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Old 31-01-2013, 18:16   #1
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Looking at some early 90s cats

One has balsa core and I was wondering how prevalent is rot and will a good survey with my NOT being there ferret it out if so?

Are there newer building techniques in cat manufacture after certain dates yada? I'm doing a fair amount of reading and researching but I'm overwhelmed with everything being a non-sailor.
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Old 04-02-2013, 07:16   #2
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Re: Looking at some early 90s cats

Open ended question and answer. There was/are so many different processes used by the various builders, you really need to dig into the particular builder and model you are interested in. A partial list of how:
- solid glass above and below WL
- solid glass below WL, core above WL
- core throughout, above and below WL
The largest factor in how good the laminate integrity is depends upon builder's practises. You can take a balsa cored hull that was simply set into a resin rich layer of chop or you can have a balsa hull that was vacuum bagged or infused. Same material, very different potentials in problems. Frankly, I am a solid glass below WL and foam core above WL kinda guy. Been in this stupid industry for way too long.
Don't forget the deck. The opportunity for a mushy deck can be greater than the hull being bad. So many deck fittings that are seldom rebedded, allowing ingress for water. Interestingly enough, mushy balsa cored decks are found more in a fresh water environs than a salt water one.
I no longer offer my services as a marine consultant, but I would be sure to have any potential buy looked at thoroughly by a good marine surveyor. Not just one who went through the accredidation steps but one who has been around boats and has the experience and gut to know when there is an issue. A moisture meter in knowledgeable hands is invaluable. I would recommend not using a surveyor suggested by the selling broker, just to keep it impartial.
Hmmm, I wonder what kind of storm this will cause?
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Old 04-02-2013, 08:37   #3
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Re: Looking at some early 90s cats

Quote:
Originally Posted by dpddj View Post
Open ended question and answer. There was/are so many different processes used by the various builders, you really need to dig into the particular builder and model you are interested in. A partial list of how:
- solid glass above and below WL
- solid glass below WL, core above WL
- core throughout, above and below WL
The largest factor in how good the laminate integrity is depends upon builder's practises. You can take a balsa cored hull that was simply set into a resin rich layer of chop or you can have a balsa hull that was vacuum bagged or infused. Same material, very different potentials in problems. Frankly, I am a solid glass below WL and foam core above WL kinda guy. Been in this stupid industry for way too long.
Don't forget the deck. The opportunity for a mushy deck can be greater than the hull being bad. So many deck fittings that are seldom rebedded, allowing ingress for water. Interestingly enough, mushy balsa cored decks are found more in a fresh water environs than a salt water one.
I no longer offer my services as a marine consultant, but I would be sure to have any potential buy looked at thoroughly by a good marine surveyor. Not just one who went through the accredidation steps but one who has been around boats and has the experience and gut to know when there is an issue. A moisture meter in knowledgeable hands is invaluable. I would recommend not using a surveyor suggested by the selling broker, just to keep it impartial.
Hmmm, I wonder what kind of storm this will cause?
Thanks so much. I think I'm just going to avoid a boat like that if possible esp one outside the US to avoid the problems finding MY surveyor. Thanks again.
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Old 04-02-2013, 13:21   #4
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Re: Looking at some early 90s cats

Don't rule out all the home builts and one offs and are usually lower priced because of this. Many of these boats are well built. Typically these were built using epoxy saturated strip planking and then covered with more epoxy/glass which is still used today. Some are built with ply, foam or balsa cores and then epoxy. Epoxy is much stronger that polyester and way more waterproof. This is a good thing if built well. Any of these older boats will be well traveled so if it was a bad build then problems would have been apparant and/or addressed. Even some of Chris White's boats have been built this way!
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Old 04-02-2013, 13:56   #5
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Re: Looking at some early 90s cats

The 90's Lagoons built at TPI are great. They have some coring, but if I remember right not on the bottom. The glass work on mine was perfection. Never a blister, never a core issue.
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Old 14-02-2013, 14:27   #6
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Re: Looking at some early 90s cats

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Originally Posted by Sand crab View Post
Don't rule out all the home builts and one offs and are usually lower priced because of this. Many of these boats are well built. Typically these were built using epoxy saturated strip planking and then covered with more epoxy/glass which is still used today. Some are built with ply, foam or balsa cores and then epoxy. Epoxy is much stronger that polyester and way more waterproof. This is a good thing if built well. Any of these older boats will be well traveled so if it was a bad build then problems would have been apparant and/or addressed. Even some of Chris White's boats have been built this way!
I think I would prefer to buy a home built boat having seen some of the shoddy production built cats on the market. One thing is for sure, when someone starts building their boat they know its going to take say 25000 man hours, so the attention to detail on the hulls and decks is usually way superior to the slap and dash.."is it Friday yet" production boats.
We have a Chris White late 1997 cedar strip vessel www.sailpegasus.com and the build quality is fantastic. We have sailed some 50,000 miles and she is strong and as good today as she was when she was built. The guys up in Maine / New Hampshire etc in the 90's really knew what they were doing with epoxy and cedar strip and that shows today with so many excellent examples still in service.
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