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Old 21-04-2020, 18:01   #1
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Boat on stands for 2 years, stands have dented into hull

I bought a 27' Cape Dory that had been sitting in a cradle for 2 or 3 years. I admit I'm a noob and I didn't hire a survey because the price of the boat was so low. I did notice 3 of the stands were pushing in the hull but the previous owner told me they would "pop out" once I put the boat back in the water.

I started thinking about it and doing some research, and I've read somewhere that most likely these dents will not pop back out since it's been sitting for so long.

So now I'm wondering a few things.

1) Is this considered damage and compromising to the hull's integrity?

2) Is it OK to ignore this, and sail the boat anyway, and take it in stride?

3) If it ought to be repaired, can you point me in the right direction as to method?

Thank you all so much, I really appreciate this forum and all the help I've already received has been wonderful.
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Old 21-04-2020, 18:14   #2
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Re: Boat on stands for 2 years, stands have dented into hull

Ive see this before on boats in long term storage. Some do revert to original shape. If it were mine, Id inspect for crazing in gelcoat outside and check inside for cracking in the resin or gelcoat painted on the inside. Do a sounding of the hull inside and out if accessible.
Id avoid the cradle in the future and be sure boat stands are located on bulkheads for storage needs. In years past, I hade a Cape Dory - had the same issue from improper supports. The deformity did go away after a season in the water.
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Old 21-04-2020, 18:19   #3
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Re: Boat on stands for 2 years, stands have dented into hull

It's highly likely you can ignore it.
Sharp creases are bad, (and will tend to show cracks) but a dent that eases in and out, is mostly cosmetic. I wouldn't worry about it. Try it out, it may go back to the original shape after a while.

Cheers, and enjoy your new boat.
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I don't know why I didn't see post #2. I could erase what I said and simply post " +1, to post 2".
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Old 21-04-2020, 18:58   #4
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Re: Boat on stands for 2 years, stands have dented into hull

I surveyed a yacht that had dents in the hull like you are talking about. There was no internal damage as I imagine it happened slowly. 5 years later I surveyed her again and they were still there. The new owner just ground of the antifoul and filled them. The dents were at least 18" square and 1/2" deep
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Old 21-04-2020, 19:09   #5
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Re: Boat on stands for 2 years, stands have dented into hull

The cradle broke on my boat when it was delivered from the factory. It was a Westsail Kit so took a year to launch and didn't notice the broken cradle had allowed the boat to settle on one of the uprights and dent the hull. Cut the post away and left that part of the hull unsupported but it didn't pop out. Ground that area of the hull to glass and filled in with layers of cloth and matt the ground fair. Still unnoticeable that there ever was a problem after 45 years.
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Old 21-04-2020, 19:24   #6
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Re: Boat on stands for 2 years, stands have dented into hull

Mike, the answer really is that some will pop out and some won't. It depends on how badly it is indented, for how long, and also where on the boat it occurs.

I would first get inside and confirm there is no structural damage. Look where it is indented. Make sure there are no cracked or separated joints, bulkheads or stringers. As long as the indentations are minor I suspect you won't find any problems, but best to check.

Without structural damage it's probably no big deal. Even if the dents remain permanent, as long as there is no actual cracks, the effect on the boat will be negligible.

But this raises another flag. Clearly the boat was placed on the cradle incorrectly. Either that, or this cradle is not designed for your boat. Boats do not normally dent like this if stored away properly. It could be a warning that the boat has not been well cared for.

As long as the hull has not been compromised (and I doubt it has), then nothing is beyond repair. But knowing what you've got by bringing in someone who has more experience than you might be time, and even money, well spent.
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Old 21-04-2020, 20:42   #7
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Re: Boat on stands for 2 years, stands have dented into hull

Mike often boats like this have been put away with a good cradle or props. Then over years the neglect sets in and the boat yard "borrows" the good props and eventually the boats just some mess abandoned in the corner of the yard. I know a yard like this and they used 44 gallon metal drums with a wedge to prop the abandoned boats. I see the boat was cheap so that could be the case.
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Old 22-04-2020, 04:57   #8
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Re: Boat on stands for 2 years, stands have dented into hull

Ah yes, good thought F&A, that could indeed be the scenario. Either way, it could be a flag for the OP to look a little deeper to make sure there aren't other problems.

I only know the OP's boat by vague reputation, but of what I've heard, they are stout, well built boats. As long as neglect is not severe, it should be fine.
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Old 22-04-2020, 07:47   #9
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Re: Boat on stands for 2 years, stands have dented into hull

Thanks to all for the replies. From what the previous owner told me, last year the Mississippi flooded real bad, and the boat floated up, pulling the cradle with it.

When the river came down, the blocking under the keel had washed away so the boat came down harder on the supports and also is slightly lopsided. They never attempted to replace the blocking or lower the stands, and a year has passed since the flood.

I inspected the interior and don't see any cracking, although there is a liner in the location of one support, and on that liner I can see some gelcoat crazing where the support is pushing inward. Bulkheads seem fine, not displaced.

The indents are not sharp, they are gradual so I believe I might be lucky. Getting the boat off the cradle this week and onto regular jack stands so I'll give an update at that point what it looks like.
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Old 22-04-2020, 08:16   #10
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Re: Boat on stands for 2 years, stands have dented into hull

My Pearson 26 had the stands positioned incorrect;y when I bought her. The poppets had been misplaced and dented the hull. After one summer in the water, the dents were gone.

Cape Dorys are pretty well built. I would see if the dents didn't go away over the summer and if not, after putting the next winter's poppets correctly under bulkheads, the dents were still there, I might think about putting the boat in the water and gently using a heat gun from the inside if possible.

In any case, it is important to place poppets or stands against the exterior of the hull where there is a bulkhead on the inside to prevent this from happening again. Don't forget to chain your stands together and put plywood under the stands.
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Old 22-04-2020, 08:59   #11
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Re: Boat on stands for 2 years, stands have dented into hull

Just writing to agree with George above, about using heat to return the hull to original shape. Plastics have a memory which they will often recover with the application of heat which may have involved the hot season when your boat deformed originally..Id suggest a tent and a high output heater in the offending area may just soften the plastic and allow it to return on its own or be easily formed back to original..nothing over 300 degrees. One fifty wouldnt hurt a thing. Heat gun is the same idea but the output is too concentrated and low energy..Heat lamps might do it over a day or two in the specific area.. And good job finding a bargain boat and bringing her back to useful life!
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Old 22-04-2020, 11:15   #12
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Re: Boat on stands for 2 years, stands have dented into hull

If it were a new hull then the resin might not have fully cured, in which case the deformation would likely be permanent. With older hulls there is a chance that it will at least partially return to the original shape; with that hope hold off on filling for a year or two and let it stabilize. If the dimples are large then fill with polyester filler (Bondo) and cover with glass and fair. No need to fill the dimples entirely with glass.

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Old 22-04-2020, 11:25   #13
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Re: Boat on stands for 2 years, stands have dented into hull

rather than comment on bondo below the water line I will just share this link..Yikes.

https://www.thehulltruth.com/boating...dy-filler.html
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Old 22-04-2020, 11:30   #14
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Re: Boat on stands for 2 years, stands have dented into hull

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikebikeboy View Post
I started thinking about it and doing some research, and I've read somewhere that most likely these dents will not pop back out since it's been sitting for so long.

So now I'm wondering a few things.

1) Is this considered damage and compromising to the hull's integrity?

2) Is it OK to ignore this, and sail the boat anyway, and take it in stride?

3) If it ought to be repaired, can you point me in the right direction as to method?
IMHO

1) Yes, it is 'damage'. Does it compromise hull integrity? Hard to say without seeing it but, probably not.

2) Again, probably, as long as there is no additional damage as other posters have mentioned.

3)As long as there is no structural damage you can ignore it.

BUT

If you want to try to fix it before you put in - (and I've used this successfully on a Cherubini Hunter) get a cheap, high wattage (300w) clamp-on work light fixture (sometimes called a brooder light). Then get highest wattage heat lamp bulb (250w red or clear, doesn't matter) you can find. Jury-rig a stand and shine the light on the center of the 'dent'. Keep the bulb maybe 3-4" away from the hull. Turn on the light and wait. When the hull heats up the dent may come out by itself, or, you may have to go inside the boat and 'encourage' it a little by pushing it out. Keep an eye on the outside of the hull while the light is on, so you don't get it too hot and blister the glass. The paint may very well burn off, but - you are going to paint the bottom anyway...

When I did this on the Hunter I 'tented' the light to keep the breeze from cooling the area. Just used tin-foil and masking tape, be sure to leave a small opening at to top to let some heat out so you don't burn the hull. I also went inside the hull and used an inflated car tire inner tube to push from the inside. An old cut up blanket was used to insulate the tube from the hull to keep it away from the heat. Once set up it took about 20 minutes and the dent literally 'popped' out.

Good luck!
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Old 22-04-2020, 11:47   #15
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Re: Boat on stands for 2 years, stands have dented into hull

Exactly garyfdl! great suggestion with excellent detail and based on real experience. Very inventive. I love the tire tube..Thanks for inspiring my confidence in the wisdom of the forum on a rainy day.
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