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Vermiculite repair?


New Member
Hello. I have been offered an early J24 for a few hundred Euro. The boat has been stored in a hay shed for many years but does not seem to have had a hard life before then. Unpainted hull with not many scars for her age. No obvious signs of core delamination, grounding etc. Sails (old white) and mast are included. Decks feel firm with no obvious cracking and the interior is clean.
The big issue is that the keel seems to be bolted down on top of flowcoat with some mushy grey material underneath which I take to be Vermiculite? (Although dry stored there was about a cup of water in the sump)

Should I be thinking of taking this on? What is involved in the repair? Can someone point me to a repair spec; I understand a large number were done so it must be a 'standard' procedure?
I aim to have a fun (but safe!) boat to sail, not especially interested in racing but at the same time I'd like to do a race acceptable repair.

I have worked most of the last five years doing general boat repairs in a yard and although not an expert laminator, it's not new to me either.


Geo. Cushing

New Member
Used Boat Buyer’s Guide | International J/24 Class Association
In 1980, Tillotson-Pearson, Inc. (T.P.I.) implemented two major construction changes on J/24s. The new style hatches appeared and vermiculite was removed from the sumps. This occurred at roughly hull #1900. If at all possible, buy a post-vermiculite/old hatches boat. This will save you from making these conversions later, (about $4500). In my experience as a J/24 measurer, these older boats tend to be heavier and require less corrector weight. This brings up a good point. As you look at boats, ask the owner if he/she has a measurement certificate. If they do, look at the last three items on the certificate: Dry weight without correctors, weight of correctors and basic yacht weight dry. If two boats are equal all other ways, take the boat requiring the most corrector weight. You should, however, get the complete hull numbers from the transoms and contact T.P.I. and ask for the builder’s weights. Use these to verify that one boat is heavier than the other (before correctors are added). Please note that the weight on the measurement certificate and the builder’s weight will not be the same but if one boat requires more correctors, it should have a lighter builder’s weight.