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Old 22-02-2012, 21:15   #1
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Possible Hull Integrity Problems ... What do you think ? (with pics)

Hi,
I looked at a boat recently and saw something on the keel that concerned me but I don't really have any idea what it is.

I have attached two pictures of the forward keel stub/hull intersection that show several dark lines. There don't appear to be any cracks in the fiberglass that I can see (the first two pictures) and the dark areas aren't raised either.

The bottom of the keel does show evidence of grounding and the keel/stub joint appears to need work (the last two pictures). That by itself doesn't bother me because that can be fixed, though it would be expensive. However a structural problem does. While it might be repairable I would be concerned about the the integrity and safety of it.

oh, and there was water standing in the bilge. However it was a very dry day so I would expect anything leaking out would collect if the leak is slow.

So...what do y'all think about this?







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Old 22-02-2012, 21:27   #2
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Re: Possible hull integrity problems...what do you think? (with pics)

stress cracks in the outer laminate,probably caused by a grounding,i would check to see if any of the internal frames are delaminated under the cabin sole.

probably not serious depending on the thickness of the hull layup
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Old 22-02-2012, 21:40   #3
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Re: Possible hull integrity problems...what do you think? (with pics)

looks like water stains at the keel joint right at the joint. Guessing bolt hung keel with some glass overlay. You would want to check the bolts and flange. Could be the keel needs re bedding. Not sure what frames you would check in side. You might look at tabbing conditions and similar stress signs inside in the areas corresponding to the outside symptom.
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Old 22-02-2012, 21:49   #4
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Re: Possible hull integrity problems...what do you think? (with pics)

BoatUS publishes a book titled Seaworthy, describing boat failures they encountered during 20 year's of insuring boats. The photo on page 121, with caption 'stress cracks indicating laminate failure', looks similar to your first photo. A closer inspection by a knowledgeable hand is probably a good idea.
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Old 22-02-2012, 22:09   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom1340
BoatUS publishes a book titled Seaworthy, describing boat failures they encountered during 20 year's of insuring boats. .
Sounds like a great book to have in my library. Thanks for the info!
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Old 23-02-2012, 04:11   #6
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Re: Possible hull integrity problems...what do you think? (with pics)

Seen that one many times. The boat has a grounding at the bottom front edge of the keel, resulting in stress fractures at the hull/keel join front end and starting the seam. Check the forward keelbolts, tabbing on floors/frames/bulkheads inside, etc. Probably needs a fairly major strucural repair. Can't be sure without grinding off the bottom paint and having a look. Finding damage inside would tell you a lot. Looks like in this case the actual impact on the keel was "repaired" but noone dealt with the real issues which resulted from the impact. Fairly common.
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Old 23-02-2012, 14:41   #7
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Re: Possible hull integrity problems ... What do you think ? (with pics)

This is great info. Thank you all for your help.

On the inside I looked at as much of the tabbing as I could see. Sadly a lot of it is covered by furniture and decorative lining. I didn't notice any issues with the tabbing that I could see. The inside of the hull was absolutely filthy and looked like it had tar smeared all over the inside. I don't know what it actually was but I wouldn't have been able to see anything there.

I did notice that the door frame to the head (the head is directly over the damaged area) was askew and the door was difficult to open and close. The sliding door was also hard to close (in fact I don't think I ever got it closed). At first I wondered if the cabin trunk had been compressed but it is a keep stepped mast so I wasn't sure where the problem was coming from. This may be it. It also may have settled over 25 years.

Unfortunately I couldn't see the keel bolts because the bilge was full of water.

I flew in to see this boat so it is now 1000 miles away and I can't easily go back to look at it. Not sure how to proceed but I'll figure something out.

Thanks again all for your help.
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Old 23-02-2012, 17:53   #8
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Re: Possible hull integrity problems ... What do you think ? (with pics)

Although most people are well-intentioned, it's impractical to give a definitive opinion without actually inspecting these areas by a very good surveyor whom you trust. If you are serious about this boat, here is no harm in making an offer subject to an inspection and survey and is certainly better than reliance on internet advice regardless of your course of action. If you are uncomfortable with the offer, you could still preface it with the survey.
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Old 23-02-2012, 18:06   #9
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Re: Possible hull integrity problems ... What do you think ? (with pics)

I would think a survey would tell you to run or write
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Old 23-02-2012, 19:18   #10
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Re: Possible hull integrity problems ... What do you think ? (with pics)

External ballast boats, those with the keel bolted on, quite often have a seam where the keel bolts to the stub keel. There is always some working of the keel and if they used a hard filler like epoxy where the keel meets the hull, cracks are inevitable. The joint should be filled with a non hardening caulk which probably won't show a crack for a boat in normal use.

This boat is a little strange, however. It looks this is an internal ballasted keel and the cracks are actually in the glass of the hull. Cannot be sure from these pictures but if that is the case, there is structural damage to the hull. Were you able to find any indication of keel bolts inside the hull?? Too bad you didn't get down and dirty with the boat while you are there. It's really hard to do a meaningful inspection without getting your hands dirty and doing a lot of boat Yoga.

Why was there water in the bilge?? If the hull to deck joint leaks that badly, it would scare me away just for that. Hate leaky hull to deck joints because they are hard to fix.
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Old 23-02-2012, 19:38   #11
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Re: Possible hull integrity problems ... What do you think ? (with pics)

Who is the manufacturer?
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Old 23-02-2012, 19:51   #12
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Re: Possible hull integrity problems ... What do you think ? (with pics)

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Originally Posted by brankin View Post
Who is the manufacturer?
Really. And how old is the boat? There are some boats where such stress marks are inevitable after 30 years, regardless of whether the boat has ever grounded.

Better data upfront = better advice from the forum.
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Old 23-02-2012, 20:05   #13
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Re: Possible hull integrity problems ... What do you think ? (with pics)

I have seen that also, Check behind the keel and the engine bed to make sure they werent broken loose. Whenthe keel hits hard in front, the front hull interface bends down and the back interface goes up. Could (.. and I have seen this) break the engine bed loose etc.
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Old 23-02-2012, 20:20   #14
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Re: Possible hull integrity problems ... What do you think ? (with pics)

Quote:
Originally Posted by denalione View Post
This is great info. Thank you all for your help.

On the inside I looked at as much of the tabbing as I could see. Sadly a lot of it is covered by furniture and decorative lining. I didn't notice any issues with the tabbing that I could see. The inside of the hull was absolutely filthy and looked like it had tar smeared all over the inside. I don't know what it actually was but I wouldn't have been able to see anything there.

I did notice that the door frame to the head (the head is directly over the damaged area) was askew and the door was difficult to open and close. The sliding door was also hard to close (in fact I don't think I ever got it closed). At first I wondered if the cabin trunk had been compressed but it is a keep stepped mast so I wasn't sure where the problem was coming from. This may be it. It also may have settled over 25 years.

Unfortunately I couldn't see the keel bolts because the bilge was full of water.

I flew in to see this boat so it is now 1000 miles away and I can't easily go back to look at it. Not sure how to proceed but I'll figure something out.

Thanks again all for your help.
If the inside of the bilge has been coated with something I would sure be wondering why. This boat has been grounded hard, at least once. Stress cracks in gelcoat mean that it has been flexed further than its elasticity allows and they often run right into the hull lay-up and that is definitely NOT a good thing ! The fact that the interior around the head doorway has problems could be another indicator of some seriously rapid deceleration, like against a reef. Structural damage on a scale like this is hard to repair completely. S
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