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Old 03-14-2016, 03:13 PM   #1
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Hull Construction

I'm looking at a 40' Ocean Alexander Europa Style. Does anyone know the construction of the hull & sides? --solid glass, cored, etc... I have a fear of cored hulls because I understand that once water gets in, it turns the core to mush and will eventually cause a catastrophic failure.
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Old 03-14-2016, 04:05 PM   #2
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That can happen with balsa core, but not with closed cell foam core. Well done, closed cell foam core can be a definite plus.
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Old 05-26-2016, 09:30 PM   #3
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What year is this boat Kevin? Mine is 1982.

Did you find the answer to your question? I offer no opinion since I do not know either but my surveyor (three month ago) said in his survey that hull was a solid FRP.
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Old 07-09-2016, 10:16 PM   #4
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I'm curious as well. Anyone want to weigh in?
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Old 07-10-2016, 09:40 AM   #5
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I cannot answer your specific question regarding the OA. But as a boat builder, I have used a wide variety of core materials, including a number of different core materials including balsa, several varieties of foam products and honeycomb core such as Nida Core. The specific issue of the core turning to mush is only related to balsa wood core construction. The other cores may get wet if there is a point for the water to get in, but generally it has limited impact on the laminate strength. Case in point, in 2009 I had a customer with a Krogen Express. We found that large sections of the hull were wet, but only above the water. It turns out the builder ad not bedded the tank vents. Water had gotten into the core and thoroughly wetted it. WE took core samples and sent it to a lab for structural analysis. Results were good. WE them put a vacuum on the hull and managed to remove most of the water from the core. The boat is still fine and still cruising extensively.
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Old 07-10-2016, 04:19 PM   #6
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From what I understand and have experienced, hull is solid FRP, decks balsa cored, cabin sides plywood cored, at least on my 1984 vintage.
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Old 07-10-2016, 06:00 PM   #7
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A 52 footer I looked at had balsa cored hull sides.

A quick way to check is to look in the anchor locker. Cores tend to stop near the centerline. If a hull is cored you will usually see its edges in an anchor locker. Not a fool proof method though.
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Old 07-10-2016, 06:26 PM   #8
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Hull cores do stop 8-12 inches from the center line, but what kind of core material was used? That you cannot tell just looking in the anchor locker. The core's edge is covered by laminate.
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Old 07-11-2016, 05:55 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tadhana View Post
Hull cores do stop 8-12 inches from the center line, but what kind of core material was used? That you cannot tell just looking in the anchor locker. The core's edge is covered by laminate.
Keep looking through the rest of the interior for a section of hull that is not finished with paint or gelcoat. You can usually find a place to see the core blocks through the inner skin of the fiberglass. Foam is very uniform in appearance. Balsa blocks tend to have visible color variations.
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