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Old 01-11-2024, 10:42 PM   #1
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Swift Trawler 35 Fiberglass/Gel coat cracking

I have a 2018 ST 35 that is cracking at areas of geometric inflection.....i.e. inside of corners etc. Is this common? Anybody else have similar experience? Its going back to the dealer for some other work in a few months, trying to figure out my approach. I'll take and posts pics asap.
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Old 01-11-2024, 10:54 PM   #2
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Welcome aboard. There are several possible causes for gel coat cracking. A couple are too thick gel coat or lack of support underneath. Maybe get a pro to look at it and help determine the cause.
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Old 01-11-2024, 11:05 PM   #3
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My understanding is the ST42 hull was balsa cored, if so the 35 might be too. Could be important.Maybe have it inspected by someone independent as well as the Beneteau dealer.
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Old 01-12-2024, 01:58 AM   #4
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Hi,

Hi, without seeing the damage, so commonly gelgoat cracks are caused by the boat's structures warping ie hull is not sturdy or other structures. As you drive, the shafts hit hard and the sluggish hull gives way and the hard gelgoat cracks. The movement is not great, but too much for the gelgoat. These cracks are the way for water to enter the fiber capillary and for a longer period of time between core filling wetting.

The problem will not go away with a new gelcoat if the cause is in the structure, unfortunately.

Another possible cause of cracking is external damage, has something collided with the surface ?
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Old 01-12-2024, 08:38 AM   #5
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please post up pics
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Old 01-12-2024, 03:54 PM   #6
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sorry about the delay in posting the pictures. Theres two photos of each, one to give location and one closeup. This isn't an exhaustive list, just the main ones. The hull has a 7 year warranty from manufacturer (Beneteau), of which two years remain. Current plan is to have it professionally inspected while I review warranty paperwork, then formulate a plan from there.

The one above the sling lift point is the primary concern, not necessarily because of location, but because of depth. Severity is evident in the

https://www.trawlerforum.com/forums/...lbums1322.html

Boat has been on calm inland waters its entire life.

Im new to this forum, so it might take me a second to get accustomed to everything. I think i'll be a new active member though.
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Old 01-12-2024, 04:13 PM   #7
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Photos

Im new to this forum, so hopefully i didn't make a mess and upload them 10 times. Boat has never been in any collisions and has been in calm inland water its entire life.
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Old 01-12-2024, 04:54 PM   #8
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Some of those look pretty bad. It is hard to tell exactly what caused them. I have had gel coat that was too thick crack like that since gel coat has no strength. But my concern would be the structural integrity, besides they look like crap, and to determine that I would look underneath the cracks and see if the fiberglass shows any cracks, likely will not show through. It may take using a Dremel and grinding into some of the cracks to determine how deep they go. As you grind through the gel coat and get to the fiberglass watch and see if the cracks extend into the glass. If they do then you will have to grind into the glass and repair it. Andy at boatworks today has some videos showing how this is done. However if you have a warranty then the builder should fix it, but I am sure they will try to weasel out of it saying something like it is just cosmetic. Get a fiberglass expert to give you an opinion. Good luck.
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Old 01-12-2024, 05:36 PM   #9
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pretty typical for beneteau swift trawlers in my experience. would have been covered under warranty. tap to see if any voids.
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Old 01-12-2024, 05:47 PM   #10
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Were they there when you acquired the boat or have they grown since you've had it? They do seem a bit bigger than one might expect from a 2018 boat. If you said 1988 well okay yes they happen. You could also ask on the Tugnuts forum to see if someone there has seen this same thing.
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Old 01-12-2024, 06:18 PM   #11
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Was the boat used in extreme conditions? The cracking at corners(?joints) could suggest working. Or excess gelcoat. It`s too widespread to ignore and there is a risk of water penetration damage as well as whatever is going on. Best not approach the mfr empty handed, get an expert report done so you know what`s wrong and to support(if supportable) mfr error and making good.
Presumably the warranty has expired but perhaps there is consumer protection based on reasonable expectation which the mfr can`t exclude.
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Old 01-13-2024, 12:33 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedRascal View Post
... You could also ask on the Tugnuts forum to see if someone there has seen this same thing.
I screwed up, for whatever reason I thought it was a Ranger Tug so Tugnuts would not be helpful. I've never heard of a Swift Trawler group but maybe one exists out there somewhere.

On the bigger gaps you could do a quick hack and cover them with clear packing tape to help keep the water out. If you are in real wet conditions then you could upgrade to clear Gorilla tape. Tape gives you the option to stop the water and be able to show a fiberglass repair pro what is going on. Or if you think you'll DIY and grind them out yourself later you could do 5 minute epoxy to just cover the gaps until you are ready to undertake the project. https://www.fisheriessupply.com/hard...-pouches/h4001
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Old 01-23-2024, 01:44 AM   #13
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I’m not very knowledgeable of your boat construction. But one other option is that water got in behind the fiberglass and then got exposed to freezing temperatures. The water turns to ice and expands which cracks the glass. Might get a moisture test on that area. Tspping with a plastic mallet could tell you if there is some separation

I have several areas on my boat that suffer when the temps drops. The 15 degree weather we just experienced added cracks where I thought I’d eliminated the moisture. Apparently doesn’t take much

jp
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Old 01-23-2024, 08:15 AM   #14
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A possibility for this type of gelcoat damage can be that the lifting instructions for the boat have not been properly observed. Since a picture tells more than a long story, the instruction drawing for an ST 52 is attached.

I had laminate steel plates to my ST 52 to get a better distribution of the pressure of the slings. See attachments.
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File Type: pdf Trawler 52 Hoist instruction_0001.pdf (458.6 KB, 9 views)
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Old 01-24-2024, 12:25 AM   #15
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If the hull is under warranty then I wouldn't touch them and make a claim. That is beyond cosmetic in my opinion. Beneteau needs to step up and deal with it. Good luck!
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