hairline cracks in gelcoat

Discussion in 'Fiberglass/Wood/Gelcoat Repair' started by todd10, Apr 8, 2020.

  1. todd10

    todd10 New Member

    7
    Jan 6, 2014
    san diego
    Soon to be Sundancer 240
    none yet
    I'm in the process of buying a boat and discovered it has a lot of hairline cracks in the gelcoat right below the outdrive. The pic is attached. I had a fiberglass guy inspect the transom and said it's dry and structurally sound. Do you think the cracks are something to be concerned about? Would you repair them?
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Golfman25

    Golfman25 Well-Known Member

    Sep 12, 2009
    IL
    281
    V8
    Seems to me that is one of two things. Either excessive flex in the transom. Even though it's dry, it might not be designed properly to take the forces applied. Or the gelcoat is drying out and cracking.
     
  3. Lazy Daze

    Lazy Daze Well-Known Member TECHNICAL Contributor GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 21, 2009
    PA
    Various
    Various
    I think I'd want to double check what your glass guy said, just to be sure. I don't recall Sea Ray using plastic garboard drain plugs anytime in the last few decades... and before that, well, I just plain don't remember one way or the other if some of the models used plastic (I think "not"... but I'm not 100% sure)! But, on the assumption that someone changed the drain plug and maybe didn't seal it properly, there could be some wood expansion going on from moisture. It's kind of a weird pattern, though, and honestly - not one I've ever seen before. But, it'll only take a few minutes to pull that drain plug off and check the condition of the plywood in the transom. After checking out the condition, you may have to further diagnosis, but let's wait on that.
     
  4. todd10

    todd10 New Member

    7
    Jan 6, 2014
    san diego
    Soon to be Sundancer 240
    none yet
    Thanks for your responses. Unfortunately, I sold my Sea Ray and this is a Chaparral I'm looking at. So you are correct, it's not a Sea Ray:( The glass guy said the cracks were most likely caused from remaining in the water for prolonged periods. I'm not exactly sure why/ how that would cause the cracks? Seems a more likely plausible cause is from the force of the outdrive, but I'm no expect on this.
     
  5. BillK2632

    BillK2632 Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Jun 25, 2009
    Lake Norman, NC
    1999 185 Bowrider,
    Mercruiser 4.3, Alpha I
    The fact that it looks like just that one area, I would suspect that area is wet - Like Dennis said, pull the drain plug and you will know. It looks a lot like the blisters I had all over our old Glastron - it sat in freshwater each summer and after about 5yrs it developed blisters that had gelcote cracks on them - it looked just like that. Also, that plastic drain plug does not look right - I doubt that is original. My guess, previous owner installed that drain plug, didn't do it correctly and it allowed water to wick into the transom.
     
    villain style likes this.
  6. Golfman25

    Golfman25 Well-Known Member

    Sep 12, 2009
    IL
    281
    V8
    That sounds weird. Get a surveyor to look at it. Test with a moisture meter and by sounding. Good luck.
     
  7. firecadet613

    firecadet613 Well-Known Member

    May 10, 2007
    Indiana
    '07 V358
    T- VP 5.7GXi
    What year and model Chap? I've never seen that before and like it was said above, run a moisture meter over it and give it the tap tap tap test.

    Keep in mind, what will it look like when you go to sell it and how many prospective buyers will move on to another boat.
     
  8. todd10

    todd10 New Member

    7
    Jan 6, 2014
    san diego
    Soon to be Sundancer 240
    none yet
    It's a 1997 Chap. Located about a 5 hour drive from where I live, so I can't easily go back and test it for moisture and tap test. Anyhoo, I decided to pass on it. Didn't think it's worth the risk when it has an apparent issue that could turn out to be a big problem. It's probably a water leak. I'll just keep on looking. Thanks for all of your feedbacks!
     
    firecadet613 and Chris-380 like this.

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