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Cracking gel coat

69fastback69fastback Member Posts: 951 ✭✭✭
It’s been pretty much like this for the 10 years I’ve owned the boat. I’m assuming this is purely a cosmetic issue?  What causes these cracks?


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    aero3113aero3113 Member Posts: 8,930 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited June 2020
    Up by the window frame it looks like the cracks are evenly spaced. Could it be from the screw holes? Pull back the seal and see if that’s where they start.
    2008 330EC
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    69fastback69fastback Member Posts: 951 ✭✭✭
    aero3113 said:
    Up by the window frame it looks like the cracks are evenly spaced. Could it be from the screw holes? Pull back the seal and see if that’s where they start.
    I’ll be back where it’s stored tomorrow. I’ll take a look. Most of them are around the windshield but it has some various, much smaller cracks, spread around. I always found it odd, considering how good of shape the boat is in. 
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    halifax212halifax212 Member Posts: 553 ✭✭✭
    I don't like the look of that . My 212 has developed some new ones between the forward grab rails but nothing like that. 
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    Dream_InnDream_Inn Member, Moderator Posts: 7,594 mod
    I know for the larger boats that use the slings to get on to land, the sling causes some of that.  But, I assume you have yours either forklifted in/out or trailered.  Those are some pretty good cracks.

    Dream 'Inn III -- 2008 400 Express

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    69fastback69fastback Member Posts: 951 ✭✭✭
    Dream_Inn said:
    I know for the larger boats that use the slings to get on to land, the sling causes some of that.  But, I assume you have yours either forklifted in/out or trailered.  Those are some pretty good cracks.
    Mine is trailered. The cracks are all above the rub rail and have been there for the 10 years I’ve had it,
    for the most part. Whenever I bought the boat, the window braces that support the inside edges of the windshield and essentially attached to the dash, were gone. I’m wondering is without that brace there, if the windshield had enough leverage, so to speak, to cause this to happen. I don’t know how long it went without those braces, but I put new ones in right after I took ownership. 
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    WillhoundWillhound Member Posts: 4,190 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Or...whatever hit caused those braces to not be there also caused the cracks?
    "Knot Quite Shore" - 2000 FV270 (Sold)
    2018 Cherokee 39RL Land Yacht (Sorry...)
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    69fastback69fastback Member Posts: 951 ✭✭✭
    Willhound said:
    Or...whatever hit caused those braces to not be there also caused the cracks?
    The screws wouldn’t stay in so he just removed them, or at least that’s what he told me. I just added a dab of silicone and they’ve been fine. 
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    MarkBMarkB Member Posts: 3,969 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Everything seems to be leading back to those screws, so it's one of two things.  The first is they didn't do a good job pre-drilling those holes before they put the screws in, and that is putting way too much stress on the gelcoat, and the cracks then propagated.

    The second is they again didn't pre-drill through the fiberglass underneath, and then cracked the actual fiberglass and now it is deflecting too much when ever you are on the water, and causes the gelcoat to crack.

    Boat Name: King Kong

    "Boat + Water = Fun"

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    Michael TMichael T Member Posts: 7,227 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Also may be a case of slightly thick coat sprayed on. I have seen that as the cause before. Still, don't like that the gel coat is cracked to that extent possibly exposing the fiberglass underneath. Those can be ground-out filled and re-sprayed.
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    69fastback69fastback Member Posts: 951 ✭✭✭
    I forgot to look when I went back out there. Just got preoccupied. 

    I’m suspecting that without the braces in there, the leverage against the screws in the windshield caused those cracks. I wonder what it would cost to have it filled and resprayed?  At some point it’s not worth it on a 17 year old boat that’s worth $15K. Other than those cracks, it’s got to be in the top 2% cleanest boats of its age, but it’s still an older bow rider with 430 hours on it. 

    On the other hand, the boat has been well maintained, and even though we’ve tossed around the idea of buying a newer one, practicality always wins out. I could get $15K.....maybe $18K if I were willing to sit on it for the right buyer. A boat that’s ~4-5 years old that would be an adequate replacement would be $60K, for something of equal size and cleanliness. This boat has been literally almost trouble free. 4 years ago, I replaced the whole transom assembly with a factory Mercruiser unit, which is recommended every 10 years, but 99% overlooked by most. The outdrive was replaced by insurance 3 years ago, with a brand new Bravo 3. Somehow the vertical shaft got bent. No idea how and the drive and props showed no damage but the insurance took it. And it’s a 350MAG with a lot of life left. Other than that, I’ve replaced the steering cables and helm. In 10 years, the steering cable and helm are the only “failure” I’ve had on a 2003, and well, that’s just a normal wear item. I just can’t see the value in spending the money on a new boat. 
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    Michael TMichael T Member Posts: 7,227 ✭✭✭✭✭
    @69fastback agree. Selling a boat that has been maintained like yours probably doesn't make financial sense (I know - this coming from a guy who sells every few years - what's my credibility here?) but investigating the cracks a bit further IMO is warranted. I would get a strong light and a magnifying glass. Can you see fiberglass while looking down into the crack or just gel coat? Repairing cracks is not cheap but your boat makes a case for getting a few quotes. This might be a repair that could be done for a tolerable price if given to a shop in your off season and tell them they can have it for a while.  My 2 cents. 
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    69fastback69fastback Member Posts: 951 ✭✭✭
    I’ll probably look into it after winterization. It’s been like that for this long, so I can handle it through the summer. We are using it once or twice a week since I’m not working, and I’d like to keep being able to use it so I don’t go anymore stir crazy. It’s getting too hot for the dirtbikes. 
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