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Old 03-06-2020, 07:38 PM   #1
Tda
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Core issues

I am in the process of buying a trawler and have decided on either a 390 or 400. The only issue that is holding me back is the balsa cores. Can anyone shed any light on this? How common are the problems? Thank you!
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Old 03-06-2020, 08:11 PM   #2
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Welcome aboard. Core issues are common among almost any brand of boats. The key is to check out the individual boat. You can tap it out with a phenolic hammer or get a professional check with a moisture meter. My boat had elevated moisture in a lot of the core and one area that was delaminated. I had the PO fix the delaminated area and lived with the eleva.ted moisture. I then went about fixing the various leaks so that the elevated moisture areas wonít get any worse and will probably eventually dry out. I should have done the repair on the delaminated area myself since I eventually had to re repair it myself anyway.
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Old 03-07-2020, 06:43 AM   #3
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Can anyone shed any light on this? How common are the problems?

The problem is usually folks don't bother with PM until its too late.

Any item bolted or fastened to a wood cored location only lasts as long as the sealing goop keeps out the water.

The use of Balsa instead of a better core material lowered the initial cost of the vessel, but it gets paid for in extra maint in PM rebeding much of the boat hardware every few years.

A teak "deck" overlay adds to the problems of core rot by having hundreds of screws puncture any fiberglass on the core.
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Old 03-07-2020, 12:47 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FF View Post
Can anyone shed any light on this? How common are the problems?

The problem is usually folks don't bother with PM until its too late.

Any item bolted or fastened to a wood cored location only lasts as long as the sealing goop keeps out the water.

The use of Balsa instead of a better core material lowered the initial cost of the vessel, but it gets paid for in extra maint in PM rebeding much of the boat hardware every few years.

A teak "deck" overlay adds to the problems of core rot by having hundreds of screws puncture any fiberglass on the core.
I think rebedding every few years is probably overkill. Our boat, like many others with issues, was built in the early 80ís in Taiwan. Sealants available these days are a thousand times better than what they were working with back then. I think most fittings rebedded with modern sealants are probably good for ten years or more. The only ones I would check more often are those with high cyclic loading, like primary cleats or a windlass.
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