Finished a 15' Drift Boat last Winter and just discovered a few hairline cracks (stress cracks?) in the outer hull that I believe were due to the way I was tying it down. I sanded through the paint and epoxied them and plan to paint over them this weekend. Has anyone had this happen to them?
Thank you in advance for you comments/suggestions.
- Andrew Luttrell
It looks to me like the wood is checking, usually due to not being well sealed. Not the easiest photo to make comments with. Stress cracks usually occur in fiberglass laminates due to flexing that breaks a portion of the laminate (gelcoat or outer layer).
Andrew, there are no generalized fixes that work in all cases. The post said some corrective action was already taken.
My comments may be off due to the limited information to base the comments.
Step 1 would be to review your build procedures. All of this is for your decisions since you were the knowledgeable source. What procedures did you use to seal the wood on the inside and outside of the hull? Is there evidence on the inside that the inside finish caused the outside problem? Review what was done on outside in the same way.
As a side note, plywood that is epoxy saturated, covered with fiberglass cloth, and filled / sanded to make it smooth will not check.
If if the plywood was simply primed and painted, checking would be common, depending on use and storage conditions.
There is nothing catastrophic with the checking. One approach would be to sand the area flush and apply the same treatment as during construction. Applying epoxy works if the wood is bare and the epoxy can saturate into the wood. If you don't plan to treat the entire hull that way, there is no lasting benefit to doing that to a small portion.
Hope this helps.