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Author Topic:   Hull crack repair in 19' lo-profile
waagdiver posted 10-12-2001 11:14 AM ET (US)   Profile for waagdiver   Send Email to waagdiver  
I just came into one of my favorite whalers, a 19' outrage lo-profile 1978 in really bad shape. Unfortunately,
the boat has a major crack in the bottom of the hull (about 3 feet long on the port side aft running fore to aft starting about 3 feet forward
of the transom. I'm gonna repair the hull first---do you recommend having a whaler dealer do the repair, or just a quality hull repair shop or do it myself? I have some basic experience in fiberglassing, but never a running surface of the boat. I'm nervous about doing it myself, but I wonder if the whaler hull is so unique that I should take it to a whaler dealer that has experience repairing whaler hulls? The boat hit a rock, and then the boat sat in salt water with the breached hull
for a long time (maybe 6 months to a year!). Any advice?

This is my first submit on this Forum. My other boat is a 1976 Penn Yan 23' Cuddy. There is an awesome web site for Penn Yans at

lhg posted 10-12-2001 12:32 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Particularly because the damage is on the bottom, you need Whaler's SPECIFIC instructions on making that repair. It's likely the skin/foam bond is broken along the crack. You won't find this method in the often used West System fiberglass book.

The crack will have to be opened up to about 1" wide at least, then the foam (assuming its still in good shape and dry) will have to scraped out under the perimeter of the skin, polyester resin mash inserted, the original skin taper ground to 2" knife edge, and resin soaked glass matting layed in, ground down, then re-gelcoated. If the underlying foam is detroyed, it too will have to be replaced by moulding up blocks, and inserting in the damaged foam areas, held in place with toothpicks.

The essence of Whaler hull repairs is to re-bond a repired but structurally continuous skin to the underlying foam.

Don't assume a Whaler Dealer will automatically know how to do this, although they may. I'd start with them first. Anybody should be able to do it provided they follow the recommended procedures.

JAC posted 10-12-2001 01:33 PM ET (US)     Profile for JAC  Send Email to JAC     
Did the crack break through the glass entirly or is it a surface crease? Is there water inside the hull ?
If the worst case is considered, you will need to open the crack and dry the area underneath. Remove any suspect foam and replace with new, liquid foam. I don't like the use of blocks in whalers. they add boyancy but little structural support.
Let the foam expand and fill the void, trim and shape the area around the crack and do the patch and cosmetic repair. This forum's archives and or the West Marine guides will detail these steps. If you are not experianced, find a good glass shop.
the key is having a good solid , clean, dry structure for the new foam and patch to adhear to. If not, it will all come apart in time.
Good luck
waagdiver posted 10-12-2001 07:18 PM ET (US)     Profile for waagdiver  Send Email to waagdiver     
The crack is 3' feet long, running fore to aft. At one point in the crack, there are broken pieces of fiberglass; I have yanked out several fairly large pieces of fiberglass hull from the impact area (pieces about 1 to 2 inches squares). In the impact area, the underlying foam is clearly visible. In the impact area there is an indented area about the size of a 1 foot diameter circle/oval.
waagdiver posted 10-12-2001 07:39 PM ET (US)     Profile for waagdiver  Send Email to waagdiver     
I emailed Boston Whaler ( and they gave me the names and phone numbers of 3 BW dealers (Alameda, Newport, Rancho Cordova --- all in Southern California). I called all 3 this morning and talked with their "hull/glass" guy. Each said that taking it to a qualified fiberglass shop would be fine and that there is nothing really "special" about the whaler hull when doing a repair as described. They emphasized that the most important thing is to take it to an experienced glass shop, and also to decide how good a repair that we'd like to have made: ie, how long would we keep the boat, how much confidence we need to have in the integrity of the hull, etc. Needless to say, we want a first class job, as we would like to keep the boat "forever".
lhg posted 10-15-2001 04:34 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
I'm shocked! It sounds like since Sea Ray has taken over the Company, BW's original hull repair instructions (mine are dated 1988) are no longer being used. And that's fine. Maybe they are out of date with the advent of the West's all purpose fixer- upper stuff. But what really amazes me is that they're saying you have your choice of a fair, average, or excellent repair! How long do you want it to last??? How about a year, just be sure you're not 10 miles offshore in 8' seas 365 days from now! Is there really any other way to do it other than the "right way"??? Unbelievable! But I guess there is. That's why I've seen so many cobbed up, homemade looking Whaler repairs. And these people are Dealers?

Guess that's also why they're now saying bunk float-on trailers are the best way to support and launch your Whaler.

andygere posted 10-15-2001 04:57 PM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
FYI-the Alameda dealer in in NorCal, right next to Oakland on SF Bay. The others are still probably closer to you in SLO.

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