Comparing fiberglass hull-building techniques older sailboats

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by jvc1950, Apr 3, 2009.

  1. jvc1950
    Joined: Apr 2009
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    jvc1950 New Member

    Hi. I want to buy my first 21ft.+ sailboat. Can't afford a new one, so I'm looking at older ones. I want fiberglass hull, and I'm trying to learn how to survey fiberglass, but before I get to see a particular boat, I'd like to narrow down the search to only those manufacturers that built solid hulls. I've been looking for a source (book or website) that could tell me which boat manufacturer used what particular method for construction. For example, this particular manufacturer used balsa-core from 1972 to 1978....and so on. Maybe such a wonderfull source doesn't exist yet !....but I though on giving it a shot...... Thanks.
     
  2. Landlubber
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    Landlubber Senior Member

    The hull thickness will tell that immediately, just remove any skin fitting and you can tell for certain. I doubt that there will ever be a book that lists the info you want mate, too many builders come and go to be a comprehensive listing.

    Using the back of a screwdriver (old type with solid plastic handles), knock on the topsides, the sound is quite different from cored to solid, go around the yards and try a few to lern the difference.
     
  3. alan white
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    alan white Senior Member

    By the seventies, most manufacturers making quality boats were using balsa coring. in a 21 ft boat this would likely be 1/2". the better way to go is to find the boat first and then research that particular boat.
    Be aware that all cored decks are to be suspect and even sounding the deck will not tell you it's dry--- just whether it's been wet so long that the core has turned to mush.
    You also should look for osmosis---- blistering. And usually the fit, finish, and quality of the build are obvious from the outset. It's more likely that a boat that appears well put together is also built right where you can't see, but there are a few exceptions, particularly in the early days of balsa coring, when methods of using it hadn't been perfected.
     
  4. drl
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    drl New Member

    How about a 1978 Flicka hull ?

    Hi

    How can I tell if this 1978 Flicka hull is in good shape? It is in the water now but the owner is talking about hauling and painting. Who is generally responsible for survey costs? Thank you.
     
  5. PAR
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    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Who ever purchases the services of the surveyor is responsible for payment.

    There are three types of surveys, a "buyer's", a "seller's" and the only type that I perform a "real" survey.

    A buyer's survey will make the bad points sound worse then they are. A seller's survey will gloss over the bad and highlight the good. A real survey just tells you the condition of the boat, without regard to who is paying the bill. It's this reason I get paid up front, because I don't care what I find with the boat, I'll just note it and document it in the survey.

    Pacific Seacraft did a nice job of their Flica's, but 1978 was in the middle of the "dark years" of production yacht building. Times were tough and corners were being cut everywhere. The boat is a solid laminate, with plywood reinforcements at the loaded areas. The liner is also bonded to the hull shell.

    In short, have the boat surveyed.
     
  6. drl
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    drl New Member

    how can I learn to survey fiberglass hulls?

    how can I learn to survey fiberglass hulls? What are the techniques?

    Thank you
     
  7. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Lots of experience, lots of repairs and being around lots of them. There might be a book or two that will be helpful, but nothing will take the place of recognizing the smell of a weeping blister (for example), because you've picked them open previously and got a good snoot full (it's not a smell you forget). This aromatic experience will help you identify these in the future and can be accurately described in a book.
     
  8. drl
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    drl New Member

    You say the only wood sandwiched is around the openings?

    Are blisters obvious to spot?

    Can you recommend a surveyor near Port Orchard, WA?
     

  9. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    I've only closely looked at a few Flickas and the hard points have plywood reinforcement. Under cleats, deck hardware, etc. These should be examined, as at this age, they'd be suspect if the bedding wasn't kept up.

    Most marinas will have several people they use and a couple they actually trust for survey work.
     
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