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Old 04-14-2012, 02:51 PM   #1
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Gelcoat cracks

We recently looked at a 2005 34' Mainship trawler with hopes of purchasing. The main reason we decided against the boat was because of gelcoat cracks particularly around the fuel fill and waste deck plates on both port and starboard.
My questions is, does anyone know if this is a common problem with this year model or would it be out of the ordinary?
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Old 04-14-2012, 03:19 PM   #2
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We recently looked at a 2005 34' Mainship trawler with hopes of purchasing. The main reason we decided against the boat was because of gelcoat cracks particularly around the fuel fill and waste deck plates on both port and starboard.
My questions is, does anyone know if this is a common problem with this year model or would it be out of the ordinary?

I don't know specifically about Mainship decks... but I do know a bit about decks and gel coat cracks. That may and may not be forewarning to bad circumstances.

First - were the cracks hair thin or pencil width wide?

Then, was there much discoloration around the cracks?

Also, under the deck... where hose comes through down below... were there obvious signs of water leakage in crack areas?

Importantly, was the deck soft (when pushed hard upon with your heel of foot) in and around crack areas; and, if rapped upon with small hammer was there a notable difference in sound as you come from non cracked area to cracked area... soft area with a lower sound at cracked area means probable water intrusion and deck-core problem.

Lastly - was boat usually left in the open for rain during its life or was it usually covered?

Decks can be repaired and price paid for boat can be lowered to accommodate the cost and effort. If youíre not clear on this be sure to get professional advice. Although Iím no professional, I do have a few years in boating and would be glad to chat on phone to best answer your questions.

So... PM me and Iíll send my phone #

Happy Boating! - Art
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Old 04-14-2012, 05:16 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by T2056 View Post
We recently looked at a 2005 34' Mainship trawler with hopes of purchasing. The main reason we decided against the boat was because of gelcoat cracks particularly around the fuel fill and waste deck plates on both port and starboard.
My questions is, does anyone know if this is a common problem with this year model or would it be out of the ordinary?
Yes...it could be a big problem as the marina I stay at picked up a mainship last fall and both side decks cracked at the fuel fills. Can't say it is a design problem...but it doesn't look good in my eyes.

Major repairs were in order...
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Old 04-15-2012, 06:59 AM   #4
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Motion , flexing of the underlying structure causes cracks in the gelcoat.

Weather this overstressing is sufficient to put the vessel at risk is a great question.

The repair is to thicken , thus stiffen the area , after the broken structure is repaired or replaced.

Always expensive , and very difficult to find a qualified NA to assess the damage and a yard to do the repairs and install the fix.

Most folks ignore small cracks or paint over them.

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Old 04-15-2012, 08:11 AM   #5
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Most folks ignore small cracks or paint over them.

FF
^^^ this

I"ve never owned a boat new enough that it hasnt' had gelcoat cracks. But I've never had a boat that they were anything structural either. Since we just bought our boat last year, I will say this. There were way too many boats available in EVERY price range and configuration to even consider one once I found bad decks/significant wall rotting.
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Old 04-16-2012, 12:03 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by T2056 View Post
We recently looked at a 2005 34' Mainship trawler with hopes of purchasing. The main reason we decided against the boat was because of gelcoat cracks particularly around the fuel fill and waste deck plates on both port and starboard.
My questions is, does anyone know if this is a common problem with this year model or would it be out of the ordinary?
Crack or CRACKS? My boat is the same model as you are looking at. The area you are talking about has many contours and on any boat the sharper the bend and the more of them the more chance for flexing and cracks in the Gel coat. A 34t has to be picked up at two specific places. The front sling has to be in line with the most forward triangle shaped window and the rear is in line with the end of the had rail, just forward of the four port side through hulls in the boot strip by about a foot or so. As they lift they need to make sure they are not two far back on the rear sling as to catch the front part of the skeg. If not placed properly I'm sure damage could be done.

Now back to the cracks. The original sports cars with fiberglass bodies had exactly the same problems. 63 through 69 Stingrays all had spiderweb cracks around any hard corner. The two fake vents in the hood cracked in their lower front corners as did the area around the head light doors. It took GM a long time to cure the problems. Some by eliminating the designs that caused them and some by better fiberglass techniques.

So for the most part Gel coat cracks are mostly cosmetic and will appear on most boats at some time or another. CRACKS are a different story.

PM me if you have any other questions about the 34t.
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