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Old 23-10-2022, 09:20   #1
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Refitting Alberg 37 - 1975 fiberglass hull condition

Hi there.
I was checking some gelcoat blisters on my boat and here is what I found.
There are a tiny pinholes on the surface of a gelcoat or barrier coat which is covering gelcoat. When I start dancing it I see that the hole leads to a glass. It’s really very small, but you can trace it. Once I get to a glass often time it comes to a small pinhole or small yellow decaying glass usually no more then 1/8 of an inch deep. After opening some 200 spots I found about 10 spots much deeper decaying glass/delaminating among which 4 really bad once one going olmost through hull. Looks like the outer layer of stranded mat is going yellowish and in one particular spot is was almost 24” x 12” area where there was a delaminating between stranded mat and rowing. As one said if you found 100 there must be 1000 hidden ones. Can you have a look at the pictures and let me know what you think about the state of the laminate, is it coming to and end and I need to look for another boat or should I continue fixing.
I have no experience with fibreglass whatsoever so I only relay on info from internet or books on boat repair. The fact that I found bad spots makes me nervous about overall hull condition.
Thank you in advance.
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Old 23-10-2022, 10:01   #2
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Re: Refitting Alberg 37 - 1975 fiberglass hull condition

My guess is that water got in, followed by freezing in your Canadian winter(s). Fiberglass and it's resins don't decay, but the resin can fracture. Has the boat been through repoeated freeze cycles in the water?

I can't speak to the extent of your damage, but the structural repair for one such hole is a serious task, since you will need to bevel from the deepest part of the hole on a 12:1 ratio before building it up with cloth and resin again. You suggest jumping to another boat. Is that an economical opportunity?
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Old 23-10-2022, 12:10   #3
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Re: Refitting Alberg 37 - 1975 fiberglass hull condition

Thank you tikeithlu.
The boat was neglected for quite sometime and it is quite possible that it was left in freezing water in Ontario.
I bought it for scrap value after it sitting at a storage place for couple of years waiting for demilitarisation. Paid 5500 Canadian.
I am 63 and was looking for a boat that I could refit and sail offshore for some 10 years once I retire. Now I am not sure if this boat will do. This is my first boat and I have no experience in fibreglass. Just want to make sure I am not existing my time working on refitting this particular boat. I have it since summer of last year.
Any saund advise is greatly appreciated
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Old 23-10-2022, 19:15   #4
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Re: Refitting Alberg 37 - 1975 fiberglass hull condition

The A37 was built by Whidby boats, in their Toronto facility. They built around 800 or 1000 Alberg 30’ and Alberg 37 hulls. They all have a superb reputation for layup and longevity. What you describe is an unusual condition for an Alberg. Usually small pin hole blisters are cosmetic at best and don’t amount to any serious structural issues. So some of your concerns are likely not a reason to walk away. However, the yellowing delamination is definitely an issue you may want to deal with. These hulls have a laid up thickness of 1” solid mat and roving, so plenty of material there to grind off and relay a new patch.

A 12” - 24” area is unusually large, but entirely doable. An easy way to go after if it is with a 4” angle grinder and wire wheel. Or use a flap disk and skim off the yellow portion down to good, clean laminate and build back anew. Leave as much clean material as you can and add polyester glass and mat/roving to build back to hull thickness. I would suggest stay away from epoxies. Marine grade FG resin is entirely compatible with the rest of the hull, and you can not latter apply FG over an epoxy patch, with any assurance it will have a sting bond.

Three good resources for you are your local commercial (not a home remedy DIY) fiberglass material vender, a marine surveyor, and your local Alberg 30 or 37 club in Toronto. There is an Alberg fleet on the Great Lakes, and a bunch of very knowledgeable Alberg owners around Toronto. If you can get hooked up with them Iam sure you could get some first hand advice about proceeding with your repair.

Another good resource are the A30 and A37pages on Facebook. Plenty of knowledgable folk their also….

Might also be a good idea to ask a marine surveyor to look at the trouble spots and lend some professional advice. surveys often oversee boat repair projects, in addition to surveying boats for buyers. A surveyor could help you a lot to 7nderstsnd extent of the problem, or lack thereof. Overall I am guessing the issues you mention are all minor…

Good luck, and post your results. Likely will help others down the road.
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Old 23-10-2022, 20:04   #5
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Re: Refitting Alberg 37 - 1975 fiberglass hull condition

At 1” thick, it doesn’t present an immediate problem. I’d just ignore it and collect my ten years worth of cruising.
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Old 24-10-2022, 09:36   #6
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Re: Refitting Alberg 37 - 1975 fiberglass hull condition

Thank you Glenn, I will get in touch with Alberg owners community and will show boat to a professional. I will definitely post updates once I figure out final course of action and get a good results.
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Old 24-10-2022, 11:04   #7
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Re: Refitting Alberg 37 - 1975 fiberglass hull condition

The spots pictured are all fixable, no reason to walk away. However, this is only one part of the project, there are others that we don't know, such as engine, rig, interior, etc. that you also have to assess and decide whether or not to look for another boat.
My boat was built in '67, I did several of these bottom repairs and I am completing the restore/refit as I sail - it never finishes anyway
Get in touch with me by PM and I could come over for an opinion if you'd like.
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Old 24-10-2022, 11:33   #8
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Re: Refitting Alberg 37 - 1975 fiberglass hull condition

Quote:
Originally Posted by SVTatia View Post
The spots pictured are all fixable, no reason to walk away. However, this is only one part of the project, there are others that we don't know, such as engine, rig, interior, etc. that you also have to assess and decide whether or not to look for another boat.
My boat was built in '67, I did several of these bottom repairs and I am completing the restore/refit as I sail - it never finishes anyway
Get in touch with me by PM and I could come over for an opinion if you'd like.
Sage advice. The ENTIRE boat will benefit from a professional survey if you lack the knowledge base to assess the condition of the individual components. Many times the most expensive boat you will ever own is free and you paid good money for what you considered scrap value.
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Old 24-10-2022, 12:10   #9
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Re: Refitting Alberg 37 - 1975 fiberglass hull condition

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldsailor27 View Post
Thank you Glenn, I will get in touch with Alberg owners community and will show boat to a professional. I will definitely post updates once I figure out final course of action and get a good results.
Yep, good decision. There’s lots of Alberg expertise in your neck of the woods. Don’t hesitate to talk to the A30 bunch. Whitby laid up both hull designs with the same people and same FG formula, technique, and workmanship. They are excellent water craft.

And, the more I think about it, the more I believe you will discover the issues are just surface blemish’s and nothing to worry about. Still, it won’t hurt to have an experienced surveyor and some knowledgeable Albergers Help you out, as you learn about the boat.

Glenn
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Old 01-11-2022, 14:19   #10
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Re: Refitting Alberg 37 - 1975 fiberglass hull condition

Cruising Maya have an Alberg 37 and documented a lot of their work on youtube. Website is https://www.cruisingmaya.com/ They have the best videos and are currently in Mexico.
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