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Author Topic:   gel coat crack on conquest
Riparian posted 06-03-2002 03:51 PM ET (US)   Profile for Riparian  
So I spent one heck of a long time waxing my boat this weekend and it looks great. Collinite = GOOD! However, I found some hair line cracks in the gel coat. They are on the port side, an inch or two above the rub rail under the port side bow cleat. About 2 inches below the cleat. They are shaped like a bow tie or cat wiskers. Three super fine cracks radiate out from the center of the problem in both the direction of the bow and stern(like a bow tie with the cracks getting farther apart as they get farther from the center of the tie). Going bow to stern the total crack/problem is about 2 inches, and at their widest the cracks are each maybe 1/4 inch apart. Very fine/can't feel them under the wax. Caused from impact? No impact that I'm aware of. Stress? What do you think? Any of you guys/gals with Conquests seen any such thing on your boats? Any of you old salts with lots of experience have any ideas on what the cause was/is? Can I expect it to get worse. I read some articles on the causes of gel coat cracks but I wanted some relevant whaler owner imput. Thanks.
tim2me posted 06-03-2002 09:58 PM ET (US)     Profile for tim2me  Send Email to tim2me     
is it a 98 conquest?
Riparian posted 06-04-2002 08:40 AM ET (US)     Profile for Riparian    
99 Conquest.
David Pendleton posted 06-04-2002 11:33 AM ET (US)     Profile for David Pendleton  Send Email to David Pendleton     
I have them in various places on my 99 Conquest. I watch them, but I don't worry to much about them. Maybe I should?

Do you trailer your boat often? If so check around the bow-eye. I've got some whoppers there.


Riparian posted 06-04-2002 04:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for Riparian    
*#! cracks look worse evertime I look at them. More like 5-6 inches long. Thanks for the reply Dave. I do trailer the boat all summer. I have no other breaks in the gel coat. And I don't want any more. I bought a *!# whaler so I would have a good looking/peforming, quality, low maintenance boat. It doesn't seem right that you or I should have a problem like this. It might be one thing if I had wacked the boat into a dock post or something but I didn't. Maybe my storage guy smacked it into a wall or another boat. But you have them too. It just pi##es me off. Boy I need to get on the water.
tully_mars posted 06-04-2002 06:13 PM ET (US)     Profile for tully_mars  Send Email to tully_mars     
What is special about the 98 Conquest? Was this a bad year?

Tully Mars

David Pendleton posted 06-04-2002 06:52 PM ET (US)     Profile for David Pendleton  Send Email to David Pendleton     
Riparian -

I feel your pain. At first I was concerned, but I've come to accept them now.

If they get too bad, they aren't that difficult to repair. I have one originating at the bow-eye that is at least 30 inches long that I've been keeping an eye on.

I talked to my fiberglass guy, and he said they are caused by stress; and not necessarily direct contact with some object. He also told me that when gel coat is applied to thickly at the factory, spider cracks are much more likely. I suspect this is the case with our Whalers.

Don't worry, the laminate underneath is just as strong as ever.

Tell me some more about your 99. Mine is an I/O with a hardtop.


TRAFFICLAWYER posted 06-04-2002 10:33 PM ET (US)     Profile for TRAFFICLAWYER    
My 2001 21 ventura has no gel cracks,KNOCK on wood!! But I have a great gel coat guy in west palm getting out all the scratches underside of hull. My 1998 ventura did have some gel coat cracks and some voids, Don't think Whaler is immune to these imperfections!
Riparian posted 06-05-2002 11:40 AM ET (US)     Profile for Riparian    
An I/O with hard top. Nice! Mine has a 200 Merc. outboard and no hard top. Bimini and full weather curtains that work pretty darn good. Blue striping and canvas. Have bow pulpit. So is the I/O quiet? The hard tops are good looking, but does the electronics box get in your line of vision when you are standing behind the wheel? I have also wondered if the hard top made a noticable difference in the handling of the boat and the trailering of the boat.

David Pendleton posted 06-05-2002 11:48 AM ET (US)     Profile for David Pendleton  Send Email to David Pendleton     
I have the red color scheme. The I/O is fairly quiet; it's a 5.7L V8.

The hardtop is great. I'm 6'1" and it doesn't get in the way. The angle of the electronics box does direct the wind right into your face, though. Even if you are sitting down.

It's a Whaler hardtop, but I ordered it after I bought the boat. I have used the boat with and without the hardtop. I don't think it made a huge difference in handling. If anything it added more weight, smoothing out the ride.

I'm sure it plays hell with my gas mileage on and off the trailer. Catches bugs pretty well, too.

I have the pulpit too. It's starting to come loose this year, so keep an eye on yours.


tim2me posted 06-05-2002 12:24 PM ET (US)     Profile for tim2me  Send Email to tim2me     
I have a 98 conquest. Cracks are at strees point on transom which I expected & dont really care about. The problems I have are

Cracks at Bow eye. I suspect that the gell coat was not beveled out when they put hardware in

some blistering has started, very slight but noticable

gel coat flaked off under stake starbord side

Ive had hole repaired on port side from accident. Its been fixed 3 years in a row because of blistering and discoloring.

Im afraid of persuing this with boston whaler or dealer right now. Im saving up for a good lawyer and boat surveyor!

Riparian posted 06-05-2002 01:48 PM ET (US)     Profile for Riparian    
tim2me, do you keep, or did you keep your boat in the water, or did you/do you trailer exclusively? The flaking and blistering sounds very wrong for a four year old boat, not to mention a whaler!
bigz posted 06-05-2002 03:32 PM ET (US)     Profile for bigz    
Curious Riparian, what do use to haul your 28 Conquest with and do you have permits since the boat is wider than any state or federal highways allow without them?

I guess you mean you have twin 200hp engines? Hmm, does it seem a little under powered for a boat with a 300hp min. and 600hp. max.? Which has to weight in at close to 10,000 or more!

Surprised to hear that yours isn't a hardtop since all I have seen are ones with it and weather curtains attached.


Riparian posted 06-05-2002 04:47 PM ET (US)     Profile for Riparian    
bigz, mine is a 21 not a 28. Wouldn't mind having a 28 or a 23 with hard top, but when I moved up from my 16 Dauntless the 21 seemed rather large. Last summer I saw a guy pick up a 28 Conquest from our local whaler dealer and tow it away. What a load! Dave and tim2me what sizes have you got?
dauntlass 18 posted 06-05-2002 07:38 PM ET (US)     Profile for dauntlass 18  Send Email to dauntlass 18     
Tim2me,I had 18 dauntlass dealer fixed cracks in transom port&stb. side no problem.I now have 21 Conquest cracks in same places dealer repaired this past winter no problem yet and I feel confident they will not come back.I do have spider cracks in front deck and am working with Whaler to resolve problem.At this point in ownership I know of no other cracks in hull structure.Sorry to hear you are having problems.
David Pendleton posted 06-05-2002 08:30 PM ET (US)     Profile for David Pendleton  Send Email to David Pendleton     
Mine's a 23. I use an 01 Cummins Ram to haul it around.

Riparian posted 06-06-2002 08:06 AM ET (US)     Profile for Riparian    
Dave, that is a good looking boat. Dauntless 18, if you don't mind my asking, what is Whaler doing to help resolve your deck cracks? Is it clearly covered by the hull warranty as far as they are concerned?
dauntlass 18 posted 06-06-2002 08:57 AM ET (US)     Profile for dauntlass 18  Send Email to dauntlass 18     
Riparian,Whaler took care of cracks at transom on both boats very proptly under warr.I will use the term grey area for lack of a better word to describe deck crack warr. status.Whaler is working with me to resolve crack problem on decks.I feel so far Whaler is good on standing behind warr. problems.In my opinion the dealer makes a big difference when it comes to service and warr. repairs.
fd3 posted 06-06-2002 11:30 AM ET (US)     Profile for fd3  Send Email to fd3     
Whoa! You guys are scaring me with all these gel crack issues! I was out on the boat yesterday (21 Conquest) and looked specifically for cracks. I looked especially close around the cleats, bow eye and transom. The only one I can find is on the cover for the fish box in the cockpit. Iíve had it for some time and it doesnít appear to get any worse with time. I looked very closely at the pulpit and surrounding areas because I have whacked the pulpit on the winch stand of the trailer big time more than once when launching on steep ramps. No evidence of cracks even there. Since my boat is a 2000 I guess Iíll find out in the next year or so whether this is an aging issue or was specific to earlier models. Since the marina that sold me the boat is no longer a BW dealer Iím not sure where Iíd have to go for warrantee work if it becomes necessary.
TRAFFICLAWYER posted 06-06-2002 10:35 PM ET (US)     Profile for TRAFFICLAWYER    
I've had 3 Whalers in the last 6 years, the latest purchased last year is a 21 ventura, same hull as the outrage. Dont think that because its a whaler its immune from gel coat cracks!! Whaler will take care of them up to a point and then "the owner has to take responsibility" I looked a 28 Conquest the other week, worst product I ever saw in a boat that class. Next ones a PURSUIT!!!!
David Pendleton posted 06-06-2002 11:26 PM ET (US)     Profile for David Pendleton  Send Email to David Pendleton     
When I bought my 23, I asked my dealer about the 28.

He told me there were having numerous problems with the 28, and the one he had ordered was recalled before it left the factory. I would imagine they've worked out all the problems now.

I'd love to have one (assuming it was bristol), but I'm not sure about the +90K asking price on the used ones.


JoeyP posted 06-09-2002 10:03 PM ET (US)     Profile for JoeyP  Send Email to JoeyP     
I understand that the first year production of the 28 Conquest had problems with the liners and some other issues with the gelcoat. Whaler did recall or warranty these boats.
tim2me posted 06-10-2002 02:24 PM ET (US)     Profile for tim2me  Send Email to tim2me     
I trailer in spring & fall. The boat is in fresh water from May - Oct at a slip. blistering is very faint but noticible especially on starbord side and not really confined to below water line areas.

My problem is getting boat to dealer for them to inspect. I've found that it is better to get consultant to document the "failures" as oposed to bringing it to dealer who is trying to maintain their dealership.
Is there any way to deal direct with Whaler?
Should I try another dealer?
Should it really be this hard after you pay 60k to resolve such small issues?

thanks for your input!

David Pendleton posted 06-10-2002 08:12 PM ET (US)     Profile for David Pendleton  Send Email to David Pendleton     
Now blistering would really p*ss me off. I keep my boat on the trailer, so I'm probably good for a few years.

If any of you have had your Conquests since new, did you find any 'artifacts' in the bilge? Have you looked?

When I bought my boat, I removed the forward access hatch (in the sole, just forward of the water tank), and found:

2 Sanding disks
2 handfuls of electrical tape (balled-up)
Lots of stripped wire insulation
A pound of dust, now 'mud' due to water in the bilge.


the top to a Marlboro box. I kid you not! (I don't smoke, by the way. Neither does my dealer.)

I love my Whaler, but if I ever spend 55K on a boat again, I'm going to the factory and watching it be built...


bsmotril posted 06-11-2002 02:09 PM ET (US)     Profile for bsmotril  Send Email to bsmotril     
I found the following artificacts in my 98 Conquest 23
2 Stainless Fender Fashers
Several clipped off ends from Nylon cable ties
1 Rubber Hose Washer
2 deceased crickets


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