Hull to deck joint on a Pearson Wanderer

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by Crazer, May 15, 2014.

  1. Crazer
    Joined: Aug 2013
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    Location: Ithaca, NY

    Crazer Junior Member

    The one major flaw with old, full keel Pearsons is the joint between the hull and the deck. This is a well documented area of weakness, and in the case of one Triton, resulted in the boat being damaged beyond economic repair and the subsequent abandonment of the voyage. The problem is that Pearsons were built by people who did not know anything about boats, and one of the things they consistently did wrong was to join the hull and deck assemblies with epoxy along the joint and then a thin layer of fiberglass tabbing on the inside. On my boat, I discovered, the total thickness of the hull at the joint, including the tabbing, is about 3/8 of an inch, in some places maybe half an inch at most. This is obviously insufficient if the boat were to get hit by a wave broadside or if other large forces were applied to the joint. After doing some thinking, I came up with what I think is a workable solution. My thought is to glass over the hull from the outside, starting about 9 inches down from the toe rail, glassing over the toe rail and onto the deck another 9 inches. The planned thickness of the new exterior tabbing would be about 3/8" at the joint and over the toe rail. I would also reinforce the interior tabbing, bringing it up to 1/4" or more. I've attached a diagram of what I am thinking. Does this seem like a good solution and one that would be sufficient for offshore work?

    Attached Files:

  2. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
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    Location: Milwaukee, WI

    gonzo Senior Member

    That would create a rigid area attached to a flexible panel. You may be better off with a thinner laminate. Grind off a fair amount of the existing laminate and then add on a reinforcement.
  3. Petros
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    Location: Arlington, WA-USA

    Petros Senior Member

    I would go with the stronger and more rigid attachment. the flexible panel is not a problem if the reinforced area transitioned over a larger area, tapering from the heavy reinforcement to the thinner panel. A flexible joint is more likely to fail since there could be relative movement between the two parts being joined, causing successive failure along the joint. less movement along the joints means less chance of failure.
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