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Old 25-08-2013, 15:49   #1
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Are Spider Cracks Cosmetic?

My boat hit the dock the other night when Us Border patrol came flying into our marina. The docked next to me and it slammed my boat into a cross brace near the bow. I did not notice till morning but I have like 5 12 inch cracks spidering out from the spot hit. I can get them to fix it but it would involve a huge amount of bs and most likely get the agents in trouble. They came into the marina throwing huge wake and docked next to me. The boat is Insured by boat us but if it is only cosmetic then I dont want to have to deal with federal investigation. The supervisor was already telling me they dont make wakes and the crew had a perfect record so he doubted me but a dozen people saw it at the marina and they were responding on a shot fired call a half mile inland.
I have a $ 400 deductable so I do not even think it would be worth turning in.
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Old 25-08-2013, 16:30   #2
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Re: Are spider cracks cosmetic?

Spider cracks are initially cosmetic but in time will allow water penetration and can cause more serious problems. Especially in a cold weather, freeze prone environment like MI.


First get an estimate and submit it to your insurance company and feds with incident report from local police and statements from several of the dozen people. You should not have to bear cost of repairing damage caused by police responding to an incident outside of their operating parameters. Can not tell me there were not enough officers available to respond via land based vehicles that a boat had to rush to an incident a half mile inland. Even at best I doubt these guys were able to run to incident from dock with full gear in less than 5 minutes.

What were they trying to do play James Bond and run the boat right up on the road to the shots fired incident???

More like cowboy hijinks to me.
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Old 25-08-2013, 16:35   #3
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Re: Are spider cracks cosmetic?

spider cracking in a hull can be eggshelling----have a boatwright look at it--a fiberglass expert. good luck. i hope shes is ok
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Old 25-08-2013, 16:37   #4
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There were around 20 cars already. They were 5 minutes out and 5 minutes to dock suit up and get through the gate. 3 pistols ond on rifle so no special equpment. They were just checking out dpd new charger police car.
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Old 25-08-2013, 16:40   #5
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The boat hit hard enough to toss us around in the boat. I had it tied close because my 5 yo was with me.
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Old 25-08-2013, 17:45   #6
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Re: Are Spider Cracks Cosmetic?

Are these "spider cracks" in the hull? If the are in the hull due to impact; then, I would not consider them as cosmetic. Spider cracks that develop in the deck at some stress points or related to temperature changes can be cosmetic. Even impact cracks on the deck can be cosmetic, but I would not consider hull cracks to be cosmetic.
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Old 25-08-2013, 17:51   #7
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They are.impact cracks in the side of bow on the hull below the stripe
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Old 25-08-2013, 18:03   #8
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Re: Are Spider Cracks Cosmetic?

The cracks are there because the underlying fiberglass laminate flexed more than the gel coat could stand. It's probably just cosmetic but could have caused delimitation of the underlying laminate. Probably not but the force was more than your boat has seen under sailing conditions. I'd contact the Border Patrol and see if they will pay for it. They'll probably require a professional to certify the damage you'll need a solid cost estimate to fix.

It's going to be at least a couple hundred dollars to fill the cracks and regelcoat the hull. It would probably be fine to leave it but it will cost you when a surveyor picks up on it when it comes time to sell.
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Old 25-08-2013, 18:26   #9
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Re: Are Spider Cracks Cosmetic?

I was a claims specialist for an insurance company & advise you to turn in the claim. Your insurance co. will do the investigation. In addition to the exterior damage you need to check the inside also. I would ask if the insurance company would pay for a marine surveyor also. You may have to either gel coat or paint one side to keep from devaluating your boat. If you sell later you should have all the paper work & photos showing the damage & I suggest taking photos during the repair. They need to grind out the cracks from the point of impact to determine the extent of damage. The boat might have to be pulled to do a proper repair. Good luck. Huey2
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Old 25-08-2013, 18:36   #10
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Re: Are Spider Cracks Cosmetic?

Huey2,

Excellent advice.

I hope the OP follows it.
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Old 25-08-2013, 23:59   #11
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I put a claim in with my insurance. Border patrol was a pain and said it can take several months. I documented everything and I am going to a couple of shops to get estimates.
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Old 26-08-2013, 01:28   #12
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Re: Are Spider Cracks Cosmetic?

let us know...

my guess is $750-1000.

-s
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Old 26-08-2013, 06:24   #13
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Re: Are Spider Cracks Cosmetic?

I know you already put in a claim but...

We were on the Detroit River last summer and Border Patrol along with the Coast Guard were the worst offenders ignoring no wake zones and coming thru the marina way too fast (usually to get snacks).

The only way they will get pulled up short is if someone calls them out on it.
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Old 26-08-2013, 06:38   #14
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Ya there is the problem. I talked to the supervisor and he said the crew had a perfect record and this required a full investigation and would go an their permanent record. Plus with all the LE on the water I do not feel like getting harassed.
The thing is the came in too fast and a dozen people saw it and even yelled at them before they knew it was a federal boat. There policy is to go no wake at the mouth of harbors and they did not slow down till they were behind my boat. They need boating classes, they will spend $2500 to send an officer to school to operate a bicycle but the turn them loose in boats clueless.
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Old 26-08-2013, 06:41   #15
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Re: Are Spider Cracks Cosmetic?

To answer your original question. Spider cracks typically form at spots under stress caused by hard spots. A hard spot can be created where a flexible structure meets an inflexible structure like a bulkhead. The cracks are normally cosmetic and affect only the gel coat.
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