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Author Topic:   Need help cracks in floor and wet core
buddydog posted 11-10-2001 09:19 PM ET (US)   Profile for buddydog   Send Email to buddydog  
I just purchaced a 1975 Montauk it has two major cracks in the floor. One on the port 16" and one on the starboard 28" The cracks are close to where the floor meets up with the sides just aft of the center console. What does it take to dry the core and properly repair the cracks.
bwwanabe posted 11-10-2001 09:45 PM ET (US)     Profile for bwwanabe  Send Email to bwwanabe     
Have a look at 10/31 general, "have you ever gutted a whale". These boats have had a notorious reputation for soaking up water in the foam hulls in the past (and who knows what the present and future holds :) Three choises, rip out the inner floor and let the foam dry for a year upsidedown, hang the boat and drill holes top and bottom and either pressurize from the top (not too much) or suck it out the bottom. Bottom line is its not dry until it weighs the same as the original specs in the reference section. buyer beware!! I've looked at three out of four with wet hulls so far but I'll keep looking for a good one so I can look after it properly.
JBCornwell posted 11-10-2001 10:45 PM ET (US)     Profile for JBCornwell  Send Email to JBCornwell     
I think Wannabe overstates the case. IF there is systemic absorption of water it can be drained in a few months (passively) by drilling a couple of holes in the keel in the area of the suspected saturation. It can be cleared sooner by application of positive pressure (or negative pressure) in the appropriate area.

Red sky at night. . .
JB :)

jimh posted 11-11-2001 09:54 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
It is not unusual for small cracks in the gelcoat layer to occur, but these generally only expose underlying layers of the laminate. Cracks like this do not expose the foam. The color of the underlying material indicates its composition. Bluish-green material is laminate, brownish material is foam.

In general, it takes a fairly significant crack in the cockpit to expose the foam.

The strength of the Whaler hull depends on the integrity of the bond between the laminate and the foam. If large areas of the laminiate are debonded from the foam a serious reduction in hull strength will occur. Bonding can be tested by tapping the hull with a small mallet and listening to the sound produced.

The ability of the foam to absorb water has been discussed at length in previous posts. The general summary is that it may be that earlier boats had foam cores that were more prone to absorb water than those of later years.

For example, a boat of similar vintage to yours, my 1976 Whaler 15-Sport, has a light brown foam core that is completely unfinished in the bow locker (the point at which it was originally pored into the hull cavity), and this foam appears to shed water. It shows no sign of any tendency to absorb water and I find it hard to believe that Whaler would have left it unfinished if it represented a portal for water to enter the core.

Water entering the core from the cockpit is much less relentless than from the hull bottom. Unless you run the boat with the cockpit filled with water, I would think the opportunities for water to enter would be limited.

The cure for wet foam is:
--dry it out
--rebond foam to laminate
--repair laminate to prevent more entry

Discussion of this can be found in earlier postings or instructions can be obtained from Whaler Customer Service (or your dealer if they're not some SeaRay Bowrider mousse-in-the-salesmen's-hair bunch).


bwwanabe posted 11-11-2001 02:10 PM ET (US)     Profile for bwwanabe  Send Email to bwwanabe     
Has anyone acually done a test on the whaler's new foam (closed cell-after 85) to see how much water it will absorb? Say, by holding underwater for a year. You would have to leave it a long time to duplicate the scenario of a loose screwhole "wicking" water into the hull.
buddydog posted 11-11-2001 07:44 PM ET (US)     Profile for buddydog  Send Email to buddydog     
Thanks for all the help. The cracks are major to the point where the foam is exposed. A good amount of delamination has occured around the cracks (about 3" to either side). The underside is strong and intact. I don't beleive that any absorption has occured from the underside only the deck (mostly rain). Would it be likely that only the damaged areas are logged? or if there is one source of water and the hull gets evenly water logged
lhg posted 11-12-2001 07:31 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Cracks like you are describing are not normal for a Whaler. It could be that you hull has suffered some significant damage from some previous accident or improper use/storage. Are there signs of previous repair? It sounds like the hull sides might have been overstressed or forced apart.

I would try to determine the cause before fixing. Maybe some water froze while sitting in the hull, exerting pressure on hull sides.

buddydog posted 11-12-2001 08:31 PM ET (US)     Profile for buddydog  Send Email to buddydog     
Thanks I actually will pick the boat up tomorrow (I hope it happens to be close to where the plane went down today) but I will get back to all and will try to send pictures before and after

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