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Old 01-01-2012, 21:39   #1
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Gaps in Teak and Holly Sole?

Should I fill the gaps between teak and holly boards in the sole of my Fuji 45 with straight epoxy? The boat has been on the hard for 18 mos and the sole has apparently dried out enough to cause a couple of boards to separate. Does anyone have any experience with dealing with this problem? Thanks, Lauri
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Old 01-01-2012, 22:06   #2
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Re: Gaps in teak and holly sole?

Since the boat has been on the hard for a while the splits could be from the hull spreading while out of the water and not drying of the boards. I wouldn't do anything until the boat has been back in the water at least a couple of weeks. The separations may close back up.
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Old 01-01-2012, 22:18   #3
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Re: Gaps in teak and holly sole?

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Since the boat has been on the hard for a while the splits could be from the hull spreading while out of the water and not drying of the boards. I wouldn't do anything until the boat has been back in the water at least a couple of weeks. The separations may close back up.
You just made that up, right?

You can fill the gaps with epoxy, then varnish over them as usual.
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Old 01-01-2012, 22:24   #4
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Re: Gaps in teak and holly sole?

Wood shrinks when it dries. It will expand when it gets wet.
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Old 01-01-2012, 22:30   #5
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Re: Gaps in teak and holly sole?

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You just made that up, right?
Well no, not really. Why do you think that?

My boat has also been on the hard for about 20 months and I have a couple of cracks that appeared in the sole that weren't there before. I'm in Florida where the humidity is about the same on land or afloat so don't see why it would be dryer and cause wood splitting on the hard vs afloat.

Seems obvious to me that the cause, at least in my case, is from something other than drying. And boats on the hard do settle. Fact of life. Why do you think you have to wait a few days after you launch before doing a prop shaft alignment?
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Old 01-01-2012, 22:42   #6
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Re: Gaps in teak and holly sole?

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Well no, not really. Why do you think that?

My boat has also been on the hard for about 20 months and I have a couple of cracks that appeared in the sole that weren't there before. I'm in Florida where the humidity is about the same on land or afloat so don't see why it would be dryer and cause wood splitting on the hard vs afloat.

Seems obvious to me that the cause, at least in my case, is from something other than drying. And boats on the hard do settle. Fact of life. Why do you think you have to wait a few days after you launch before doing a prop shaft alignment?
Well, no matter how it looks, fiberglass hulls don't "spread". They might become concave, or indent, according to how the stands were placed, but the actual plastic will never 'spread' out because of the force against them.

If there is a case of the hull becoming separated from the bulkheads, that's a differnent story, and also not due to "hull spread".

I don't know the answer, but I know what it's not
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Old 01-01-2012, 22:57   #7
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Re: Gaps in teak and holly sole?

Before we left for the Marquesas, the floorboards were easy to get up with plenty of gap and a fairly loose fit. After about 15 days of sailing in benign conditions, mostly broad reach and running in force 4 winds or less, decided to check the level of the water in the tanks under the sole. The hatches were frozen in place because the floor had absorbed moisture just from being at sea even though we hadn't had any water below decks. Had two tanks with around 35 gallons each but only one switched in. We still had at least a thousand miles to go and only one 35 gallon tank that we'd been using since the start. Thought I might have to get out the hatchet and chop up the sole to switch to the other tank. Fortunately we use fresh water frugally and made it with water to spare. Took another 10 days on the dry side of Hiva Oa after our arrival before the floorboards shrunk enough to get them up and switch the tanks.

If you have hatches in your sole that you need access to, wouldn't mess with those cracks till I'd had the boat in the water for awhile and sailed at least 2 days to weather in crappy conditions. If the crack is still there, I'd consider filling it with epoxy but probably not even then.
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Old 01-01-2012, 23:43   #8
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Re: Gaps in teak and holly sole?

If the boat is on the hard and sitting on the keel, it may have oil-canned a bit.

Like roverhi stated, I'd leave'm be until the boat's back in the water for awhile.
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Old 01-01-2012, 23:55   #9
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Re: Gaps in teak and holly sole?

Quote:
Originally Posted by callmecrazy View Post
Well, no matter how it looks, fiberglass hulls don't "spread". They might become concave, or indent, according to how the stands were placed, but the actual plastic will never 'spread' out because of the force against them.

If there is a case of the hull becoming separated from the bulkheads, that's a differnent story, and also not due to "hull spread".

I don't know the answer, but I know what it's not
Sorry but can't agree. I don't have any problem with the bulkheads separating from the hull and the hull will only become concave if the jack stands are taking the weight instead of the keel.

Seems quite obvious to me that in the water the entire hull is supported by the water. Out of the water the boat is sitting on the keel and the hull must sag to some degree. No boat is a totally rigid, inflexible structure and it will move. Not sure what force against the plastic you refer to that prevents the hull from spreading. The only force acting on the boat is gravity (unless someone runs into it with a truck or a meteor falls on it ) which is of course down. That force is resisted by the structure of the boat which is flexible and it will move in the direction of the force of gravity. How it moves or sags will be determined by the structure of the boat: hull, bulkheads, floors, etc. and how they transfer that force through the structure.

Again, ask any marine mechanic about aligning a prop shaft after a boat has been on the hard. They will all tell you to let the boat sit in the water for several days to allow the shape of the boat to adjust.

If you don't think fiberglass is flexible go pound on the side of a small boat with your fist and watch it bounce. Go research the problem with a well known production boat that would bend up at the ends like a bow when the stays were tightened.
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Old 01-01-2012, 23:58   #10
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Re: Gaps in teak and holly sole?

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Originally Posted by skipmac View Post
Sorry but can't agree. I don't have any problem with the bulkheads separating from the hull and the hull will only become concave if the jack stands are taking the weight instead of the keel.

Seems quite obvious to me that in the water the entire hull is supported by the water. Out of the water the boat is sitting on the keel and the hull must sag to some degree. No boat is a totally rigid, inflexible structure and it will move. Not sure what force against the plastic you refer to that prevents the hull from spreading. The only force acting on the boat is gravity (unless someone runs into it with a truck or a meteor falls on it ) which is of course down. That force is resisted by the structure of the boat which is flexible and it will move in the direction of the force of gravity. How it moves or sags will be determined by the structure of the boat: hull, bulkheads, floors, etc. and how they transfer that force through the structure.

Again, ask any marine mechanic about aligning a prop shaft after a boat has been on the hard. They will all tell you to let the boat sit in the water for several days to allow the shape of the boat to adjust.

If you don't think fiberglass is flexible go pound on the side of a small boat with your fist and watch it bounce. Go research the problem with a well known production boat that would bend up at the ends like a bow when the stays were tightened.
Fiberglass is only flexible in one direction. it is not flexible in the manner you're speaking of.
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Old 02-01-2012, 00:08   #11
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Re: Gaps in teak and holly sole?

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Fiberglass is only flexible in one direction. it is not flexible in the manner you're speaking of.
Push in on the side of a boat hull it will push in. Done it lots of times.

If it pushes in it will also push out.

Ever draw a static force diagram for a stucture? Sitting on the hard there will be forces pulling down and due to the structure of the boat also pulling out. The sides of the hull are attached to the floor.. Gravity will pull down on the hull and hull will pull down and out on the floors.
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Old 02-01-2012, 04:16   #12
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Re: Gaps in Teak and Holly Sole?

Our boat would gain/lose around 3/4" minimum across the beam just due to the change in seasons even when on the water. The deck planks were 2 1/2" thick and the hull was 2 1/2" oak.
Fibre glass hulls move all over the place in all directions when in or out of the water, especially the more modern lightweight hulls. Some fibreglass hulls need very very careful placement of the chocks when supporting on the hard due to the thickness (lack of) of the hull.
I used to do the alignment on R.N.L.I. Arun class life boats which are as heavily built fibre glass you can get, and I would still get a few thou movement on the shaft alignment.


In response to the O.P don't fill the cracks with epoxy until your back on the water, as the wood wont have anywhere to go when it expands and could cause you more problems.
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Old 02-01-2012, 07:16   #13
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Re: Gaps in Teak and Holly Sole?

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In response to the O.P don't fill the cracks with epoxy until your back on the water, as the wood wont have anywhere to go when it expands and could cause you more problems.
Have to agree. No matter what the cause of the cracks: drying, settling, or boat gremlins, I would not do anything about it until the boat is in the water at least a couple of weeks and stable in all regards.
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Old 02-01-2012, 08:22   #14
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Re: Gaps in Teak and Holly Sole?

It dosen't matter if F/G flex's fore, aft, a-beam, up , down or side ways. The vessel is not in it's natural state. It's 25,000 lb hull is sitting on 4-6 pinch points (stands). It's going to conform to it's new stress/contact area's. Plus it's natural moisture environment is gone, adding to the changes. As stated...leave it alone and only address it in it's natural habitat...the water. Imagine if you went ahead and epoxied it now, put it back in the water...then...it tried to go back to it's natural condition. You'd have a mess on your hands.
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Old 02-01-2012, 19:52   #15
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Re: Gaps in Teak and Holly Sole?

Thanks for your advice all. I should have mentioned that the saloon table also split and cracked, more evidence that we are dealing with drying wood. I have also discovered a previously filled gap and it does not appear that any bad things happened from that job. I would like to just not do anything until she is splashed... but I've completely stripped the sole and will begin varnishing by the weekend. Can't be doing that after I splash her because I will have moved back aboard, but I think the advice to not epoxy the gaps (yet) has some validity.
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