Catastrophic delamination on a new Bertram

Discussion in 'Fiberglass and Composite Boat Building' started by apex1, Jan 30, 2009.

  1. apex1

    apex1 Guest

    2 people like this.
  2. daiquiri
    Joined: May 2004
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    Location: Italy (Garda Lake) and Croatia (Istria)

    daiquiri Engineering and Design

    ****, that's a real nightmare. Was a nightmare when it tore apart in mid-sea (just a thought of that situation gives me an eery feeling), and will be a nightmare when lawyers start to make their living (read: maintaining their Porsches) on it...
  3. CML UK Ltd
    Joined: Dec 2008
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    CML UK Ltd GRP & FRP Plugs Mouldings

    Looks like a lot of people have made comment on that forum so i'll give my 5p worth here;

    I think air has got caught between the laminates and core (maybe down to poor cosolidation based on the core looking dry) if it has got warm the air would have expanded causing a void. Also i'm guessing they laid it up stern to bow. Lloyds require to build laminates bow to stern so that if this does happen it is harder for water to get under the laminate.

    Could also just be no hardener/catalyst like someone speculated on the other forum but this could also be an option.....? Regardless that is a serious coq up.
  4. apex1

    apex1 Guest

    Where does this industry lead us to?
  5. rasorinc
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    rasorinc Senior Member

  6. DGreenwood
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    DGreenwood Senior Member

    I saw that forum entry a few weeks back. I don't even know where to begin with explaining how bad that construction is. That is, under no circumstances, to be considered an indictment of cored construction. Clearly the "craftsmen" who bodged that garbage together would have made a mess no matter what material they were using. And IS a serious issue. If it was my family I had out on that boat, after shelling out 1 Mil. plus, I would have been pissed to see what I had bought.
    The second mentioned article is a useless and uninformed diatribe.
  7. Commuter Boats
    Joined: Oct 2006
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    Commuter Boats Commuter Boats

    There's been a considerable amount of discussion about this vessel on another forum, The Hull Truth, with two threads running,
    and . I've been a semi-active poster on those threads and have been an advocate for cored construction. The whole concept of utilizing cores is not faring very well amongst most of the posters. As I see it, the problem with this Bertram is with engineering and quality control. I operate a repair shop and do some low-volume construction in cored composite, my largest built to date is 40 feet and fully cored. I guess I just don't like seeing cored construction get a black eye it doesn't deserve.
  8. robherc
    Joined: Dec 2008
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    robherc Designer/Hobbyist

    Hmmm, and I saw it posted in another thread that "there's no logical reason for building your own boat" ... I'm now thinking "Survival of yourself, and your high-dollar investment is an EXCELLENT logical reason for building your own boat!" In defense of the person who said it, they were implying that you build for the love of building, and because many of us feel that undeniable NEED to build a boat...but survival is starting to seem to be a logical reason, in the face of these trajedies from manufacturers' "oopsies".

    ...just my $0.02, take it or leave it
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  9. Herman
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    Herman Senior Member

    I have looked at the photos, and I am impressed. Impressed by the lack of quality during installation of the foam, (kerfs not filled, and the kerfs are HUGE), but also there must have been something terribly wrong with the outer skin.

    I have seen boats where the skin coat (gelcoat + first layer of CSM had come off. looks dramatic, but structurally not a big problem)

    This is different, however. Only nice thing is that the laminate was somehow still strong enough in interlaminair direction, to be able to rip chunks out up to the core.

    Anyhow, little do we know about the laminate, the circumstances, so it is not really doable to draw conclusions.

    I must admit that I have had samples, cut from commercially built, high quality boats (cutouts from window openings) that were dreadfully badly laminated, with core material that was 80% not bonded, and what was bonded, was badly bonded. The bonding paste had gone off before the core was in place, and the core was not pressed into the laminate by any means. And this was a really expensive and highly regarded builder.

    I also visit many DIY builders, and although things might not end up as easthetically pleasing as a moulded boat, construction and integrity are usually impressive.
  10. tunnels

    tunnels Previous Member

    Where are the fiberglass boat builders !
    I have been working in fibreglass since 1972 . Have made lots of boats , Power ,inboard and outboard , sailing dinghys to ocean cruisers and mega yachts in differant places and seen some hair raising things .
    I have come to the conclussion designers and composite engineers are the begining of the problem as they simply dont understand the materials they are specifying and have never spent time on the floor and worked with any of the materials either . Then comes the departmental supervisors and lastly the workers doing the job !supervisers spend to much time chatting on cell phones , eyeing the pretty girls in the office and drinking endless cups of coffee !!!
    They need to be leaning over the workers shoulders and doing what they are paid to do . They should be sorting throught the designers laminating scheduals looking for the design and engineering weakness's and training there staff to do the same and how to use and understand the materials they are working with .
    The workers are just doing there job the easyest and quickest way possible so they can collect there meager wages and go home to a naging wife and screaming kids .
    Laminaters in general are the lowest paid , work in the grottyest places, put up with all the crap imaginable , are the lowest skilled, get no formal training except on the job training from a guy that doest have a clue because thats the way some guy showed him what to do , 99% of the time dont have any idea what they are doing or why they are doing what they are doing .

    Going back to begining there are no concrete base line standards set in place any where that i know of to build glass boats Yes we have survey standards and people that monitor them ,but, anyone can build a boat ! any one means joe and his mates can build a boat like thy have never seen a drum of resin or know anything about catalyst ratios or humidity and temprature control .
    so when your boat falls apart who do you point the finger at ? .
    There are some very clever and highly skilled people , there are people that get so frustrated working in big companies and all the inhouse fighting ,squabbling and power struggles of pushy no hopers that want to get up the ladder of success . :(

    Going back to a place i worked in some years ago . A scruffy looking guy fronted up asking if some one could tell him how to use resin and gelcoat . Scribbled some info on the back of a cigerette packet and off he went .About 6 month later we discover hes half way through building a 60 foot yacht in a rented factory . :eek:

    I have worked in a few countries , in extremes of tempratures ( +40 c to minus 20c )and conditions and seem things i never thought possible . Some of the best laminating i have seen done was by dedicated guys working with almost no equipment , couldnt speak any english lived on a island in the middle of the pacific. :)

    Failures can be put into little boxes , the owner pushing the boat beyond reasonable limits ,Boat Designers and Composite engineers (sometimes one in the same person ) not understanding or careing where those limits are . The wrong materials being specified and used used on the job, the materials not used properly ( lack of basic understanding ) .
    And the company trying to skimp and save on materials to make lighter boats , to go faster to make more money . :D

    Where are the fireglass boat builders and where are there qualifications to pin up on the wall !!!:confused:
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  11. Alik
    Joined: Jul 2003
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    Alik Senior Member

    A lot of words but the reality is: lack of resin in laminate, fabric is too dry.
  12. tunnels

    tunnels Previous Member

    So who do you point the finger at ? the operator ? the person in charge of that team ? the supervisor ? To me they are all equally at fault , and i point the blame on the whole lot right to the top ,they have all contributed to the failure in some way or another!
    A company is only as good as the person that heads it .If he dosent keep every one of his senior staff / heads of departmemts in line and make them totally responsable for there actions and the actions of the staff they are in charge of then you get what you give !
    working as a factory manager of a busy laminating shop i Always took one day of a working week to put on a pair of overalls and cloves and worked along side and with the guys on the floor doing what had to be done for a whole day . I knew what they could do and they knew what i was about .Unless you are able to do the job yourself how the hell do you exspect to get loyalty and dedication from your staff . :eek:
    Dry lay ups is a the team leaders responsbility and the guys rolling out the glass to say something about it but it should also be the responsability of the supervisor to have weights and measures sorted and adhered to and signed off during the whole lay up proceedure of any sized boat.
    Again i say where are the fibreglass boat builders ??
  13. daiquiri
    Joined: May 2004
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    Location: Italy (Garda Lake) and Croatia (Istria)

    daiquiri Engineering and Design

  14. tunnels

    tunnels Previous Member

    strong leader ship qualities with 3-5 years exsperiance does not mean they know what they are doing and have vast production knowledge and on the job first hand in the thick of it exsperiance .
    I have always wondered why there there is very little in the way of training and levels of qualifications for fibre glass boat builders .it is such a diverse and highly skilled proffession ,they are the guys that always get the rough end of the stick yet there job is the most important of all . there skills ,product knowledge and work ethics is what makes or breaks a boat reguardless of size or shape . simply put if they dont do there job properly it can and does cause huge problems as you have seen in those pictures . Its the long term and the durability that is the tell tale sign of good work or bad .
    so again i ask where are the fibreglass boat builders

    I see i am a junior member of this forum but the flip side is i have been in the industry since 1972 worked in marine and industrial fibreglassing , have held many diffrant positions within differant companies right to factory manager , i always inspire my staff to be better than anyone else and strive for perfection at all levels all the time . i have worked in a few differant countries and aquired many life long friendships along the way , i am always here to help friends in other countries with any work they are undertaking and help in anyway possible . So much is new and changing but the problems are always the same and the basics never change .
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  15. apex1

    apex1 Guest

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