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Ridges + Ribbing in Gel Coat. IDEAS?

opT

New Member
I got a problem with my 2014 Laser involving visible deformations in the hull. It seems to have gotten worse or more visible months after purchasing it. I am not entirely sure creation of these deformities has stopped either.

I noticed I had some bumps and ridges along my hull in the aft 1/3rdof the boat along both sides. It is very prominent in one 1’ x 2’ area when running your fingers along the hull. I spoke with some very knowledgeable guys down in Miami and was told that a good fairing job may only be a temporary fix, and that some of the problems (notably the ridges parallel with the boat) may very well reappear. They almost seem to line up with the edge of the cockpit, or support beams?

See notes below to describe pictures a bit better:

8.45.22 – you can clearly see ridges parallel with the boat, approximately where the cockpit walls are

8.28.04 – another view of ridges

8.28.55 – in the reflection of the white boats there are bumps/ridges running perpendicular to the boat. These ones I am more worried about. They are all over the stern of the boat, but in this 2’ by 1’ area, they are very noticeable when running your hand along them.

8.28.24 – indentations fore and aft of the daggerboard trunk on the centreline of the boat. Also in front of the daggerboard trunk are a ton of ‘spider cracks’ that have not quite broken yet. Ignore the plastic I was covering a small gelcoat fix I did while it was curing (boat was leaking through a hole in daggerboard trunk).


Have you all seen anything like this before?
 

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Emilio Castelli

Active Member
How is the boat stored when not in use?
If stored properly, I would bring it back to the dealer where you recently bought it and ask for a replacement.
E
 

old laser guy

New Member
I hope they give you a replacement. I was thinking about getting a new laser this year to replace my 2007. Now I might wait and see what happens to you. If you buy a new boat that should not happen.
 

CaptainAhab

Active Member
The hull was post cured. In other words it got too hot for too long. Maybe it was stored in a steel storage container that cooked it. You are seeing the foam hull stiffeners in your "hard chine" area. Polyester resin boats shrink over their life as the chemical reaction completes. It can be accelerated by post curing the hull at about 120F degrees for a day. They do this before they paint expensive big boats even with full epoxy layups. If its not done the boat will shrink in the sun and the glass will telegraph thru the paint.

This is quite common in old lasers which have spent decades curing and being left too hot for too long. You will often see the plywood reinforcing blocks in the deck as well as the mast step on the hull.

If it looked like that when you received it(if under warranty) it should be replaced. If it happened after the fact it was probably caused by you letting it get too hot under a cover in the sun or the like.
 

DonS

Member
Here is what the interior of a Laser looks like. You can see the stiffiners the CaptainAhab described.Laser Hull.jpg
 

AlanD

Former ISAF Laser Measurer
Your knowledgeable guys in Miami aren't that knowledgeable. It's illegal to fair a laser hull. Your best option is to speak to the builder and get a replacement.
 

jeffers

Active Member
I am pretty sure the US boats are actually built in the UK and shipped over these days. It could be as others have said that it has been 'cooked' post production in a container. I have never seen a boat deform like that ever. I have seen the usual marks under the mast foot but nothing like that.

I would be insisting on a replacement hull.
 

CaptainAhab

Active Member
It pains me ever time I see great interior pics like the ones DonS provided. Its no wonder the hulls go soft so fast and we have all of the typical Laser problems. I suppose it was "high quality" construction in 1969. I hope that they started using proper adhesives like Plexus for the final bonding of the hull/deck, maststep, daggerboard trunk joints instead of Bondo.
 

opT

New Member
The hull was post cured. In other words it got too hot for too long. Maybe it was stored in a steel storage container that cooked it. You are seeing the foam hull stiffeners in your "hard chine" area. Polyester resin boats shrink over their life as the chemical reaction completes. It can be accelerated by post curing the hull at about 120F degrees for a day. They do this before they paint expensive big boats even with full epoxy layups. If its not done the boat will shrink in the sun and the glass will telegraph thru the paint.

This is quite common in old lasers which have spent decades curing and being left too hot for too long. You will often see the plywood reinforcing blocks in the deck as well as the mast step on the hull.

If it looked like that when you received it(if under warranty) it should be replaced. If it happened after the fact it was probably caused by you letting it get too hot under a cover in the sun or the like.
Thanks all for your responses, LP has decided to replace my hull. They have been very helpful thus far in assisting me.

CaptainAhab - I know some sailors who put their new lasers in a 'furnace' (maybe a shipping container on a very hot day) in order to cure the resin quickly. Do you recommend doing this with all new lasers? The boat in question was never stored for long periods in the sun, but it's daily use was usually in warm places (where the temperature is nice to sail).

I can absolutely see the glass throughout the entire hull. Where my 2012 has a smooth and clear reflection, my 2014 has a distorted reflection where you can see the cross hatched pattern of the glass.
 

CaptainAhab

Active Member
Thanks all for your responses, LP has decided to replace my hull. They have been very helpful thus far in assisting me.

CaptainAhab - I know some sailors who put their new lasers in a 'furnace' (maybe a shipping container on a very hot day) in order to cure the resin quickly. Do you recommend doing this with all new lasers? The boat in question was never stored for long periods in the sun, but it's daily use was usually in warm places (where the temperature is nice to sail).

I can absolutely see the glass throughout the entire hull. Where my 2012 has a smooth and clear reflection, my 2014 has a distorted reflection where you can see the cross hatched pattern of the glass.
Congrats on the hull replacement! Apparently LP is good for something.

You misinterpreted my last post. The resins continue to cure at a very slow rate over time unless they are driven to a temperature in excess of 110 F for a sustained period of time. If this occurs it will quickly cure the resin to the point that it shrinks enough for telegraphing to occur. Telegraphing is seeing reinforcing blocking, stiffeners and even the fibreglass cloth weave.

None of that is good. It leads to your last hull which was not fair or smooth. I mentioned doing it to big boats because it is done to prevent any future problems before they do the final fairing. Totally different situation. Small poly boats like your Laser should be stored in and enviroment less than 100 F degrees. Overtime it will cure at a very slow rate and none of these issues should occur.

It would not surprise me if LP is replacing a group of hulls that were built and then quickly stored in a hot environment which post cured all the hulls. Shipping containers are used for this purpose sometimes because they make great ovens.
 
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