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Old 13-02-2010, 07:28   #1
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Cored Hulls

What are your feelings on cored hulls when buying a used boat?

Cored hulls are presumably both stiffer and lighter, and therefore provide increased performance, but what of concerns of delamination?

If the builder makes them properly, there should be no problem, but I continue to hear that no boat comes perfectly from the builder, so an error there, not to mention road hazards since then, could be worth the entire used cost of the boat when I buy it.

Is a circa-1990 cored hull something to avoid in general when others of that age are available with solid hulls?

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Old 13-02-2010, 08:09   #2
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What boat, what type of core? Whether "solid" or cored, manufacturers can screw up and improperly repaired damages can lead to worse issues. You need to hire a surveyor if it's a major purchase or if you plan to have it insured, or at the very least you should find a friend who is knowledgeable to inspect a boat you're planning on buying. You should not let "cored vs. solid" be your sole decision point.

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Old 13-02-2010, 08:39   #3
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I have spent a lot of time in boat yards and live amongst several that I tour on a near daily basis and have for decades as part of a daily walk. I would offer that the problems of cored hulls has been greatly exaggerated by some writers and boat pundits--perhaps to sell services and books. I have seen core problems when installation of through hull fittings was not done properly (usually not safety threatening and easily resolved), but cannot recall seeing many cases of other problems. I bought a Tartan 37 with known blister issues and peeled it to the last layer of glass above its cored hull (expensive overkill on my part as it turns out). There was a small spot that that had not been adequately wetted out (I would bet there is one in every non SCRIMP boat made) and still the core had not been damaged after 15 years in the water (California). As you note, a cored hull is strong, light, warm and quiet compared to other boats I have delivered. In the boat world it seems to me that there are a lot of "experts" repeating what they have read in books about the advantages and disadvantages and very little science based on personal experience and actual data.
Ray Durkee
S/V Velera
Tartan 37
Castine, Maine
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Old 13-02-2010, 08:40   #4
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Originally Posted by Jaywalker View Post
... Is a circa-1990 cored hull something to avoid in general when others of that age are available with solid hulls?
Not at all.
Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"

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Old 13-02-2010, 10:56   #5
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A cored hull (if done right) is simply a better engineered structure than a solid glass hull BUT it has to be done right and in my experience (as a boatbuilder of 35+years, the last 25 spent repairing all kinds of boats) well built boats are the exception rather than the rule,i disagree that wet core issues are over stated,quite the opposite actually,there are many more boatowners out there sailing around oblivious to the fact that they have wet core issues. I dont think anyone should be scared off a boat because it has a core,just educate yourself about how to determine any issues before you buy, so you can make sure that the surveyor doesnt miss anything.Also,dont let anyone tell you that any particular brand of boat "are good boats" I dont give a RA if its a hinkley
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Old 13-02-2010, 12:02   #6
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If cored deck check all deck fittings with extra care to those added after factory-also around windless-chain plates-in my experience the decks are most vulerable- up side is often repairable and if you can do it from below not a big cosmetic issue. Under water check any added through hulls and if fin keil around keil and a few feet away-grounding damage can lead to water incursion. use a moisture meter knowing that they are not perfect- you may have to do some test drilling -I have had some false positives- but on the other hand have found water where hammer missed. Sometimes the degree of damage is great more expense than some boats are worth but I believe the vast majority of repairs if factored into sale price and skilled repair available should not turn a knowlegable buyer away-a good surveyor can help with that .

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