a solution of water and TSP to remove any old grease or oil. Then let it dry and clean it with acetone.

2. Let the boat dry for a while. It must be VERY dry before you can do any fibreglas work.

3. Sand the area with 80 grit paper, remove the dust, and wipe it again with acetone.

4. Apply a coat of resin, a layer of 6 oz. cloth, and then another layer of resin. Then sand and fair the surface.

5. Apply 2 coats of gelcoat to finish and sand/buff out.

Keep in mind that this is the procedure for those small stress cracks. Big cracks require a bit more prep work and some extra filling.

I have followed the advice and it has turned out well. Anyone with average mechanical aptitude can do the work. It is quite tedious and time consuming, which is probably why it is so expensive to have a shop do it. Shop rates in my area here in Canada run about $60.00/hr. It does not take too many hours and you have a BIG bill. The materials don't cost that much.

Hope this helps.

Ed posted 03-20-2000 11:18 PM ET (US)     Profile for Ed  Send Email to Ed     
Thanks for the info! I took the plunge and came to an agreement on price with the owner. If she runs OK, she'll have a new loving home and you guys will probably see more of me here....fair warning.

Thanks again,

-Ed G.

kent posted 03-21-2000 01:17 AM ET (US)     Profile for kent    
Ed. Is this your first Whaler?

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