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Old 23-05-2011, 10:53   #16
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Re: Old vs New Fiberglass Sailboats Hulls

The 1964 hull I owned until just a couple of years ago, was solid high quality resin over 1 1/2 inches thick. It was built by a pacific builder that is no longer in business. It was as solid as a tank. Just to give an idead how strong this thingh was. I had to redo everything in the boat. WHen I was replacing one of the seats a small tab, (that the old one was bolted to), protruded in to the base of the new one. Simple just cut it off drill mounting holes and mount the new seat, right, wrong. I spend 3 days trying to remove that small tab 1/2 inch by 3 inches with two tapped holes. I tried various saws including a carbide blade, hack saw, etc... Then I tried the old cold chisel and hammer, and finally a sledge hammer, ( I almost killed myself when the sledghammer bounced back). No harm to the tab. I finally cut a hole in the new seat base to fit the tab. Took that boat everywhere for years Multiple groundings and assertive dockings, (This was my first boat). I would buy one again in a second.

No sign of flexing or spider cracking the other poster reported on his. The gel coat, which may have been better taken care of ,had not even faded as much as my bigger boat that was 20 years newer. In short for whatever reason these boats were built to last, with way more of better resin than most newer boats.

Solid fiberglass is much heavier, but much stronger, (durable), than cored designs.

Strength is more than a youngs modulus number, it is how big will the hole be? when you hit that submerged object at speed?
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Old 23-05-2011, 10:56   #17
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Re: Old vs New Fiberglass Sailboats Hulls

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Originally Posted by Ex-Calif View Post
I have heard this and tend to agree about the oil crisis boats.


However my wife is early 60's vintage and while I certainly do notice later vintages I wouldn't trade her out just because of age Her fiberglass bits seem to be holding up OK...
That is an excellent example of that vintage model.
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Old 23-05-2011, 11:18   #18
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Re: Old vs New Fiberglass Sailboats Hulls

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No sign of flexing or spider cracking the other poster reported on his. The gel coat, which may have been better taken care of ,had not even faded as much as my bigger boat that was 20 years newer. In short for whatever reason these boats were built to last, with way more of better resin than most newer boats.

Solid fiberglass is much heavier, but much stronger, (durable), than cored designs.
The spider cracks were not in all of the 60s boats, only in boats made by some notable manufacturers as they experimented with different formulations. Someone who worked at Grumman once explained the details but I don't remember exactly what the problem was.

Good point about cored hulls. Topside balsa cored decks are easily repaired but when (not if) balsa in a hull rots, the boat is ready for the recycle bin. Wouldn't touch one of these with a ten foot whisker pole.
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Old 23-05-2011, 13:08   #19
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Re: Old vs New Fiberglass Sailboats Hulls

Just watch out for the fiberglass worm..LMAO
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Old 29-05-2011, 09:21   #20
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Re: Old vs New Fiberglass Sailboats Hulls

I have a 79 CSY 44.....Very thick lay up of solid glass 2 1/4'' thick at the keel. no blisters.....no core anywhere .....Brick outhouse tough!!!!
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Old 29-05-2011, 09:31   #21
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Re: Old vs New Fiberglass Sailboats Hulls

30 year old balsa cored FRP hull here. Glass is thin. Long race history. World cruiser. Zero problems. If she gets holed, which is way down on my worry list, she has a liferaft and all the safety gizmos. Proper maintenance easily prevents the core rot. She rocks.
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Old 29-05-2011, 09:38   #22
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Re: Old vs New Fiberglass Sailboats Hulls

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Originally Posted by aboutgone View Post
I have a 79 CSY 44.....Very thick lay up of solid glass 2 1/4'' thick at the keel. no blisters.....no core anywhere .....Brick outhouse tough!!!!
on eo fthe things i like most about my boat--- after i bought her i learned she was on a breakwater in santa barbara for a full week... she has small signs in her metal bits, bu ther fiberglass is perfect..LOL.... try that in a cored hull boat-- ye wont be as happy with the finished product, i guarantee.....
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Old 29-05-2011, 10:06   #23
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Re: Old vs New Fiberglass Sailboats Hulls

my 28 foot cruiser is a balsa cored hull. The core is damp in one area due to an improperly installed thru-hull. If you can catch it early and dry it out as best as possible, it is not likely to every be a "structural" issue. Wet cores almost never are. But it is still one thin to keep an eye on which counts as one more "maintenance item"

The nice thing about end-grain balsa cores is that, besides the added stiffness, the end-grain nature helps prevent the further spread of moisture to the rest of the core. You just gotta catch it early.
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Old 29-05-2011, 10:30   #24
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Re: Old vs New Fiberglass Sailboats Hulls

to answer the original question-- when is fiberglass "too old"-- never. goood luck. find a boat you like by sailing everything.
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Old 29-05-2011, 10:30   #25
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Re: Old vs New Fiberglass Sailboats Hulls

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30 year old balsa cored FRP hull here. Glass is thin. Long race history. World cruiser. Zero problems. If she gets holed, which is way down on my worry list, she has a liferaft and all the safety gizmos. Proper maintenance easily prevents the core rot. She rocks.
Sure, if you have owned the boat and have taken care of it, no problem. But, many boats have been transferred lots of times and are unknown quantities. An unsuspecting guy where I found my Alberg bought this really sleek looking 40' space-shippy sailboat only to find out that the entire (very thin) core was rotten. It eventually went to the dump.

I spent a month replacing deck core, which is a messy but fairly easy job. Balsa is still the best core material. The main problem with most rotted core is that it was never saturated properly. Boats like Pearsons were mass produced and filling the core was apparently not on the agenda.
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Old 29-05-2011, 17:16   #26
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Re: Old vs New Fiberglass Sailboats Hulls

An older boat from the 60's was hand-laid. Apparently, from what I have been told by other guys around my marina is that they were overbuilt because no one was sure how strong fiberglass was.

My boat is a hand-laid 1977 and shows less signs of wear than some boats that are much newer. My guess is that some of these solid glass hulls from way back will outlast us all.
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Old 29-05-2011, 17:33   #27
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Re: Old vs New Fiberglass Sailboats Hulls

I always like the analogy of a car.
In the 1960's and 70's they were made of steel and man were they solid!!
Death traps too. Because we found out that solid caused injuries that crumple zone cars do not.
And every other fascet of a car has become much better in the last 30 or 40 years.

CHEAPER too!

cars are vastly cheaper in real terms than a 1970 car.

better built, better equiped and fewer breakdowns etc. In fact, when was the last time your car broke down?

Boats are the same.
Preasure of racing and competition to stay in business have made boast vastly better. vastly. Sure they may have thinner hulls, but the materials are not the same. Now it more modern polymers and resins including the latest but still expensive kelars and others.

Whatever build of hull if it was by a sucessful company it will have got better each decade.
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Old 29-05-2011, 19:04   #28
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Re: Old vs New Fiberglass Sailboats Hulls

One of the nicest examples of classic plastic is berthed beside us in Malaysia. Steve and Linda own sv"Linda" a 1957 Phillip Rhodes Bounty II built by Coleman Plastics Company in Sausalito. I am amazed at the condition of their boat considering the thousands of miles that have passed under her keel in her 54 years.




They have her reluctantly for sale due to a need to return home for family reasons. Whoever becomes the new owners are going to get a boat that is not only built strong but has beautiful classic lines and a proven track record. On the other hand a few years ago I was asked to have a look at a one year old Lagoon 440 "Blue Moon" that had a mysterious leak from behind the insulation in the engine compartment. It turned out that when she was built something went wrong with the hull layup and it had dry patches of glass that didn't have any catalyzed resin in them. Water was able to seep through the gelcoat and into the hull. The owner was refunded his money after threat of legal action and the boat was then quickly patched and re-sold as "Blue". I pity the new owner as he probably thought he was buying a near new quality boat and probably didn't even survey it.
Age doesn't necessarily mean that a boat is either good or bad. You just need to pay due diligence when you purchase and thoroughly check them out.

Fair Winds

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Old 29-05-2011, 19:47   #29
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Re: Old vs New Fiberglass Sailboats Hulls

"However my wife is early 60's vintage and while I certainly do notice later vintages I wouldn't trade her out just because of age Her fiberglass bits seem to be holding up OK..."

Dan you are a very funny and lucky man .....


My 1982 Landfall is a slow heavy thick as cruiser from what I looked at when purchasing mine I would suggest it comes down to build quality of the yard

and on that note Dan I think yours was a wednesday build not a monday or friday build they were known for being slap up jobs

Cheers Alex
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Old 29-05-2011, 19:48   #30
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Re: Old vs New Fiberglass Sailboats Hulls

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Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
I always like the analogy of a car.
In the 1960's and 70's they were made of steel and man were they solid!!
Death traps too. Because we found out that solid caused injuries that crumple zone cars do not.
And every other fascet of a car has become much better in the last 30 or 40 years.

CHEAPER too!

cars are vastly cheaper in real terms than a 1970 car.

better built, better equiped and fewer breakdowns etc. In fact, when was the last time your car broke down?

Boats are the same.
Preasure of racing and competition to stay in business have made boast vastly better. vastly. Sure they may have thinner hulls, but the materials are not the same. Now it more modern polymers and resins including the latest but still expensive kelars and others.

Whatever build of hull if it was by a sucessful company it will have got better each decade.
Not to start an argument, but cars and boats are not the same. I'm sorry...I just don't see it. And I own several of both.

OOoops! that sounded like bragging and I did not mean that. The whole lot of cars and boats is not worth a sh***t.
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