How do you fix a soft hull?

Thread starter #1
My hull is becoming very soft and flexible. When I dry roll after capsizing I can feel it flex about 2 inches inward. Is there any solution that is affordable that could fix this or is it better just to buy a new boat. I am hesitant to buy a boat because I only need a new Hull. All the other parts are it great condition.
 

Rob B

Well-Known Member
#2
My hull is becoming very soft and flexible. When I dry roll after capsizing I can feel it flex about 2 inches inward. Is there any solution that is affordable that could fix this or is it better just to buy a new boat. I am hesitant to buy a boat because I only need a new Hull. All the other parts are it great condition.
Is it the hull or deck? Deck has fixes, don't think the hull does...Some may know better though.
 
#4
Most lasers get somewhat soft over time with little to no problems. The boat would have to be very bad before it makes a large difference. I raced a very soft yellow laser for 2 years and it never really slowed me down. If the boat doesn't leak it should be fine. Unless the rib like pieces on either side of the cockpit inside the hull have split. Then it is probably a problem. You would have to have an inspection port in the boat to see problems like this. There is very little evidence that a stiff boat is actually faster. In the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games the spanish Finn sailor was caught breaking the supporting ribs on his supplied boat to make the bow flex.
 
#5
As far as I know there is nothing you can do that would be class legal or worth the effort. I wouldn’t worry about it. Just keep the hull tight and dry and practice hard and with a purpose. Save your money for spare parts and regatta travel. Of all the variables impacting boat speed, that hull flexing is way down the list in terms of importance (IMHO).
 

LaLi

Well-Known Member
#7
I hate to be discouraging, but seriously, if a Laser hull really flexes that much it's junk. I stumbled upon a 1992-ish PSE hull last spring (a "Graffiti" special edition) which was like that, and it really didn't feel sailable. There is something badly broken inside, and I wouldn't even feel safe in such a boat. If I were you I'd start looking for a new boat. You might get an old but solid hull with not-so-great equipment at a fair price, and you could then switch the good stuff from the old boat to that one.

How old is your hull (what number?) and who built it?

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#10
I would repeat my previous idea, put in an inspection port and then you can find out where there is something structarly at fault with the boat. The ribs that run on each side of the cockpit on the underside of the hull can break. As can the central rib that runs down the center of the hull. It can break off the centerboard case and cause the case to move inside the hull. This can be repaired without a ton of effort though. The boat can also just become soft, if it is the latter than there isn't much you can do.
 
#11
That’s completely alarmist. I have never seen an older hull that does not flex. I could easily push on mine in places and produce a 1-2” flex. I would be VERY surprised if this were something other than the common flex that occurs with age. We already sail in an environment where people believe (incorrectly) that they have to constantly upgrade to be competitive. I see this especially in the youth sailors. It’s time to pour some cold water on this mindset. Stay on top of the leaks and don’t put a port in the hull unless absolutely necessary. There are knowledgeable sailors around you who are more than happy to inspect the hull. Like I said before go practice and have fun!
 

LaLi

Well-Known Member
#12
Well... my own hull turns 30 next year, but if it really deformed anywhere near 2 in/50 mm at any point, I'd certainly consider changing my upgrading schedule :D

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