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Old 21-06-2016, 11:26   #16
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Re: Older Fiberglass Hulls

Thanks.. I needed the Confirmation. The Surveyor said not to worry about it that the Hull is stout. The age of the Hull is the only concern I have had. The Surveyor said it will be a three day Survey. Thanks again
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Old 21-06-2016, 11:36   #17
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Re: Older Fiberglass Hulls

I have heard from a few people (so don't hold me to it) that older fiberglass tended to be stronger simply because at the time they really didn't know the limits so the builders liked to apply it thicker than they do today. Not sure if that's true and again, just something a few of the older sailors around the marina had mentioned to me. I'd trust the surveyor - it's his job to tell you if the boat has any defects.
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Old 21-06-2016, 11:50   #18
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Re: Older Fiberglass Hulls

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I have heard from a few people (so don't hold me to it) that older fiberglass tended to be stronger simply because at the time they really didn't know the limits so the builders liked to apply it thicker than they do today. Not sure if that's true and again, just something a few of the older sailors around the marina had mentioned to me. I'd trust the surveyor - it's his job to tell you if the boat has any defects.
Well I've found that in my boat. I am betting the owner of the Pearson looked at that hull, not for its age, but its build quality and thought, "it's cheaper to completely refit this boat than buy new, and it will be better than most new boats." The hull is still stronger than most, molded in keel, encapsulated lead, all result in a very tough boat. I think there are many old boats that could be refitted that get overlooked by buyers seeking the quality of new... as long as you like the old school CCA designs! But then again there are the Cal 40s and the Columbia 50s... Now some might say, all that money for a 41' boat with the interior space of a 35'? Well, it was designed to be a sailboat first, RV second.
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Old 21-06-2016, 12:28   #19
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Re: Older Fiberglass Hulls

The consensus seems to be that the leaks on Rebel Heart was one or more small crack at the hull-to-deck joint after a knockdown - primarily in the starboard quarter behind the SSB radio. This caused a minor leak that was easy to keep ahead of with an hourly pumping - unfortunately, it knocked out the SSB too. The family and four parachuted rescuers lived on the leaking boat for four days waiting for a naval ship to come pick them up.

I believe Rebel Heart was a Union 36 like a HC 36. It's hull-to-deck joint used the conventional production boat system of through bolts to hold the deck to the hull. It reportedly had some fiberglass along the joint but this was to control leaks not for structural support. It seems likely that one of more bolts failed. It would not be unusual for a Taiwanese built boat of this era to skimp on the quality of the stainless bolts. And in any case, stainless can easily corrode in an oxygen starved installation like this.

Without other evidence, I think Rebel Heart was due to metal failure not fiberglass failure.

Given the reputations of the folk who designed and built the OP's boat I assume the engineering of the hull-to-deck joint is far superior to the one on Rebel Heart.

I do think the OP should have every bit of structural metal in the boat inspected. It's been 30 years.
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Old 21-06-2016, 12:54   #20
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Re: Older Fiberglass Hulls

I agree also that fiberglass left out in the elements, sun, sun, rain, bird doo, sun, sun, sun, rain wind, ants, spiders, etc. Will eventually turn to dirt.



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Old 21-06-2016, 12:57   #21
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Re: Older Fiberglass Hulls

Yes, I was looking at an older Choey Lee first and decided it was too risky and needed a total refit. It also had blisters... Beautiful vessel in it's day however.
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Old 21-06-2016, 13:57   #22
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Re: Older Fiberglass Hulls

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If it's the boat I think it is (I won't put this on the internet since you are in negotiations), that hull is not really comparable to 1987 production boats. This was a custom build by an experienced, non-price sensitive owner at a top yard with a top designer. If any 1987 fiberglass hull is good (and most are) - this boat would be among the very best.

Given your safety interest and cruising plans, you are probably budgeting replacement of systems that have not been replaced along the way - 30 years is a reasonable "end of life" for many things. This would possibly include wiring, rig, steering gear, tanks, HVAC, genset, hoses or anything made of rubber and so forth. Easier to replace this stuff in one go than have your cruise be remembered as "boat repair in exotic locations"
Yes, Thank you very much. I am already planning on moving the vessel to a boat yard close to home to have much work done. From replacing the teak deck to overhauling one of gensets to checking out electical to what ever. This vessel has been refit and upgraded over the years to 2012 although it still needs to be up to snuff before I put my family onboard. I have moved the travel plans to next year to make serious detailed preperations. Thanks again. ZMJ
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Old 21-06-2016, 14:36   #23
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Re: Older Fiberglass Hulls

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If it hasn't blistered yet, I doubt it ever will. Of all the things to worry about, in your case, I'd say the hull is most likely the least of them. You can see how thick the hull is if there is a through-hull out, and usually if you look deep in the bilge or some place with no liner, you'll see how it was laid up. There is a link to a 1965 Pearson Rhodes 41 that was completely rebuilt by Hinckley. They took it down to the hull, but made no modifications or repairs to hull itself. "They don't build them like that anymore." 1987 is a spring chicken. The 1970s had issues with lower quality resins and blistering, but I believe they were mostly resolved by the 80s.
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?...1&l=54dcd7dc0b
There's more of it at "refits of note" in the "Plastic Classics" social group here.
Excellent post, and great photos in that link. Thanks! Gotta love the attention to detail in that refit from the boys at Hinckley. A hull thickness of 11/16" below the waterline. The re-glassing of the prop shaft tube and the new cutlass bearing also A1 work from the boys in Maine. The hamburgers look good too.

"You don't see construction like this anymore! This is what is so great about purchasing a sailboat from this era, (1962 - 1969). Today, NO WAY would you see a solid fiberglass laminate that is 11/16" thick!!! That is the thickness of the hull below the waterline. Above the waterline, the laminate schedule thins out as it climbs to the sheer line of the boat, (the hull / deck seam.). YES, this does make a heavier boat, which "costs" more to move it through the water, (more fuel if you are motoring, and more wind if you are sailing.), BUT(!), you can go anywhere with this boat and do it safely! Perfect for making some "mistakes" around coral reefs in warm, exotic places, and similarly the same is true for "higher latitude" sailing as well, (Like, floating ice!)."
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Old 21-06-2016, 18:08   #24
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Re: Older Fiberglass Hulls

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I agree also that fiberglass left out in the elements, sun, sun, rain, bird doo, sun, sun, sun, rain wind, ants, spiders, etc. Will eventually turn to dirt.
Not so sure I agree with that. I'm pretty sure that rain, wind, ants, and spiders have no significant effect on fiberglass. As for sun, sun, sun...well, there are a number of Bounty IIs that have neen out on the sun all day long for fifty years and are still goin' strong.

Bird doo, on the other hand, has been the death of many a ship.

Paul
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Old 21-06-2016, 18:25   #25
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Re: Older Fiberglass Hulls

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I have heard from a few people (so don't hold me to it) that older fiberglass tended to be stronger simply because at the time they really didn't know the limits so the builders liked to apply it thicker than they do today. Not sure if that's true and again, just something a few of the older sailors around the marina had mentioned to me. I'd trust the surveyor - it's his job to tell you if the boat has any defects.
This is partly street lore.

Maybe they did not know how much to use and so SOME used more than was necessary (while others used less).

And back then IF they did not know how much to lay up, they did not know many other things either (and so you will find hulls where all glass is mat, all glass is woven and hulls where glass resin ratio is all wrong.

Legends.

And that a thick hull does not imply a strong one everyone knows this I hope.

This hull is '87. IT IS NOT one of there 'we did not know how much to use' ones.

Survey, bargain, buy.

Blisters.

Better not to have them. A few and apart are a minor issue. All grp hulls get some, even Oy, SW and HR.

Survey, bargain, buy.

b.
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Old 21-06-2016, 19:51   #26
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Re: Older Fiberglass Hulls

There is a difference between a hull to deck joint failure and an actual failure of the fiberglass hull. The hull to deck joint is typically a mechanical joint held together by fasteners with a sealant in between to keep out the water. The joint can fail because of a brute force slamming of the hull into the trough of a wave or beating into large headseas. Haven't seen a failed joint, tons of leaks but no hull to deck joint failure. Would imagine if it happened it would be the result of crevice corrosion of the fasteners allowing the fastener to shear. That would leave the joint held together by the caulking. That is not a failure of the glass but the SS fasteners. Having enough of the fasteners fail from corrosion to cause serious problems is slim. Pulled all 4" spaced hull to deck fasteners on my 45 year old boat and had only a handful that broke and those widely spaced.

Another possible problem with the hull to deck joint and one I had on my '69 Pearson 35 is a resin starved lay up where the hull turns inward to make a flange for the deck to rest on. On my boat, the 1"-2" area where the hull sides turned in to make the flange was so resin starved that we used a chisel to easily peel off the glass all the way around the boat. Fortunately, Pearson had also laminated the deck to the hull on the inside with a layer or two of woven roving and that had held the boat to gather all those years. Discovered the problem only by accident as there was no outward indication like cracks in the gel coat.

Of course there are unsurvivable circumstances that would cause a hull to deck joint to fail like being thrown sideways off a 40' breaking wave.

As far as hull panels actually breaking, the layup schedule would have to be minimal and/or a structural bulkhead or well glassed furniture that forced the hull to flex around it in concert with the thin hull could cause a failure There haven't been many reports of that happening. Yes some trailerable boats have come to grief when they've been in road accidents or dumped off a trailer, some yard screw ups where a boat was dropped, and groundings that tried to rip off the keel but those are extremes. A fiberglass boat just failing from fatigue is a pretty rare occurrence. The Cal 40 which is a notorious pounder with oil canning when going to windward is a class of boats that have probably endured more racing miles than any other production boat by a factor of 10 and are still going strong. Bulkheads have broken loose under the abuse but the hulls have soldiered on without issues.

It takes an under designed, poorly built fiberglass boat to suffer hull issues in anything but extreme conditions. A hull built for or by Camper and Nicholson and designed by Doug Peterson should be a no brainer for quality and durability.
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Old 22-06-2016, 11:02   #27
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Re: Older Fiberglass Hulls

Peter O.,

Thank You Very Much.
ZMJ
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Old 22-06-2016, 11:25   #28
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Re: Older Fiberglass Hulls

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I have heard from a few people (so don't hold me to it) that older fiberglass tended to be stronger simply because at the time they really didn't know the limits so the builders liked to apply it thicker than they do today. Not sure if that's true and again, just something a few of the older sailors around the marina had mentioned to me. I'd trust the surveyor - it's his job to tell you if the boat has any defects.
Not sure older is stronger, but older hull layups were often much thicker... and very strong as a result is my impression. But these things are not true for everything or every boat. It's all about specifics.
Eventually the bean counters discovered that a boat will float even with a 1/8" thick hull!
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Old 23-06-2016, 07:36   #29
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Re: Older Fiberglass Hulls

I am not sure of older being stronger as a generality, but I can tell you that my hull is glass layed up in 1968, and is hell built for stout. the hull at the deck seam is around 5/8" thick, and below the waterline around 1" thick, and the turn of the bilge thicker than that. No blisters, or degradation of the f/g can be seen, and the hull and decks are as hard as a tank.

Age would not be a concern as much as the layup and materials used in the original build. Chopper gun vs hand laid glass and the change in resins due to factors back in the day.
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Old 23-06-2016, 08:16   #30
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Re: Older Fiberglass Hulls

1962 hull is solid. not cored. it is thick because it was unknown what fg would do over time.
blistering did not become issue until fuel crisis mid 70s. choppergun layup was begun at this time--see clipper marine as an example of that.
my fg 1976 hull is stout. perfect.
there is much potential in the older hulls.
have fun in your search.
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