Crack in hull taking in water

Thread starter #1
After a few days floating on a buoy, my Capri 14.2 had taken on significant water, about 5 inches standing in the inner hull. After draining, I rolled it on it’s side and found a crack and a loose flap of fiberglass about 2 inches across and on the center-line of the hull about two feet back from the tip of the bow. I will attach a photo if iCloud ever coughs it up.

I don’t know how it occurred. Has anyone had such damage? If so, how did you repair it?
 
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#3
Rough guess would be that you went over some real big bumps with the trailer and it slammed down on the roller. After you fix add more rollers to spread the load.
 

Ghost Rider

Planing into eternity...
#4
Must have been some heller bumps... the glass may have been weak in that spot already if the boat has been sitting on that roller for years, especially in the hot sun. That sort of subtle long-term stress can cause hull deformation. Had to fix one like that before, it wasn't entirely cracked but the hull had a big ol' ding in it where the deformation had occurred... I mean the glass was literally misshapen into a funky angular ding about 1 1/2" deep, it was pretty weird in appearance. That damage to your boat looks like impact damage, sure enough, and it's in an ugly location, but it can be fixed. :confused:

You'll have to fair out the existing gel coat and what looks like paint (gasp!) to either side of the crack, as you want the glass you lay down to adhere to clean glass surfaces. Back the damaged area with cardboard wrapped in wax paper, you can mold the cardboard to fit the hull curves before you tape it or otherwise secure it in place. Doesn't have to be thick cardboard, you understand, so long as it can be shaped somewhat to provide backing. I'd get the crack & outer surface of the hull done first, then go into the hull, lose the cardboard backing & wax paper, and beef up the damaged area as best you can. Good news here: the repair that is hidden can be ugly, as long as it's strong, LOL. :eek:

When I did the repair to the deformed hull (same location, same basic cause---pinpoint stress on a roller), I had to fair it out quite a bit, then build up extra layers prior to sanding. By the time the repair was done, the hull was slightly thicker in that small area, but it was smooth and the glass was bulletproof. Even Tommy, the master glassworker & surfboard repairman whose family ran the shop for 35 years, he liked that solid repair... praise from Caesar, LOL. Board repair is finer, it requires a more delicate touch on the sander & grinder, boat work requires heavier materials and needs to be as strong or stronger than the original glass. :rolleyes:

Ya might wanna consider building a simple wooden cradle and bolting it to your trailer... the cradle can be padded, and it'll provide much more support for the hull. Lemme go dig up a picture, be right back... well, trying to find the exact photo with everything boxed up for my upcoming relocation looks to be impossible. That first link in my "Island Voyages" thread shows one cradle, scroll down the second page till you see the boat "VOODOO CHILD"---you can use a technique called "spiling" to transfer the exact curve of your hull to the cradle members, then cut the perfect curve and pad it. Atop the padding on that particular cradle, I used some of that cheap vinyl flooring that comes in a roll at the Depot, made cuts where necessary and stapled it in place so the staples couldn't scratch the hull. Worked like gangbusters, boat slid on & off that trailer like nobody's business. I think I made about half a dozen cradles over the years for various boats, all worked well and were cheaper than buying new trailers... I called 'em West African Boat Trailers, but they served their purpose, LOL. :cool:
 
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#5
Must have been some heller bumps... the glass may have been weak in that spot already if the boat has been sitting on that roller for years, especially in the hot sun. That sort of subtle long-term stress can cause hull deformation. Had to fix one like that before, it wasn't entirely cracked but the hull had a big ol' ding in it where the deformation had occurred... I mean the glass was literally misshapen into a funky angular ding about 1 1/2" deep, it was pretty weird in appearance. That damage to your boat looks like impact damage, sure enough, and it's in an ugly location, but it can be fixed. :confused:

You'll have to fair out the existing gel coat and what looks like paint (gasp!) to either side of the crack, as you want the glass you lay down to adhere to clean glass surfaces. Back the damaged area with cardboard wrapped in wax paper, you can mold the cardboard to fit the hull curves before you tape it or otherwise secure it in place. Doesn't have to be thick cardboard, you understand, so long as it can be shaped somewhat to provide backing. I'd get the crack & outer surface of the hull done first, then go into the hull, lose the cardboard backing & wax paper, and beef up the damaged area as best you can. Good news here: the repair that is hidden can be ugly, as long as it's strong, LOL. :eek:

When I did the repair to the deformed hull (same location, same basic cause---pinpoint stress on a roller), I had to fair it out quite a bit, then build up extra layers prior to sanding. By the time the repair was done, the hull was slightly thicker in that small area, but it was smooth and the glass was bulletproof. Even Tommy, the master glassworker & surfboard repairman whose family ran the shop for 35 years, he liked that solid repair... praise from Caesar, LOL. Board repair is finer, it requires a more delicate touch on the sander & grinder, boat work requires heavier materials and needs to be as strong or stronger than the original glass. :rolleyes:

Ya might wanna consider building a simple wooden cradle and bolting it to your trailer... the cradle can be padded, and it'll provide much more support for the hull. Lemme go dig up a picture, be right back... well, trying to find the exact photo with everything boxed up for my upcoming relocation looks to be impossible. That first link in my "Island Voyages" thread shows one cradle, scroll down the second page till you see the boat "VOODOO CHILD"---you can use a technique called "spiling" to transfer the exact curve of your hull to the cradle members, then cut the perfect curve and pad it. Atop the padding on that particular cradle, I used some of that cheap vinyl flooring that comes in a roll at the Depot, made cuts where necessary and stapled it in place so the staples couldn't scratch the hull. Worked like gangbusters, boat slid on & off that trailer like nobody's business. I think I made about half a dozen cradles over the years for various boats, all worked well and were cheaper than buying new trailers... I called 'em West African Boat Trailers, but they served their purpose, LOL. :cool:
I like that cradle idea. Now I have a Shorelander trailer. What i did as soon as I took possession of my boat was to install outdoor carpet (secured with HD duct tape) on the top of the box frame so the boat wouldn't be in contact with the steel as it slides up the trailer during retrieval. Then took a pair of 1 1/2" rubber fernco couplers and fitted them on the brackets that support the front roller, because those were hacking into the hull. But your cradle idea is something I will look into, it would channel the boat right where it's supposed to go. As a singlehander any extra help for retrieval is appreciated!
 

Ghost Rider

Planing into eternity...
#6
I actually found some pics of a couple trailer cradles I made in the past... the pics were in an old thread at a different site, but I can post the links to each relevant post. Lemme see, guess I'll try this one first:

"Got Chrome??? How about Armor???"

There's an error in one caption, that's not a utility trailer, it was a boat trailer designed for a different class, and not only was the upright crutch bent, the bunkers were MIA... so I just built a cradle for "VOODOO CHILD" using that "spiling" technique I mentioned. You can see how the boat fits the cradle perfectly, and vice versa. Here's a trick cradle I made for my old Laser, with precise neoprene-padded cuts to hold the spars, the boat secured topside-down for high-speed freeway transport:

"Got Chrome??? How about Armor???"

Now, THAT was an old utility trailer frame, formerly with a box & stake-sides for a friend's landscaping business, I just stripped the frame down to the wooden box floor and built the cradle atop it. You can see the cradle in the last two photos, I used that "spiling" technique to copy the exact curve of the Laser deck so the boat rested more easily atop the works. With this trailer, I usually had a hand to help flip the boat, though I could do it myself if necessary. Used this trailer & cradle for many years with no problems whatsoever.

"Got Chrome??? How about Armor???"

That last link is just a bonus round of pics showing the C-15, I'll have to dig up a funny story about that particular voyage... maybe I should post it in my "Laser Island Voyages" thread, so I'm not accused of thread-jacking, LOL. The trailer cradle pics are appropriate for this thread, since a cradle would prevent the sort of damage caused by the roller in the OP's photos, AYE??? Oh, yeah, don't judge me too harshly for the ugly background in the "VOODOO CHILD" pics---that corner of the property saw a lot of glasswork & painting, I used to refer to it as the "West African Boatyard" (LOL). :eek:
 
#7
Now on the subject of water intrusion into the hull, here's what bothers me. The wood stringers and other components that can be in constant contact with the water could be damaged by rotting. In particular the area under the foredeck can trap water for long periods of time unless you keep after it with a sponge. And where in the world is that water coming from anyway? I've tried recaulking the joint between the keel housing and the cockpit assembly, maybe that will work. And now I'm super fastidious about raising boat to it's highest possible angle and keeping the drain plug open. Kind of scary that there's no way to inspect the condition of the "bilge" if one suspects rotting wood!
 
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