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Author Topic:   2005 170 MONTAUK Gel Coat Problems
Stephen_12 posted 07-22-2012 09:35 AM ET (US)   Profile for Stephen_12   Send Email to Stephen_12  
Has anyone with a Montauk 170 noticed any problems with the gel coat? Last year, I brought [a 2005 Boston Whaler 170 MONUTAK] boat home, and when washing it I noted a tiny 1/2-inch crack in the gel coat on the lower chine. I pushed-in gently with my finger, and it cracked like an egg shell, revealing about a 1-inch-long void along the chine about 1/8-inch deep. I filled the void with 3M blister repair and re-sprayed that area with new gel coat resin. No further [problems].

Yesterday, I accidentally closed the anchor locker on the anchor rope--I didn't get it exactly in that center notch where the rope is supposed to be--and the gel coat immediatly cracked underneath the area where the 3/8-inch soft nylon rope was sandwiched. I didn't push or drop the anchor locker, I merely closed it gently and when I saw the rope, I stopped and removed it. When I saw the crack, I pushed it with my finger and once again there was a void where there is nothing behind the gel coat. The resin is there but there is an air void under the gel coat. I haven't opened it up, but I can see it's much like the first one on the chine.

Now I'm wondering if this entire hull is full of voids left there because of a poor lay-up technique back at the factory. Seems like both areas were damaged easily and without any real impact because the gel coat is not supported from behind at those locations.

After reading the Whaler hull warranty again, it sounds like the kind of problem that Whaler doesn't cover as this is cosmetic, not structural.

This is 2005 Montauk with virtually no damage anywhere to the hull. It's been pampere,d but you can't expect gel coat to withstand any force if there is nothing behind it.

Very disappointed with this boat so far.

I'm afraid this boat is rather fragile and don't know what to expect next. Any advice would be appreciated or members with similar experiences.

jimh posted 07-22-2012 10:58 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Perhaps you have found the only two places in the hull where there is an air space under the gel coat layer. Before giving up on the hull being eligible for repair under warranty, you might consider contacting your Boston Whaler dealer to get his opinion. Perhaps you can have these small areas repaired by their service shop for no charge.

I would not worry about the Unibond hull of your Boston Whaler boat being "fragile." It is my experience that a Boston Whaler Unibond boat hull is astonishingly strong. I would not let a small gel coat chip change my opinion.

I think it is inevitable that in laying-up a boat there may be a few small isolated areas where the gel coat layer is not perfectly bonded to the next layer. I have seen a small chip in the gel coat layer in my 22-year-old Boston Whaler where the underlaying laminate material does not look like it was wetted during the laminate process. I think this happens in many cases. You don't discover it unless the gel coat layer is stressed abnormally and fractures.

froberts posted 07-23-2012 04:10 PM ET (US)     Profile for froberts  Send Email to froberts     
I have had four small areas on my 2004 170 do the same thing. The dealer said they were cosmetic and I would need to repair myself. I posted on this site a few years ago and got many responses. My freind is a service manager at Sea Ray and he told me they get air pockets under the gelcoat. --Frazier
elenakagan posted 07-25-2012 05:54 PM ET (US)     Profile for elenakagan  Send Email to elenakagan     
Every new whaler I purchased had voids in various places, all were repaired under Warranty. Must be due to the chopper gun process or other lay up [mistakes].
Jefecinco posted 07-26-2012 09:25 AM ET (US)     Profile for Jefecinco  Send Email to Jefecinco     

I'm not sure that voids in the fiberglass structure of your Whaler are merely cosmetic. It costs nothing to contact Boston Whaler and ask they if the hull warranty offers a remedy for your problem.

The hull warranty is a declining value warranty so if Boston Whaler decides your problem is covered by the warranty they may not cover the entire cost of repairs.

It's very doubtful that your entire boat is covered with voids.


elenakagan posted 07-27-2012 09:33 PM ET (US)     Profile for elenakagan  Send Email to elenakagan     
I had them on the hull, transom and around the edge of the hardtop. Does that constitute the entire boat???
Jefecinco posted 07-28-2012 10:11 AM ET (US)     Profile for Jefecinco  Send Email to Jefecinco     

In your case perhaps the entire boat was affected.

My experience with Boston Whalers has been very different. I've never encountered a void on the three Whalers I've owned; a 1981 13 Sport, a 1999 16 Dauntless, and a 2009 190 Montauk. The 13 was thirty years old when I got it so it may have had lots of voids that had been repaired before my ownership. I once owned a 1978 SeaRay cuddy cabin cruiser and it had plenty of voids.

I suspect it is uncommon that an "entire hull" of a Boston Whaler boat is full of voids, which was the question posed by the OP.


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