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Author Topic:   Ignorance is bliss!
pequotman posted 09-08-2002 11:34 PM ET (US)   Profile for pequotman   Send Email to pequotman  
Prior to finding the Whaler forum I did not think about the condition of my whaler. It floated, the engine purred, and all was well. Like the header says "Ignorance is bliss". After reading numerous posts regarding keel damage, water intrusion, soft floors, ect. I decided to check out a few of these items on my hull.

First I checked the keel. Seeing some blue and glass I decided to remove the bottom paint covering a 6 foot section of the keel. I found a bit more damage and, much to my dismay, a weepy gouge. I drilled a hole in the gouge and a few others along the keel in areas where the gel coat was rubbed off. I left in disgust and came back three hours later. All the holes had water drip marks below them and water around the holes.

At this time I also noted that the transom had a couple of cracks along the top edge, water side, and that it seemed to be damp/wet around the tank ground disk. A little more acetone and I dicover that there was a crack in the Gel next to the disk. I drilled a probe hole, left it for a while, and sure enough there is water weeping out of this one too. Oh by the way, the wood that cmae back in drill bit looked like wood but it was wet!!!

I have read a lot of the posts regarding water intrusion/extrusion and I think I understand these and some of the remidies. I was thinking of drilling a couple of more holes along the keel, at the stern of the boat and in the lower/bottom end of the transom. My plan is to let these holes drain the water over the winter then reseal in the spring.


What about the wood in the transom? Should I put some of that rotten wood epxoy in it after it dries a bit?

What happens to the foam/glass/gelcoat when the water in the hull freezes?

Is my strategy for tackeling this problem reasonable or is it just a continuation of blisfull stupidity?

The boat is an 88 Outrage 22'.

Oh yeah I also found a blister on the non-skid just forward and strboard of the console.

JeffA posted 09-09-2002 11:44 AM ET (US)     Profile for JeffA  Send Email to JeffA     
I just bought a Newport (several months ago) which had a small section of the gelcoat scratched off of the keel. This area was dripping water. I took a small portable household dehumidifier, put it in a heavy duty clear plastic bag, and then using duct tape, I taped the opening of the bag to the affected area. It worked great, however the boat, was in my driveway for about 3 weeks prior in the hot sun. I'm sure that helped drain the water as well. After the water was out, I sealed the laminate with West Systems Epoxy and sprayed some gelcoat on it.


Salmon Tub posted 09-09-2002 05:20 PM ET (US)     Profile for Salmon Tub  Send Email to Salmon Tub     
Pequotman, unless you answer yes to any of the following then don't worry: Does the boat sit deeper in the water than it used to, is it any harder to launch and trailer, does it list to either side? Does the transom make a creaking noise when you grab the outboard(s) and force them up or down? If the answer to all of the above is no, then get some gelcoat, fix the cracks, and enjoy your boat. You could go nuts if you start thinking too much about that stuff.

Most people here have the wrong impression of the purpose of the foam in their boat. Let me try to explaine it simply. Tommy and Joey take their parents' boats out to race on the bay. Tommy is in a 1970 16' whaler, Joey is in a 1974 typical fiberglass hull. At 2 miles out, they are running 200 yards apart and both hit submerged logs that happened to be in each of their paths. Tommy put a huge gouge in the hull, ripping a 2 foot section of glass off the bottom exposing the foam. Joey does the same, but he starts hearing gurgle, gurgle, gurgle... Tommy fires up the engine and notices that he has horrible performance, but is able to limp about. Joey notices 6" of water getting deeper in his hull. He starts the engine but the cowling is now at water level. Joey's boat eventually settles with the water level a few inches under the gunnels and he hears his engine sputter and die (under water). He tries to use his radio but the battery too is under water and his electronics fail. He is soaking wet and the water is real cold. He is able to get his life jacket on, and hold onto the boat, but every little wave makes the boat an unstable platform to which to hold on to. At this point Tommy pulls up and Joey gets into Tommy's boat. They go home. Tommy gets a butt whoopin' for totaling dad's baby. Joey gets a hug from his parents after the wrecked hull of his dad's boat washes to shore. Tommy's dad gets a check from his insurance company for the boat. Joey's parents also get a check from their insurance company. Tommy wishes he never went out that morning to race with Joey. Joey thanks God that Tommy was there racing him or else he would have died from exposure. Make sense?

Remember, Mr. Fisher never adveritised a 30+ year old whaler sitting on a truck scale with the original weight and absolutely dry holes in the bottom of the hull, and shiny gel coat. He showed that you could cut his boat in half and it would still float. Now that does not mean that it is not totalled, nor that it is even worth anything anymore. It is now garbage. But it served it's purpose. He accended a waterfall and that hull was probably toast as well, but he made it, that was important. They didn't take that hull off to a showroom to sell it. It was done, garbage, but it made it in one basic piece. look at it this way, that crack in the transom tells you one thing, what ever you did to put it there, probably would have killed the transom of another boat.

pequotman posted 09-09-2002 08:59 PM ET (US)     Profile for pequotman  Send Email to pequotman     
Thanks for the replies. JeffA what is a "small portable household dehumidifier". The dehimidifiers I am familiar with are those large electrical applicances that sit the basement and extract moisture from the air and deposit the water into a panf. I have an idea what you are talking about but is there a specific name brand that I might be able to locate on the web?

ST - I am very familiar with the merits of a whaler's consrtuction. They have been the only boat type/constuction that my family has ever owned. The boat definitely sits lower in the water than normal. There is a later model, early 90's, Outrage 22' that is in the same marina and it sits condsiderably higher than mine. I awlays thought this was due to some design difference but now I am not convinced. The crack in the transom is small and does not pose any structural issues. I drilled a few more holes in the bottom closer to the stern and found more water. It acutally ran out of one the holes I drilled. The drill bit also came back with what looked like the stuff inside a diaper after it gets soaked. I am just going to leave the boat out of the water till spring and hope that it is ventilated enough to have the water exit by gravity or evaporation. I also found a few areas topsides that could be sorces of water ingress that I will be sealing.

lhg posted 09-09-2002 09:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
I think you need to find the source of the water, if possible. Could there be a major repair prior to your ownership, concealed by bottom paint? This repair could have sealed in the water! Water doesn't get into Whalers
all that easily, unless there is hull damage, or corrosion damage around fittings.

Also check the brass drain plugs, one of the major sources of trouble for moored/docked boats.

lhg posted 09-09-2002 09:18 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
That's brass drain tubes, not plugs. Their life expectancy in salt water is less than ten years. Much discussion here on the subject.
pequotman posted 09-10-2002 11:35 AM ET (US)     Profile for pequotman  Send Email to pequotman     
lhg - I did check the drain tubes and the tube in the splash well looks very suspect. I plan on replacing it.
Capt_Tidy posted 09-10-2002 03:25 PM ET (US)     Profile for Capt_Tidy  Send Email to Capt_Tidy     
The tubes in the wells (front and back) are bad design and leak probably in all boat at one time of another.... our newly installed tubes all leak... maybe it's the yard but the whole set up is just piss poor. Most tubes are close to the edge in the wells and don't allow a lot of room to mess with... my knuckles are sore working on these things.

As Tom Clark indicates.. .under pressure (wieght of water) these tubes can be a big source for the foam... so can any crack. I think the life of these tubes is about a minute! First big hit on the bottom... first big wave. It's only a little rubber seal. Useless.

For the tubes, I have found wonderful sail boat teflon thru-hulls for the drain wells to remove the tiny and weak seal of the metal tubes... these have 1/2 inch lips to seal against... and you use a pipe wrench to get them on... no little tube wrench. Check out a good sailing yard or WestMarine for ideas to replace the metal tubes. Any wider design will need room to fit right.

Suggestion... pull the boat and get glass over any tubes you really don't need or want. Cut and dig out bad areas from the inside... use a four inch bit. Don't be shy. Find the edge of better looking stuff and fix it. You can seal any foam with any oilbase paint... it's harden. Epoxy is best.

If your really need a wet fish well, install a couple of big pumps (water in and out).

Apply this to all tubes... both fish wells, maybe the port drain, two internal lockers, etc, front anchor well... I have 8? I want only one... maybe. It's never open anyway. Do you really need any drain tubes. I am always using my shop-vac in these lockers after wash down. In the chain locker I installed a piece of PVC pipe so I could access the bottom of the locker with my hose so I could remove all the extra wash down water without moving chain. Isn't a whaler with no tubes better than a whaler with maybe leaky tubes.

Eliminate these areas if you don't use them.

For the remaining TUBE (yes just one)... try replacing with a nice wide teflon tube even if it means cutting out the interior glass to get a good seal. With IBM 5500 sealer... you can forget about these areas adding water to the foam. Sleep at night and don't have dream of water invading you boat.

I thought our 25'Outrage was wet... I've done a lot of sealing, sucking with a big shop vac, looking and feeling around to seal. I now think I have good foam in areas that I thought were really wet... the bad stuff didn't extend far. And there is no longer any real volume of free water coming from my problem area... maybe a cup a day.

I suggest drastic measures. I'm not about cutting a couple of little holes to look.... I bought a couple of 4 inch plates and really looked. The inspection plates seal well... you can show the next owner your great work... and use the clear plates to check from time to time to see if you have wetness. If it's wet... it's have condenstion on it on a hot day. That alone tell me to open up the foam. I take the covers off and let it vent naturally during the week.

And I always remove moisture.. .even if I only wedge a sponge in/over my drill holes and wick the water out. Tape on a shop-vac and leave it on for the day... I'll bet you have water in the vac when you return.


hooter posted 09-10-2002 05:43 PM ET (US)     Profile for hooter    
Sorry 'bout yer misfortune. All this talk 'bout hair driers and sceptic pencils dryin' out big hulls seems a bunch of non-sense after a pernt. Life's too short to spend the next year changin' diapers on'a vacuum machine only to remove ten or twenty percent of the water in that hull. Looks like you've got Chainsaw Whaler #22 on yer hands. Try to sell it and move on. Whalerguy's back. Tell him it's never seen a sweat stain, accept his low-ball offer, cry some, take a swig'r two of yer fav'rit amber bev'ridge, then find you a new rig.
Dr T posted 09-11-2002 12:37 PM ET (US)     Profile for Dr T  Send Email to Dr T     
Sort of reminds me of Chainsaw Whaler...
pequotman posted 09-11-2002 02:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for pequotman  Send Email to pequotman     
after having read the whole Chainsaw whaler saga:

(all three parts) I can say that I am doutbful that my boat has anywhre near the level of water intrusion as that old 13'. However itreally doesn't matter. I have had the boat since 1995 and not once has it failed to get me to my destination and back. I will dry the thing out as best as possible, reseal it and be back in the sound next season!!!!

Bigshot posted 09-11-2002 03:40 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
P-man......I would not sweat it too bad. If it sits Ok and handles fine, no biggie. A couple ounces of water can drip for months so....who knows how much you have. If you can dry it out somewhat and make sure it never gets weta again, I think you should see many years of service. If that changes and your transom gets soft, etc. I would not sell it privately, stick it to a dealer who is gonna give you a trade-in that is designed to absorb such expenses, etc.
JFM posted 09-11-2002 04:05 PM ET (US)     Profile for JFM  Send Email to JFM     
I agree with Bigshot.

There are many of us that go over board with our boats. The main thing is make it safe and enjoy it.

I have seen old Whalers that look like hell with a new motor on them. I look at some and can't believe that they are still floating, but they are.

On my last trip to Fla. I saw an old Nauset that looked like it was ready to fall apart. It had a new Honda 90 4 stroke. I asked the guy about the boat and he said he just had restored it and spent $7500.00. He thought it would go another 40 years or so and he's probably right!
Regards, Jay.

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