Stress Cracks and Crazing

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OLDSKOOL
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Stress Cracks and Crazing

Postby OLDSKOOL » Mon Sep 19, 2022 11:29 am

I may buy a c.1980 OUTRAGE 22 boat that needs work.

I am concerned about the stress cracks shown in Figures 1 and 2 below.

IMG_4528.jpg
Fig. 1. Stress cracks in transom at engine mounting bolts.
IMG_4528.jpg (46.3 KiB) Viewed 1932 times


IMG_4524.jpg
Fig. 2. Cracks in bow area
IMG_4524.jpg (120.61 KiB) Viewed 1932 times


Q1: are stress cracks indicative of wet foam?

Q2: what possible underlying problems would be likely to cause stress cracks?

Q3: are stress cracks common for a boat like this OUTRAGE 22 that is about 40-years-old?

ASIDE: I don’t want to buy a boat that needs MAJOR restoration. I want to buy a solid hull with no entrapped water.

The asking price is $13,000, and includes a Yamaha 225-HP engine and a trailer. The boat has not been in the water for a few years.

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Phil T
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Re: Methods of Pre-purchase Testing Unibond Hulls

Postby Phil T » Mon Sep 19, 2022 12:07 pm

In Figure 2 of the bow area the cracks are not stress cracks. The cracks are superficial cracks [crazing] in the gel coat due to it drying out through sun exposure over the years.

Figure 1 shows stress cracks in the gel coat only due to the bolt hole not having a chamfered edge and the pressure of the bolt stressing the gel coat.

Once you scrub the dirt off and give the gel coat a good detailing, removing the oxidation, the cracks will not seem so pervasive.
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jimh
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Re: Stress Cracks and Crazing

Postby jimh » Mon Sep 19, 2022 3:08 pm

OLDSKOOL wrote:Q1: are stress cracks indicative of wet foam?
Not necessarily. Stress cracks occur in the gel coat when the gel coat layer is thick. Gel coat is brittle and can only flex a small amount. Too much stress or movement of the structure will cause a crack. The structural weakness could be due to wet foam.

OLDSKOOL wrote: Q2: what possible underlying problems would be likely to cause stress cracks?
Weakness in the structure of the hull in that area which caused movement or flexing.

OLDSKOOL wrote: Q3: are stress cracks common for a boat like this OUTRAGE 22 that is about 40-years-old?
Some cracking of the gel coat occurs from causes other than stress. Poor care of the boat with too much exposure to sun and weather causes crazing in the gel coat layer. Extensive crazing as seen in Figure 2 is unusual in a well-cared-for boat.

The stress cracks in the transom (Figure 1) were likely caused by the mounting bolts, too much torque, and no large, thick washers to spread the load. The laminate got crushed.

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Re: Methods of Pre-purchase Testing Unibond Hulls

Postby jimh » Mon Sep 19, 2022 3:11 pm

Phil T wrote:Once you scrub the dirt off and give the gel coat a good detailing, removing the oxidation, the cracks will not seem so pervasive.
I very strongly recommend you perform the cleaning BEFORE buying the boat. Then you will know what you are buying. Cracked and crazed gel coat does not heal itself because you wash it for the first time in five years.

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Phil T
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Re: Stress Cracks and Crazing

Postby Phil T » Mon Sep 19, 2022 5:59 pm

Given the dirty condition of the boat, I would not be as concerned with the area in the photos. I would be looking at the transom, thru-hulls, keel, bow eye, fuel tank, signs of water ingress.
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OLDSKOOL
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Re: Stress Cracks and Crazing

Postby OLDSKOOL » Tue Sep 20, 2022 12:09 pm

Thank you for the replies.

To know what is going on inside a Boston Whaler Unibond hull is difficult.

The traditional sounding with a urethane mallet is not as effective [on a Unibond hull] as with a standard hull.

I have access to some screws going through the transom to see how they are set and if water comes out. Two 1/2-inch screws that were not sealed correctly in the transom spun freely when tightened—not a great sign, but it could be an isolated problem. The transducer screws are well set in wood. The transom has no flex when I bounce my full weight on the tilted drive.

This boat definitely has alarms going off in my head.

Normally, I would not consider a boat like this; not kept well and a Yamaha 225 with future potential exhaust problems. . The exhaust looks clean when bore scoped I'm told. And, the prices seems real good IF EVERYTHING IS OK. That could be hard to assess. That's a BIG IF.

Fuel tank does not smell when I pull up deck plates. That is a variable,too.

The wiring probably needs to be redone.

One hatch needs to be re-cored.

This is not my forever boat. This boat is just something to hold me over until I find what I'm looking for, and to teach my teenage son a thing or two.

My last boat I completely restored. I'm not looking for that.

I want a solid hull that needs some sweat equity but not a major project.

I don't want to be left holding the hot potato.

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Re: Stress Cracks and Crazing

Postby jimh » Tue Sep 20, 2022 1:14 pm

No readers have seen the boat in person, and without a close and careful in-person visual examination no readers can offer advice about this particular OUTRAGE 22’s hull integrity. Also, no readers have X-ray vision, so even if they saw the boat they could not see inside and tell you if the hull is dry or wet.

Regarding the price: people are asking $13,000 for not-so-new 13-footers with not-so-new engines on not-so-new trailers.

OLDSKOOL
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Re: Stress Cracks and Crazing

Postby OLDSKOOL » Tue Sep 20, 2022 2:37 pm

The purpose of my post is to learn as much as I can about self-surveying a 30-year-old, foam-filled boat—before I buy it. Until recently, I was part of a similar cult boat following - a Classic SeaCraft. There, I was part of a robust culture of learning how to restore and repair a classic SeaCraft. I had a 42-year-old 23-foot hull that I totally restored—much more a project than most, if any, might undertake. I should have NEVER sold it.. I've also restored a 1960's classic sailboat that was demolished in a storm against a dock. I mention these things to provide perspective to my experience with a standard made hull.

To me, a foam filled hull is different. Very.

My point: every piece of info I can get from someone who has "been there, done that" matters. Maybe a reader has been in my exact same situation and seen, with or without out x ray eyes, things I haven't even thought about and could provide info I find useful. Like you and others have done.

The rule, caveat emptor is real. I am trying to even the field with knowledge from people who have it. As a man with so many posts under your belt, your knowledge base is incredible. The key takeaway from you is - it's really hard to tell if the hull is wet or not. Check the transom.

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Re: Stress Cracks and Crazing

Postby jimh » Tue Sep 20, 2022 3:10 pm

I can’t offer much personal advice on buying a used Boston Whaler that appears to have been neglected for a while. I have bought three used Boston Whaler boats, and all of them were very clean and in excellent condition. My burden of owning them has just been to maintain them in excellent condition while using them extensively.

With gel coat crazing and cracking that is extensive, a repair of each individual crack would be a herculean effort. A few cracks here and there can be fixed and a gel coat patch applied. But lots of cracks generally need a different approach.

Have you seen the youTube TOTAL BOAT repair of crazing on a Boston Whaler? Watch it again at

https://youtu.be/4tZDBOYqdfA

The oldest question in the FAQ will also help you

Q3: is there water in a Unibond hull?

https://continuouswave.com/whaler/reference/FAQ/#Q3

The reality with 30 to 40-year-old boats is their present day condition depends mostly on how well the boat has been maintained for the last 30 to 40 years. Boston Whaler boats just don’t grow cracks and crazing all by themselves. They need a lot of neglect to get to that state.

Also, all old Unibond hulls probably have some moisture in them. The foam curing produces moisture. Not every molecule of reagents cures into solid foam. I have personally seen some ugly dark goop drip out of a fastener hole on a boat that was immaculately kept and was a showpiece. It happens.

A really overweight hull holding a lot of water will sit lower in the water. It will have soft spots in the deck.

Sellers that show a boat for sale without cleaning it up and washing and polishing and waxing are showing you how much they have cared for that boat.

OLDSKOOL
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Re: Stress Cracks and Crazing

Postby OLDSKOOL » Wed Sep 21, 2022 7:29 am

Thank you for the insight.

The Whaler has a seemingly removable section on the gunwale - from near the console aft to the transom - is this removable ? The wood underneath on both sides is rotted and needs to be re-cored - working with gravity as opposed to against would be nice :)

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Re: Stress Cracks and Crazing

Postby jimh » Wed Sep 21, 2022 8:51 am

On the OUTRAGE 22 the gunwales were originally teak wood as a standard model. In later production beginning c.1990 the teak gunwales were changed to be an option and a molded fiberglass component was standard. Eventually I believe the teak option was eliminated, and only molded gunwales were available. This is mentioned in the REFERENCE section article on the 22-foot hull. You should read that article to learn about the hull.

1979 Outrage V-22
1980 to 1993 Outrage 22

https://continuouswave.com/whaler/reference/22Outrage/

Some enthusiasts strongly prefer the wood gunwales. Teak wood is very durable in saltwater, but like all wood it can decay if continually exposed to freshwater. An OUTRAGE 22 hull with wood gunwales in poor condition would most likely need replacement gunwales made from teak or similarly durable marine wood. At today’s prices the teak boards for making a replacement gunwale could be expensive, and refurbishment will require some carpentry skill.

The precise method of attachment of the wood gunwales is unknown to me.I suspect there are bungs in the board that cover the heads of screw fasteners. There may also be a sealant adhesive involved.

OLDSKOOL
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Re: Stress Cracks and Crazing

Postby OLDSKOOL » Thu Sep 22, 2022 6:51 am

Thanks for input.

The pieces I'm referring to do come off. I confirmed with a buddy who owns an OUTRAGE 18. [On this OUTRAGE 22 boat that may be purchased the] aft [gunwales] have no teak wood. They are glass. The core on these are shot. Just assessing the work to repair them. Hopefully I get to check the boat out in detail this weekend. Then I'll know if I'm buying her or not.

By the way, I'm assuming the hull is an '88 as the VIN # ends in "88".

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Re: Stress Cracks and Crazing

Postby jimh » Thu Sep 22, 2022 7:38 am

OLDSKOOL wrote: I'm assuming the hull is [1988] as the VIN ends in "88".
Boat hulls do not have a VEHICLE IDENTIFICATION NUMBER. Boat hulls have a HULL IDENTIFICATION NUMBER or HIN.

For help in decoding the HIN see the extensive explanation in the FAQ at

Q2: where is the hull identification number?
https://continuouswave.com/whaler/reference/FAQ/#Q2