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Old 28-01-2012, 11:38   #1
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Hull - Deck Joint Assessment

First, Thanks to everyone who's posted in these forums. I've learned more than I could hope for.

I've been shopping for my first sailboat, and found one that has nearly everything I am looking for. While assessing it I found a crack in the outward flange hull/deck joint that goes nearly all the way around the boat. The current owner says there are no leaks and I don't see any evidence of water inside. How scared should I be? I'm doing my best to eliminate any surprises before I hire a surveyor.
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Old 28-01-2012, 11:51   #2
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Re: Hull - Deck Joint assessment

Is it glassed together all around on the inside of the boat? That apears to be an outward turned flange. So it is likely two pieces; the deck flange and the hull flange. Probabled bedded with fiberglass mush or 5200 and held together with a few screws until it cured. Often this type would be completely glassed together on the inside. If so, Those cracks may just be due to the two edges cracking the gel coat bridging the gap and not a structural issue. Most those type would have a rub rail over that flange it seems to me... if you have a chance, try sticking a smallish screwdriver in the crack and prying a little.... does it widen or is it bonded?
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Old 28-01-2012, 12:03   #3
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Re: Hull - Deck Joint assessment

From the photos I can't really tell if it's a crack in the gelcoat/fiberglass or just dried up caulking. If the gelcoat and fiberglass is cracked, I'd stay away from this one. In general, some hull-deck joints, e.g., like the one pictured below, are very vulnerable to damage.

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Old 28-01-2012, 13:20   #4
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Re: Hull - Deck Joint assessment

It is glassed on the inside of the boat (see Picture). My gut feeling is that it's superficial and with some elbow grease, epoxy (?) and a rub rail (it seemingly never had one) it'll never be a problem. That said, I'm an interested party. I appreciate objective comments, and instruction.
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Old 28-01-2012, 13:36   #5
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Re: Hull - Deck Joint assessment

If you Google up a sister ship will know whether a rub rail is the norm - the only reason why she never had one would be if homebuilt / finished. To my mind that does look like an "out of sight out of mind" job (for something meant to be hidden) and if not removed by the vendor probably removed by another PO - if no screw / bolt holes (now filled?) then rub rail might have been glued on - which may explain why it is no longer there (docking collision(s!) or simply hull flex).

I would carefully price up the cost of fitting a rub rail (whether yard or DIY) - it won't be a 5 minute job .....nor under a $100's - if it was, the Vendor would have sorted it......and reflect that within the price (in comparison to another vessel that has a rub rail already fitted).

Looks like the Rub rail would have been an L shape - which probably explains why no replacement was fitted - as would be an awkward one to fit to hull shape.
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