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Old 06-19-2016, 08:01 AM   #1
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Hatteras 53 Construction Confusion

For thirty years, I thought Hatteras 53 MY hulls & sides were constructed entirely of fiberglass, hence their 55,000# weight compared to similar size vessels weighing a mere 39,000#.

Surveyor and author,David Pascoe, writes, "[Hatteras 53] hulls and superstructure are built like a tank with the bottoms about an inch thick with balsa cored sides and decks."

Are the Hatteras 53' built with solid glass hull and balsa cored sides? BTW, I knew the decks were balsa cored. It just blew my mind about the hull sides.
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Old 06-19-2016, 08:07 AM   #2
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I used to frequent the hatteras forum. And I'm sure it's only the decks. The hulls are solid glass. Quite thick I might add. Not sure about the topside walls, but the hulls are solid!
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Old 06-19-2016, 08:15 AM   #3
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I find Pascoe is right on with his opinions but there's always the possibility of being wrong.
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Old 06-19-2016, 08:21 AM   #4
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This seems like a MAJOR error in somebody who is purportedly an expert in their field. With all the reviews he has written, including bashing construction of other yachts, this seems like an incredibly large mistake. This is why I'm confused, because of HIS credibility, I'm thinking I am wrong.
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Old 06-19-2016, 08:51 AM   #5
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It is common for hull sides above the waterline to be cored, in many quality vessels. Some well regarded vessels are built with coring below the waterline.
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Old 06-19-2016, 09:24 AM   #6
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"hence their 55,000# weight compared to similar size vessels weighing a mere 39,000#."

It has to be more than just a solid skin.

An inch of GRP hull will run 6 -7 lbs per sq ft.

The same strength modern hull with say 3/4 foam will go 3lbs per sq ft.

That would not explain a 16,000lb weight difference .

Of course a pair of Detroits can run 7,000 lbs with out trannies and a modern 6 cyl diesel can be 1200 lbs each.
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Old 06-19-2016, 09:37 AM   #7
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Advertisement (link below) "All Hatteras hull bottoms are hand-laid in solid fiberglass with no coring below the waterline" --If you used an ellipsis, you could conclude, all Hatteras hull bottoms are hand-laid in solid fiberglass..." leaving out the important "below the waterline." --I used to teach English.

http://media.channelblade.com/EProWe...ation%20LR.pdf
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Old 06-19-2016, 10:01 AM   #8
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If you can find a place to see the inside of the hull a bright light shined on the outside will often reveal the outline of blocks of balsa. However I have never tried this with a painted hull.
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Old 06-19-2016, 10:30 AM   #9
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Quote:
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This is why I'm confused, because of HIS credibility, I'm thinking I am wrong.
His self proclaimed credibility? I'm amazed that so many people actually find him so credible. I've read many of his reviews and find them as filled with bias and lack of objectivity as anything here on TF. His resistance to change is very strong.

That aside, I do think he's correct on this one, although Hatteras construction has changed several times through the years and that may be why the confusion. They once resisted resin infusion and then went aggressively into it. Interestingly, they don't even discuss their construction techniques on their website anymore. They just take the approach of brand promotion and that Hatteras stands for quality.

I would imagine on their owner's forum, there's a historian who knows the timing of the various changes in methods over the years.
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Old 06-19-2016, 10:41 AM   #10
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I don't know about the very first ones, but indeed the 70's on Hatteras MYs are solid bottoms below the waterline and balsa cored other wise. I should note, the glass on either side of the core is often over 1/4" thick, as much as 1/2 on decks. So that still makes them very heavy. The coring stiffens things up.

A good place to get all your questions answered on anything vintage Hatteras is Sam"s Marine, and the excellent owner's forum on their website. I owned a 1981 56MY for several years and know many other owners of vintage Hatts.
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Old 06-19-2016, 01:34 PM   #11
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His self proclaimed credibility? I'm amazed that so many people actually find him so credible. I've read many of his reviews and find them as filled with bias and lack of objectivity as anything here on TF. His resistance to change is very strong.

That aside, I do think he's correct on this one, although Hatteras construction has changed several times through the years and that may be why the confusion. They once resisted resin infusion and then went aggressively into it. Interestingly, they don't even discuss their construction techniques on their website anymore. They just take the approach of brand promotion and that Hatteras stands for quality.

I would imagine on their owner's forum, there's a historian who knows the timing of the various changes in methods over the years.

The Hatteras brand has been sold several times so any previous experience should be viewed with that in mind.
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Old 06-19-2016, 01:37 PM   #12
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The Hatteras brand has been sold several times so any previous experience should be viewed with that in mind.
They have, but they've done an amazing job of maintaining quality through those sales. Now certainly they were probably quicker to go to resin infusion because of that. Simply a more efficient method.
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Old 06-19-2016, 01:50 PM   #13
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Perhaps the fact that Hatteras has maintained their quality over the years is why people, like myself who are partially informed, believe they are solid glass. For the belief that the better boats, like Hatteras, were solid glass hulls and not cored, I wouldn't ever look at any cored boats. Now I'm looking at an Ocean Alexander 45 Classico.
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Old 06-19-2016, 02:07 PM   #14
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Not to mention the ambiguous, misused "hull" and "topsides."


KevinCT, nothing wrong with an OA 45 Classico (456) and if you get a chance to look at a 456+3 or sometimes referred to as a 48, you will like it I'm sure. Only 3 factory built.
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Old 06-19-2016, 02:46 PM   #15
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Perhaps the fact that Hatteras has maintained their quality over the years is why people, like myself who are partially informed, believe they are solid glass. For the belief that the better boats, like Hatteras, were solid glass hulls and not cored, I wouldn't ever look at any cored boats. Now I'm looking at an Ocean Alexander 45 Classico.
If there is an all solid laminate FRP, no coring, vessel it would be an oddity. Possibly doesn't exist except in confusing definitions by the builder. Dollars to donuts, the OA you are considering is cored above the waterline, that is standard Monk design.


Solid FRP is very heavy and upsetting to a vessels stability if it is used in decks and topsides.
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Old 06-19-2016, 02:58 PM   #16
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KevinCT;
Here's the two of them, 456 and 456+3.
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Name:	456+3.jpg
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Old 06-19-2016, 02:59 PM   #17
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If there is an all solid laminate FRP, no coring, vessel it would be an oddity. Possibly doesn't exist except in confusing definitions by the builder. Dollars to donuts, the OA you are considering is cored above the waterline, that is standard Monk design.


Solid FRP is very heavy and upsetting to a vessels stability if it is used in decks and topsides.

Especially anything built post OPEC oil embargo of the 70's.

This is the first thread I've ever read that seems to cast Hatteras as anything but a high quality build.
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Old 06-19-2016, 04:39 PM   #18
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Especially anything built post OPEC oil embargo of the 70's.

This is the first thread I've ever read that seems to cast Hatteras as anything but a high quality build.
Which they clearly are a high quality build. But to each their own.
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Old 06-19-2016, 06:30 PM   #19
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not all. I once looked at a flush deck version that appeared furnished with apartment grade stuff.


IMO not every hatt ever built is the same and not every one is the same quality. Things change and like every other industry problems arise, costs are cut etc. End blasphemy.
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Old 06-19-2016, 07:21 PM   #20
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not all. I once looked at a flush deck version that appeared furnished with apartment grade stuff.


IMO not every hatt ever built is the same and not every one is the same quality. Things change and like every other industry problems arise, costs are cut etc. End blasphemy.
You state that as opinion, but curious as to how you formed it. I've never heard cases of people having issues with Hatteras due to quality problems. I did a lot of inquiries as we considered one and ultimately went another way. It's just the cleanest reputation I could find. Now, I did hear of Hatteras boats abused and destroyed by owners but even those generally were structurally sound and could be restored. I'm surprised with the ownership changes, with the long period they were on the market trying to be sold, that quality didn't suffer.

I would say too that Hatteras isn't the only boat brand I've not heard of any structural problems with. There are a lot of good boats built. A few bad as well.

It's not blasphemy. Just wondering if you feel that because you feel conditions had to cause problems or if you're aware of actual quality problems that they had.
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