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Old 20 April 2005, 14:50   #1
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Should I be worried?

I've been cleaning and polishing my hull with SafeBoatSkin and have noticed quite a few little cracks and chips to the gel coat.

The photos below show the main ones, including a split/crack on the top of the transom. There are also numerous areas of hairline cracking clustered together (too hard to photograph).

Should I be worried? Is this normal?. The boat's less than a year old if that makes any difference. Photo of boat included just for completeness!
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Old 20 April 2005, 14:53   #2
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The one on the transom doesn't look to healthy
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Old 20 April 2005, 15:01   #3
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If it were mine @ that age, I'd be intouch with the supplier tutt suite.

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Old 21 April 2005, 10:59   #4
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Back to the supplier for sure,that second picture looks like some previous damage has been painted over.
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Old 21 April 2005, 14:12   #5
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Thanks guys.

I wasn't too worried at first but the more I think about it the more I'm sure I ought to do something. I will post a copy of the photos to Prosport.

Cheers

Keith
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Old 21 April 2005, 17:49   #6
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Looks a bit worrying alright

Us
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Old 21 April 2005, 18:36   #7
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In a new boat <1 year old, I too would be contacting the manufacturer to have them repair all of those. Their only reason to not make the repairs under warranty or goodwill, is if they are caused by impact with floating debris. On an older boat, I wouldn't be too concerned, except for the one that appears to be seeping water, and possibly the one on the transom. The danger there is water getting into the core material (usually marine plywood in a transom) and causing it to rot unnoticed. Anytime any cored GRP has water intrusion it's bad news. I'm assuming the hull is solid GRP.

If it were an older boat, I would grind all of those back to solid material myself, fill and fair with West Systems epoxy and filler, and spray new gelcoat over. Finish with a good wetsanding to 600 grit or higher then buff. If thy're shallow enough you can just do gelcoat. None of those appear to be significant structural issues to me. The toughest issue with this sort of repair is properly color matching the gelcoat.

I've been messing about with boats for nearly all of my 40 years, and have done my share of cosmetic and structural repairs over that time... the J/24 sailboats I race have balsa cored hulls and decks for rigid construction with lighter weight. We're always concerned about bolting on hardware and such, to keep the core dry. OTOH, my ex-mil Searider has loads of dings and gouges in the gelcoat on the solid GRP hull, and I haven't bothered to repair any of them. If the boat were to be on a mooring for the season, I might consider making the repairs, but since it will be moored (!) ashore on its trailer, I have absolutely no concern. Perhaps soemday I'd consider restoring it to factory fresh condition, but until then...
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Old 22 April 2005, 10:56   #8
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Hi dctucker

Thanks for the detailed reply. I'm going to write to the manufacturers with some photos. (no point phoning as most of you will no doubt know when you see who the manufacturer is ) The photos are maybe deceptive as there isn't actually any water seeping out of any of the cracks and I'm pretty sure they are only surface anyway. But it certainly looks as though the fibreglass hull has flexed and caused the damage. (PS I know about the J24's as I've sailed on one a few times.)

I think you may be right about the gel coat peeling off in one of the photos, which does seem like a previous repair has been done. The crack in the transom is where the fibreglass collars are bonded on, and which in turn hold the tubes. I really haven't done many miles yet, and although I've slammed a few times off waves, I've not hit any debris or pushed the boat too hard. Will have to wait and see what response I get from Prosport.

Cheers

Keith
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Old 22 April 2005, 13:27   #9
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cracks

They dont look healthy in my opinion, who ever is to blame they do need sorting so that water does not find its way in to the glass.
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Old 22 April 2005, 14:02   #10
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Oh dear, I'm getting BWM flashbacks........

Erin, you should be worried. Its unacceptable for a new RIB. Pursue Prosport for rectification with all your might. Good luck!
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Old 22 April 2005, 16:53   #11
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My BWM's got cracks all over the place, on the transom, on the chines even a couple up front. I too was a little worried untill I saw my bosses Honda 4 stroke racer, I'm surprised it still floats!

I wouldn't be too concerned if the hull was more than say 4 years old, but how much do you use her? If shes got some hours/miles on the clock you'd expect to have some cracking, wouldn't you?

Peeps are right to tell you to get in touch with the manufacturer, but get a second unbiast opinion from a reputable source first.

Andy
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Old 22 April 2005, 17:45   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hightower
My BWM's got cracks all over the place, on the transom, on the chines even a couple up front. I too was a little worried untill I saw my bosses Honda 4 stroke racer, I'm surprised it still floats!

I wouldn't be too concerned if the hull was more than say 4 years old, but how much do you use her? If shes got some hours/miles on the clock you'd expect to have some cracking, wouldn't you?

Peeps are right to tell you to get in touch with the manufacturer, but get a second unbiast opinion from a reputable source first.

Andy

Ermm NO! Cracking is a good sign that the thing has not been put together properly in my opinion, especially as there are many boats that go to sea for a hard life and do not end up with these problems even after 5 or 10 years! Those cracks featured in the photos WILL lead to problems down the line if they are not sorted, as the boat is less than a year old it is still under warantee ffrom the builders, they will determine if the boat has been misused, most likely they will fix it as from the photos it looks like structural problems in the lay up. I have seen cracks appear in the same place on a variety of boats and in "my opinion, it always tends to be the cheaper brands" (not exclusively, but more often than not!).
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Old 22 April 2005, 18:48   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen-RIB
Ermm NO! Cracking is a good sign that the thing has not been put together properly in my opinion, especially as there are many boats that go to sea for a hard life and do not end up with these problems even after 5 or 10 years!
That might well be true of boat construction these days with CAD and modern materials, but when ever more than one type of material is used to make a structure, and is bonded together there is potential for some form of stresses to build up, this is evident in older boat designs like my BWM, but its not falling apart is it! Yes I'd love a crack free hull, but unless I re-design it, it isn't gonna happen.

I bet there are many RIB owners on this forum that have started out or still have older RIB designs that have encountered some form hairline cracks that have formed over time, but RIBs are normally driven hard and having 130-250kgs or more of outboard stuck on the back and going into a F7 headwind is going to stress areas of the hull.

But don't say these RIBs are manufactured wrong......Its just that quality that is expected from a manufacturer has increased to such a level that it's the expected norm to have a RIB that is perfect! Even more so when you have to pay a small fortune to own a new RIB.

Erin, I hope you get your problems sorted by the manufacturer, I'm sure that they'll be only too pleased to help.
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Old 22 April 2005, 21:02   #14
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I would have thought cracks like this are quite common - gelcoat is a very rigid skin - hence brittle. It does not mean there is a problem with the laminate as such. Bit like putting hammerite over a plastic ruler - as soon as it flexes the paint falls off!!!

As people have said the main problem would be where the water gets to once the outer skin is broken.
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Old 23 April 2005, 03:16   #15
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I would have to disagree with that, most fibreglass structures flex and Gel coat is designed with integral elasticity which takes this into account. (to a certain point of course).
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Old 23 April 2005, 03:33   #16
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Yeah anyway, the fact of the matter is that this shouldn't happen on a boat that is so new unless it's had a right bashing, If it was my boat the main concern for me would not be the damage and who's going to repair it but rather what the boats going to look like in 5 years time with the problem continually reocuring , especially if the boat is used for what it was made for i.e bouncing around on the sea.
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Old 23 April 2005, 15:04   #17
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Thanks for the tremendous response. I was pleasantly surprised to find that Prosport have taken the initiative and have sent me an email before I've even had a chance to contact them about it

So the question now is..... how should it be repaired?

Keith
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Old 23 April 2005, 15:36   #18
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I would first go to Prosport and see what they offer you. I guess they'll want to help in the interests of customer satisfaction, it's only when communications between customer and Manufacturer break down you'll want to take things further. This is where the consulation of an indipendant marine engineer comes into its own, or just a dealer that you trust.

Go and see what they offer, you might be pleasantly surprised, they obviously have someone reading this thread for them to find out your having problems and for them to contact you first, this is a very good sign.

Andy
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Old 23 April 2005, 15:41   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ribraff
I would have to disagree with that, most fibreglass structures flex and Gel coat is designed with integral elasticity which takes this into account. (to a certain point of course).
This statement is quite correct......For a newish boat. But don't you think that Gel coat gets harder and brittle with time? This is usually when these hairline cracks/crazing appear.
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Old 24 April 2005, 08:34   #20
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Jason's offered to come and collect the boat, so I will let him take a look at it and see what he proposes.

Thanks hightower

Keith
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