The lifespan of FRP is not known but likely centuries, and older boats generally were overbuilt because the engineering properties were not yet well known. FRP Does absorb water
over time similarly to wood, but that's not problematic.
will generally not be a problem. Deck core rot
is problematic but generally not difficult to repair.
Check the keel
for damage due to groundings, and check all thru-hull fittings for water right integrity. Be prepared to rebed them. If the keel
is of an unusual type, such as a centerboard
, lee boards, or a dagger board, you may need to inspect its mechanism of operation as well.
Deck-hull joints are another area to inspect, especially if there's a rub rail. These joints can become unsealed due to a bump, and then water sheeting off the deck will pool at the rub rail and leak in through the unsealed deck joint. This usually results in a wet boat with a watery bilge
and mould problems. The joint can be re-sealed but that's a big job.
Chain plates are another commonly unsealed point that results in leaks
. Be prepared to re-bed them.
Run a hose over the deck and cockpit
for a few minutes, and then inspect the interior
for drips or leaks. Windows and portholes may need to be re-bedded as well.
Check for a wet bilge
and get an explanation for any water found. Boats of all ages should be dry, wetness means there are leaks somewhere.
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