Gelcoat "expansion cracks" - anyone else have them?

Discussion in 'Fiberglass/Wood/Gelcoat Repair' started by ZZ13, May 8, 2020.

  1. ZZ13

    ZZ13 Well-Known Member

    Nov 25, 2009
    Lady's Island, SC
    2001 400 Sedan Bridge
    Cummins 450 Diamond
    I've had these gelcoat cracks show up on my boat. A gelcoat pro said its the result of a factory fabrication problem of using too much hardener. Has anyone else had this and tried to approach Sea Ray about it?
    A8FFE86C-6CEB-4FBD-B40B-FF94E4F08C6B.jpeg EFE72656-155F-4DCE-A850-BC121B42534A.jpeg
     
  2. my3sons

    my3sons Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Feb 24, 2009
    NY (Lake Erie)
    2004 400DB, Onan 9 kw Gen, Highfield RIB,
    Cummins 6CTA
    Yes, they are on my boat also, like yours on the dash only, I have not seen them anywhere else. Personally, I'm not impressed with the gelcoat on the boat. Do you have these "waves" anywhere? Looks like sagging paint, issues spraying gelcoat in the mold I assume. Took these pictures a few days ago after waxing the brow. They are in other places on the boat also. They are not that pronounced, you have to look for them, but I see them and shake my head every time.

    IMG_E0929_LI.jpg
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2020
  3. ZZ13

    ZZ13 Well-Known Member

    Nov 25, 2009
    Lady's Island, SC
    2001 400 Sedan Bridge
    Cummins 450 Diamond
    I haven't noticed the waves. Sometimes a hazy line like that is the blend edge where they did factory gelcoat repairs before they shipped the boat. My 300DA was loaded with them as teardrops hanging from the rubrail. Looked just like that. Was a blue hull and was easily noticeable unless freshly buffed.

    I may have the spider crack record, though. Five areas of them. Three from previous owner impacts and two from factory at the bulkhead to hull joint. Not enough soft stuff between the joint I guess.
     
  4. alnav

    alnav Active Member PLATINUM Sponsor

    967
    Sep 16, 2009
    West River, MD
    40 MY
    QSB 425
    I had a haulout in 2013 or so at a Sea Ray dealer after wintering in the water for a few years. There were a number of "blisters" on the hull, not the really bad kind, just small and very thin air pockets. The dealer worked with Sea Ray for me and they picked up most of the cost to repair. I also had a few areas with spider cracks, mostly in curved areas. They asked and Sea Ray threw in for those as well. I was only a couple of years at most out of warranty at the time, however. Wouldn't hurt to ask but I doubt they would entertain helping for boats older than the 2010's, and with them now being out of the big boat business, it would be remarkable if they would help for anything out of warranty but that is just a guess.
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2020
  5. CaptRonn

    CaptRonn Well-Known Member

    690
    May 25, 2016
    on a large body of water
    1999 Sea Ray 400 Sedan Bridge
    Convert fuel into noise
    I have a few on my boat. Mostly along the port hull side in one area. I chalked it up to poor craftsmanship by SR.

    Maybe some day I'll get around to repairing it. I seriously doubt SR would get involved.
     
  6. NotHerDecision

    NotHerDecision Well-Known Member PLATINUM Sponsor

    Jun 28, 2016
    Houston, Texas
    2001 Sea Ray 460 Sundancer
    2014 Seadoo 155 LTD
    2105 Seadoo 130 SE
    2013 Mercury Dinghy
    Cummins 6CTA 8.3L
    The waves can be repaired. Most likely just wet sand, compound, and wax. I wouldn’t call it poor craftsmanship really but it is a repair at some point most likely. That’s the beauty of gelcoat you can hide repairs almost perfectly but it a form of art!
     
  7. ZZ13

    ZZ13 Well-Known Member

    Nov 25, 2009
    Lady's Island, SC
    2001 400 Sedan Bridge
    Cummins 450 Diamond
    I think I'll go with the 70's shag carpet on the dash look. It'll give a nice retro look to the helm and cover up the cracks.
     
    Henry Boyd, Jaybeaux and dtfeld like this.
  8. CaptRonn

    CaptRonn Well-Known Member

    690
    May 25, 2016
    on a large body of water
    1999 Sea Ray 400 Sedan Bridge
    Convert fuel into noise
    You could always try vinyl wrap.
     
    Todd320 likes this.
  9. NotHerDecision

    NotHerDecision Well-Known Member PLATINUM Sponsor

    Jun 28, 2016
    Houston, Texas
    2001 Sea Ray 460 Sundancer
    2014 Seadoo 155 LTD
    2105 Seadoo 130 SE
    2013 Mercury Dinghy
    Cummins 6CTA 8.3L
    I think there is a place here where you can still get that shag in avacado green or harvest gold.
     
  10. fwebster

    fwebster Well-Known Member TECHNICAL Contributor PLATINUM Sponsor

    Oct 6, 2006
    Middle Tennessee ; Panama City Beach, FL
    1996 450DA
    3116 Caterpillars
    That looks like and area where there isn't a good bond between the gelcoat and the resin that follows it in the lamination process, but I'm not a pro, just have seen a lot in 35 years of Sea Ray ownership and keeping my boats are the largest NW Gulf coast SR dealer owned marina. I suspect the repair is going to be more costly that it is worth.

    As far as getting help from Sea Ray is concerned, their policy on extended warranty repairs is no where near what it used to be......prior to about 2012-14 the principal guiding their Customer Service folks was make "the customer happy". Then, after Brunswick forced the reorganization and withdrawal from the big boat market, Customer Service will give you advice, but they cannot warranty any thing on a boat not owned by the original purchaser and they do not extend warranty coverage past the stated new boat warranty period. It isn't worth the phone call..............
     
  11. ZZ13

    ZZ13 Well-Known Member

    Nov 25, 2009
    Lady's Island, SC
    2001 400 Sedan Bridge
    Cummins 450 Diamond
    Thanks Frank and everyone. It's going to remain a "feature" of my boat.
     
  12. my3sons

    my3sons Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Feb 24, 2009
    NY (Lake Erie)
    2004 400DB, Onan 9 kw Gen, Highfield RIB,
    Cummins 6CTA
    Mine too Bill. I have never really thought much about it other than they did something wrong at the factory or it is just a natural trait of the beast, mine is almost exclusively on rounded corners and like I said, only on the dash. I only mentioned it because you asked ;)
    The sagging gel spray annoys me more, and can only be seen after a good cleaning and from up close. Maybe I'll just not wash it as much.:)
     
  13. Skuza

    Skuza Well-Known Member

    Nov 1, 2006
    Lake St Clair, MI
    400 Sundancer
    7.4L Horizons
    I would say the “sagging”
    Gel coat is actually a repair possibly from a defect during the molding process. I see them on ours and as a bump and paint guy it looks like a paint job that was “spotted in”. Different layers of gel that no matter what are gonna be evident.
     
  14. my3sons

    my3sons Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Feb 24, 2009
    NY (Lake Erie)
    2004 400DB, Onan 9 kw Gen, Highfield RIB,
    Cummins 6CTA
    My boats birth marks I guess. They are also on the bridge sides and transom and transom locker door. Actually, just about everywhere except the hull. Thanks
     
  15. ttmott

    ttmott PhD in OCD GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 3, 2012
    Space Coast Florida
    2006 52 Sedan Bridge
    Cummins QSM11
    Not so sure the spider cracking on the dash or anywhere else can't be repaired reasonability. On my previous boat (400DA) the dash which was cooked in the Fl sun through the windshield had extensive gelcoat spider cracking. I had one of our local small businesses repair it and they did a perfect match. They first completely removed the Gelcoat to the FRP substrate in all of the damaged areas. All of the existing gelcoat to remain was sanded and feathered to the exposed FRP. The second to final coat (all sprayed) was matched to the existing and the texture material (the dash had a texture) was applied (this was the "art" of the application. Then a final spray coat of reduced gelcoat applied which perfectly laid in with the texture and matched the existing. There was probably three or four square feet that was done and I think it cost around $800. This was about seven years ago.
    From what I found out during that process is, for the most part, spider crack repairs require the gelcoat to be removed to the fiberglass to be a permanent solution.
     
    firecadet613 likes this.

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