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Old 02-09-2018, 11:33 AM   #1
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Swift 42 Hull Construction, Quality, and Owner Experiences

So I've identified a few Beneteau Swift 42s that are of interest to me and started digging into details of the boat's design.

To my absolute horror I found the following in the brochure:

Quote:
HULL Composition:
• Sandwich (Polyester resin - Glass fiber / Balsa core)
• White gel coat
• Structural hull counter moulding in monolithic laminate (Polyester resin - Glass fiber)
Now... I may be biased here because I've been privy to a lot of the benefits of properly constructed GRP hulls (friends Nordhavn I wish I could afford for instance). But are modern constructions like this as reliable as well constructed GRP? Any Swift Trawler (particularly Swift 42) owners able to chime in?

at least demonstrates that it's not a corner cutting (but probably cost cutting) approach. Though not sure of the actual results and what year they went to this process.
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Old 03-01-2018, 04:57 PM   #2
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Beneteau 42 hull construction

I called the Beneteau factory in Marion,SC 843-629-5300 . Todd in Customer Service clearly told me that my 2005 Swift (hull
#1 in USA) and all others were solid fiberglass below the waterline.

Bob Nordstrom
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Old 03-01-2018, 05:54 PM   #3
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Even Nordhavn builds their boats with coring: Airex for the vertical cabin sides and balsa for the deck and cabin tops. No coring below the waterline though.

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Old 03-02-2018, 08:57 AM   #4
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Modern times, modern methods.
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Old 03-02-2018, 12:46 PM   #5
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I have no issue with coring when done properly. Balsa coring, even above the waterline, wouldn't be my choice. You just need to be sure your surveyor carefully checks for any water intrusion into that core. As long as water is kept from the core, then no problem.
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Old 03-02-2018, 04:00 PM   #6
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It seems that cored is stronger than solid fiberglass according to some surveyors.
Cored vs Solid Fiberglass Structures | Christian & Co.
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Old 03-02-2018, 04:17 PM   #7
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Quote:
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It seems that cored is stronger than solid fiberglass according to some surveyors.
Cored vs Solid Fiberglass Structures | Christian & Co.
Using current coring methods, it is possible to build stronger than solid fiberglass. Coring is done with many different materials. Some are extremely strong without accompanying weight. Now, Balsa is a traditional coring material but not one of the stronger materials and not utilized by most builders today. For a time it was considered the best as it did have a better strength to weight ratio than other woods.
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Old 03-02-2018, 04:23 PM   #8
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Quote:
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It seems that cored is stronger than solid fiberglass according to some surveyors.
Cored vs Solid Fiberglass Structures | Christian & Co.
Gotta be careful with the word "stronger".

Is cored likely to be stiffer? YES
Is cored likely as impact resistant? NO
Is cored a better thermal barrier? YES
Is cored a better acoustic barrier? YES
Is cored as reliable as a solid hull? that one is not so clear to me.
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Old 03-02-2018, 04:28 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Blu View Post
It seems that cored is stronger than solid fiberglass according to some surveyors.
Cored vs Solid Fiberglass Structures | Christian & Co.
Thatís our understanding also. Weíre on our second cored hull. The first was with airex and now with pvc. Core or no core, each has its + & -s. We havenít tested the strength but do like the thermal properties of a cored hull. We lived on both boats in the PNW and SE Alaska and always had dry internal hulls even in the winter, no condensation.

Hull penatrations above and below the water line are a PIA. Both boats had some poorly installed hull hardware. Theyíre were easy to fix but itís to bad they werenít installed correctly when they were built. We investigated the history of each boat before purchased to make sure they hadnít been stored on the hard, in below freezing temperatures. We looked at a boat in NE that had been stored on the hard for several winters that had severe hull/core delamiantion issues. The core was wet and had gone through many freeze/thawing cycles.

Everyboats a compromise. Solid or cored hulls, there are the good, the bad and the ugly.
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Old 03-02-2018, 04:41 PM   #10
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In reaction to AVIATOHI, there is absolutely no reason to be horrified over the hull construction of the Swift Trawlers. But there is nothing wrong in having a Surveyor testing the moisture % of the hull when you buy second hand..


A Surveyor once told me that today osmosis is not a technical problem as the problem of osmosis can be solved but more a commercial problem.


One time I was interested in buying a steel Linssen, which had spent seven years in the Mediteranean. The motoryacht looked fine but when the Surveyor knocked one time with his hammer on the bow he made a big hole in it. The bow appeared to be totally eaten by rust. The Surveyor said that you should multiply the actual years in the Mediteranean with seven to get the actual age of a yacht. So even steel could give you some surprises. That's why you need a Surveyor.
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Old 03-02-2018, 05:30 PM   #11
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I have had two boats with cored hulls, both C-Dorys. The one thing to do with any boat using coring because most builders don't do it, is to remove all fasteners going into the coring and anything penetrating the coring and seal it. For screws that are in the coring, the favorite technique was to oversize the hole, remove the coring from the edges, backfill with epoxy plus some filler, and then drill the hole again. That way any water intrusion along the screw, bolt, or thru hull only could wet epoxy and not soak into the core.

Tom
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