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Old 30-05-2016, 18:59   #1
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Did marina punch holes in my hull (with photos)

I had the marina come to pick up my boat for some work. I have a stepped hull, and they used the wrong trailer to tow it. The flat steel bracket between two roller sets cut into my hull while loading it. My question is, could this damage be characterized as 'holes' or are they just 'chips in the gelcoat', as the marina claims?

To me, it appears that the material under the gelcoat was damaged also.

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Old 30-05-2016, 19:04   #2
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Re: Did marina punch holes in my hull (with photos)

I would not call it cosmetic for sure! Structural would be a question left to a surveyor!
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Old 31-05-2016, 10:06   #3
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Re: Did marina punch holes in my hull (with photos)

my question was asked because the boat yard owner is trying to minimize the issue saying it was only a chip in the gelcoat. i am not really knowledgeable regarding gelcoat and fiberglass, but it looks like a hole in a boat hull to me. i said that the repair will be noticeable to a surveyor if i sell the boat someday. he said it wont be an issue.
am i being overly concerned? does this stuff happen all the time in a marina, and they just fix it and never tell the owner?
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Old 31-05-2016, 10:23   #4
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Angry Re: Did marina punch holes in my hull (with photos)

While I agree that it is probably not a structural concern, I would get a qualified opinion from someone not directly involved. It certainly needs to be fixed properly, but I would doubt that it will affect the resale value of the boat if properly repaired.

And finally, yes I do believe that this kind of thing happens all too often and the owners are never made aware of the damage done by the marina. I had a 27 ft sportsfish with twin duo prop out drives. The marina set the boat down on one of the drives and cracked the h bracket. I found out about it when they put it back in the water and the out drive fell off leaving the haul out.
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Old 31-05-2016, 10:27   #5
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Re: Did marina punch holes in my hull (with photos)

You can see that the damage goes right through the gelcoat, deep into the layup.

It IS perfectly repairable, but the approach is different from damage to gelcoat only. You need to grind back the area around the damage, to get a really good bond between the repair and the original glass, and then repair with fibreglass, then gelcoat.

Done properly it certainly wouldn't worry me much as a buyer.

The obvious thing to do is get an expert in fibreglass repair to quote you for repairing the damage.

Is the marina proposing to just repair it themselves? I would want to be very clear about the exact process they want to use, and inspect it as they do it. Simply slapping some epoxy in then paint is not satisfactory.
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Old 31-05-2016, 10:34   #6
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Re: Did marina punch holes in my hull (with photos)

Hey Joe,

Well, it is more than just a chip in the gel coat. There are fibreglass strands that have been cut, or ground through. One spot looks rather deep but I don't see a hole clear through in the pictures.

I dont think it would be a big deal for a good glass man to repair the damage. I think the marina should step up and offer to make it right, but it appears at first glance they are trying to dismiss the obvious to avoid this.

I think it would be reasonable of you to ask the marina to repair the damage caused by thier employee. Maybe consider a calm rational discussion of this with the dockmaster.
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Old 31-05-2016, 10:52   #7
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Re: Did marina punch holes in my hull (with photos)

No, no doubt, they are fixing it. Its just that when i was discussing the myriad of reasons that i wouldn't be using the marina anymore, i mentioned the damaged hull, and the owner said that they were "chips in the gelcoat, not holes". i suspect his tow guy downplayed the damage to him and repaired it without him ever seeing it. i was going to include the photos in my next email, i just was wondering if i was right in my description, or whether he was correct in it being just a chip. what is the "layup"?
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Old 31-05-2016, 11:06   #8
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Re: Did marina punch holes in my hull (with photos)

The layup is the layers of fibreglass and gelcoat used in the construction.

Different types like matt, roving, biaxial, etc are the layup schedule specified by the designer.

This is a simple description, it can get quite complicated.

A well done repair of your damage would be no concern for the next owner. Knowing it was done properly is another thing.
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Old 31-05-2016, 12:31   #9
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Re: Did marina punch holes in my hull (with photos)

This is a simple almost cosmetic repair although I'd call it a gouge rather than a chip. it is extremely difficult to press glass into a depression as in the female side of the molded strakes so the gelcoat as clearly shown in the photos is extremely thick here, not optimum but typical.

Most (almost all) of the damage is to the gelcoat. In one of the photos I think I can see a few strands of veil (sometimes called "skin-out" mat). veil or skin-out mat is a thin layer of chopped strand mat with no structural significance at all. The purpose of veil is simply to help hide any print-through of the heavier woven fabrics that comprise the balance of the layup ...... much ado about nothing.
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Old 31-05-2016, 13:01   #10
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Re: Did marina punch holes in my hull (with photos)

Gee, you took your car in to get a car wash and you came out with a hole the size of Fort Knox? You certainly don't need a degree in metallurgy to know you have an issue. I don't know very much about doing fiberglass work, and there are certainly experts here who do and who have done yeoman work on their boats. But once you start seeing strands and threads inside a gouge that big, you know (or should) that it's way deeper than just the (VERY, VERY thin) gelcoat and into the "core" of the glass.

Don Casey's This Old Boat book and any good fiberglass manual, like WEST Systems (online) will explain the issue.

It's also why they have insurance, hope you do.

Good luck, the yard should make you whole. If they don't, come on back here and this crew will give you oodles of ideas as to how to get them to play nice.
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Old 31-05-2016, 13:22   #11
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Re: Did marina punch holes in my hull (with photos)

Have the boat surveyed and repaired to please the surveyor before signing off the marina. Then you have paperwork for any future survey/owner.
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Old 31-05-2016, 13:55   #12
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Re: Did marina punch holes in my hull (with photos)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stu Jackson View Post
I don't know very much about doing fiberglass work,

But once you start seeing strands and threads inside a gouge that big, you know (or should) that it's way deeper than just the (VERY, VERY thin) gelcoat
The damage is at a strake. The peak of a strake typically has about 1/4" of gelcoat, sometimes as much as 1/2". Again much ado about nothing from someone who has built and repaired FRP cars and boats for 40 years........ oops ! actually 50 years, I still feel like a kid

I could fix that (properly) in 4 hours and one of those would be waiting for bottom paint to dry.
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Old 31-05-2016, 14:03   #13
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Re: Did marina punch holes in my hull (with photos)

To me it looks somewhat beyond cosmetics. Check the areas from the inside for sure. Not all grp boats were built 1' thick.

Not a big drama but nothing that should be played down either. Fix well by a pro grp man, get the one who handled the boat to pay for the repair. Clearly an operator's fault.

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Old 31-05-2016, 14:19   #14
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Re: Did marina punch holes in my hull (with photos)

yes, it has been recently fixed, at their expense, but i was just wondering if it would be something to worry about, like if they block it under there, or hit it with trailer hardware in the fall when it comes back out.
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Old 31-05-2016, 14:22   #15
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Re: Did marina punch holes in my hull (with photos)

Joe, you're concerned.

It's your boat.

Hire a surveyor, as Lepke suggested, to assess the damages and supervise the work. If the internal layup has been damaged, my concern is that the marina will make an external cosmetic repair and try to call it good. Nope, not good enough, imho. They need to fix the inside, too. This can be a lot of work, and the boat should be on a trailer that supports it properly, in any event, for the short term. The inner repair may best be done in the water, after the holes are sealed, and it has resumed its natural in-the-water shape.

If you are not forceful with them, not only will your boat not be fixed well, but they will also continue to take advantage, and accepting sleazy work damages everyone else, those who do it, and those who are stuck with it. The issue is both practical and ethical.

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