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Old 21-08-2013, 17:51   #1
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Weak Area in Hull

Hi all. I'm new here and am looking to purchase my first boat. I have one specifically in mind; a 1977 Irwin Citation 30. I viewed it today and the owner disclosed a weak area in the starboard side around the middle of the hull. There was a removable panel on that side that had what appeared to be a weak support with only a metal bracket stabilizing it. He said some water had leaked in there and while the leak was found and sealed, the damage was done. Any thoughts on how detrimental this could be? I'm attaching a pic to show the bad side compared to the good side:
weak side:


Good Side:


The boat will stay as a great lake cruiser and I am not planning on placing too much stress like racing or harsh weather. Just thought I would get your thoughts on it?
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Old 21-08-2013, 17:58   #2
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Re: Weak area in hull

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These pictures aren't giving me a clue to the "weakness". The metal piece appears to be the bonded end of a chainplate which would suport the standing rigging and not unusual. Is this a reference to a rain leak coming from the deck or hull-deck joint or an actual penetration through the hull? A survey is always wise, but give us more of what is meant by this "weakness".
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Old 21-08-2013, 18:22   #3
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Re: Weak Area in Hull

If you are talking about the chainplate and the "bulkhead" that it is bolted to... it wouldnt be unusual. The metal chainplate and fiberglass bulkhead would have to be removed and rebuilt. Possibly just cut one side of the fiberglass off, remove the rotten wood inside and renew the wood. Then glass the thing back together and to the hull..... and rebolt the chainplate (inspect it too!) is there room to redrill the holes in the bulkhead for the chainplate?
Have I got the problem right?
OTOH.... if the glass is real thick on that bulkhead.... maybe it doesnt matter if the wood core is rotten....
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Old 21-08-2013, 18:44   #4
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Re: Weak Area in Hull

What are the diagonal lines in the first photo that seem to penetrate into the hull and which appear to be dark stained? The other picture appears to show motor oil that had been in the bilge, and splashed about. Is there a story here? Specifically, is there a chance that this boat was on the rocks and flexed the hull? The first picture, for me, is the disturbing one. As to avoiding stress on a boat, don't bet on it, it's not under your control. Do you want to have your friends and family out on a lake when a squall explodes, then try to explain to them you hadn't quite planned on this eventuality? Pay the money for a surveyor who has some experience in evaluating a hull and rig.
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Old 21-08-2013, 18:52   #5
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Re: Weak Area in Hull

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Originally Posted by Roy M View Post
The first picture, for me, is the disturbing one.
Agreed. If those are stress fractures, the boat is worthless.

Walk away from it. It's probably not worth the cost of a survey. There are plenty of good boats out there in the price range of a '77 Irwin 30.
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Old 21-08-2013, 19:16   #6
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Re: Weak Area in Hull

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Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
If you are talking about the chainplate and the "bulkhead" that it is bolted to... it wouldnt be unusual. The metal chainplate and fiberglass bulkhead would have to be removed and rebuilt. Possibly just cut one side of the fiberglass off, remove the rotten wood inside and renew the wood. Then glass the thing back together and to the hull..... and rebolt the chainplate (inspect it too!) is there room to redrill the holes in the bulkhead for the chainplate?
Have I got the problem right?
OTOH.... if the glass is real thick on that bulkhead.... maybe it doesnt matter if the wood core is rotten....
This is primarily the what the owner said he was planning on doing. Said water leaked in (escapes me where from exactly). No mention of whether it was on the rocks.

thats a pic of the bottom before they sandblasted/repainted it.
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Old 21-08-2013, 19:38   #7
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Re: Weak Area in Hull

I did just email the owner to get a better explanation on the damage from what he understood. Will pass that info here for sure
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Old 21-08-2013, 20:19   #8
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Re: Weak Area in Hull

Essentially with the weakness, one side has good solid wood on the inside of that vertical beam. The other side it rotted and if you squeeze the beam in the bottom pic it bends/gives. It was suggested the section just needs to be cut out and reinforced. Boat is currently in the water.
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Old 22-08-2013, 04:47   #9
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Re: Weak Area in Hull

Here's what the owner emailed me:
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The knee absorbed water from above.* The chain plates come up through the deck and the shrouds that support the mast are attached to them.* The water apparently leaked through these holes in the deck and into the wood center of the knee.* If the deck had been properly sealed this would have never happened.* They are properly sealed now but the damage has already occurred.* The problem existed when I purchased the boat.* I only discovered it last year.* So I have been sailing with it without a problem.* I realize it could certainly create a serious problem and am planning the repair in the off season.
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Old 22-08-2013, 05:07   #10
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Re: Weak Area in Hull

Looking it over I think it's something I can repair. Owner is asking 4950 for it. I'm thinking might offer 3500 given the damage and risk.
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Old 22-08-2013, 05:23   #11
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I agree with Bash. Don't do it, you can find better for the same price.
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Old 22-08-2013, 05:25   #12
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Re: Weak Area in Hull

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I agree with Bash. Don't do it, you can find better for the same price.
Yeah more I look it over I'm thinking the same. Thanks!
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Old 22-08-2013, 05:42   #13
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Re: Weak Area in Hull

What you have pictured is a Butt Block. Ply glassed over to secure chain plates. Not an uncommon problem. Not hard to repair replace.
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Old 22-08-2013, 05:50   #14
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Re: Weak Area in Hull

If I understand all above, there never was evidence of a weakness in the hull itself and the "diagonal lines" referenced on a post above are simply scrapes on interior surface paint. If the problem is rain leakge down the chain plate that has rotted a core in the bulkhead that the chain plate is attached to; then, a repair is absolutely required, but not a great difficulty. I think Cheechako's advice would suit well. I would not consider this a cause to "walk away".
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Old 22-08-2013, 05:55   #15
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Re: Weak Area in Hull

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If I understand all above, there never was evidence of a weakness in the hull itself and the "diagonal lines" referenced on a post above are simply scrapes on interior surface paint. If the problem is rain leakge down the chain plate that has rotted a core in the bulkhead that the chain plate is attached to; then, a repair is absolutely required, but not a great difficulty. I think Cheechako's advice would suit well. I would not consider this a cause to "walk away".
With this issue known, what would you consider on a price point? Also is it an in the water fix our an undertaking out of?
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