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  1. Delamination of fiberglass caused by water seepage

    New to site, having just purchased a 1999 28 SS in the spring.

    I have come across a problem and wonder how common it is and if anybody has had any experience with the some. As my user name may indicate, I have found a soft spot around the topside hatch caused by water penertration through the neoprane gasket that was used under the hatch as a sealant. As a result, the water peneratrated the fiberglass on the topside causing extensive damage for which I have been quoted $5800 to repair. There has been no damage or seepage into the cabin and nothing is visable from the inside. I spoke with my insurance company only to be informed the my policy does not cover any damage or delamination caused by water seepage as the consider it to be wear and tear over a period of time. Contacted Sea Ray, put in touch with a customer service rep who informed me that at the time of manufacture the hatch was installed with a good grade marine sealant and that the maintainance of such is the responsibility of the owner. I do understand that the boat is 10 years old and out of warranty however I am still somewhat in a state of disbelief that a boat with the price tag of a Sea Ray could have a hatch installed without the use of a marine grade caulking as a sealant.

    Two people, the insurance adjuster who is also a marine surveyor and a rep from a Sea Ray dealer that I contacted, told me that this was a problem that boats built at that time by Sea Ray encounted. The Sea Ray dealer told me that they were aware that it was a problem and that it was be handled on a case by case basis under warranty as the problems presented themselves.

    So here is my question Has anyone else experienced this problem and if so did Sea Ray acknowledge that it was a problem?

    As far as the actual damage being repaired, my boat is presently at a local fiberglass repair shop and has a 6' by 6' hole cut out of the topside to facilitate access to the balsa core that has been completly rotted out from the water that entered through the hatch opening. I have pictures that I will post showing all the damage when my daughter is home as I don't know how to do this myself. Don't know if it was just a coincidence or not but when my boat was dropped off for repair the shop was accepting another Sea Ray one year older with the same problem.

    Hope the post wasn't too long and look forward to hearing from anybody with the same experiences. THANKS

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Washington Park Marina, Michigan City
    Boat
    Sea Ray
    Details
    '07 340 DA, E80, Vessel View, Soft Top '12 Boston Whaler 15 Montauk
    Engine(s)
    8.1 Mercruiser V-Drives, Mercury 60 HP Bigfoot
    Posts
    10,507

    Re: Delamination of fiberglass caused by water seepage

    sea ray sucks at sealing things. On my present craft, I found no sealant on the wiper posts (the rubber gasket is not enough as it didn't even cover the hole) and none of the fittings on my radar arch for the radar, GPS, and Glomax had any sealant either.

    In a previous boat, a 2001 280 DA, Sea Ray did not bother to put sealant on the screws when they installed the trim tabs, which resulted in a rotted out transom. They fixed that one on their dime, as it was still under warranty, but I would check ALL questionable areas on every Sea Ray. As I said, they suck at sealing things.
    Last edited by sfergson727; 10-31-2008 at 08:22 PM.
    Scott of the most excellent Sea Ray "Destiny".
    "I used to be indecisive, but now I'm not so sure........"




  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Live: New London, PA / Boat: Bohemia River, MD
    Boat
    Sea Ray
    Details
    2003 480DB and Kencraft 190 CC
    Engine(s)
    QSM11's
    Posts
    1,046

    Re: Delamination of fiberglass caused by water seepage

    I'll be the first to ask, did you have the boat surveyed prior to purchase?

    Miss Stress
    2003 480DB
    Cummins QSM11's

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Upstate South Carolina
    Boat
    Sea Ray
    Details
    2006 260DA
    Engine(s)
    350 MAG Bravo III
    Posts
    5,933

    Re: Delamination of fiberglass caused by water seepage

    Soft Top

    I have seen quite a few postings on our board over the last couple of years that involved water intrusion into cored surfaces. You might try and do a Search to find some of them.

    For instance, here is a picture posted by member RobF300 of damage from a leaky horn and what it did to a section of decking on a 31SS. Rob was repairing that damage.



    You can read the entire post here. http://clubsearay.com/forum/showthread.php?t=12198

    I guess what I am saying is these problems do occur. I had a leak thru my bow railing about a year ago which makes me wonder how well that is sealed too and this on a boat that was only a year old at the time. All of that area is cored so it is a concern for me.

    I would certainly recommend you have other areas of your decking checked with a moisture meter as well as long as they are doing the hatch repair. Maybe some of the other more experienced members can give you some advice on whether there is any way to get Sea Ray to help on this one even though they have apparently said no for now.

    Dave
    2006 260DA............Former Sea Rays..... 1999 210SD ...... 2002 240SD

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Panama City, Fl
    Boat
    Sea Ray
    Details
    355 AC
    Engine(s)
    165 Crusader
    Posts
    163

    Re: Delamination of fiberglass caused by water seepage

    This isn't a Sea Ray problem. Even the big boys have had problems with water intrusion especially on the cored hulls.
    Vern
    83 355AC " Hole in the Water "
    twin 165 Crusaders
    PC, FL.
    "Boating is not a matter of life or death, It's more important than that!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Nashville, TN
    Boat
    between boats
    Details
    Boatless
    Engine(s)
    Boatless
    Posts
    935

    Re: Delamination of fiberglass caused by water seepage

    Quote Originally Posted by vernh59 View Post
    This isn't a Sea Ray problem. Even the big boys have had problems with water intrusion especially on the cored hulls.
    When we purchased our boat, there was a Jefferson MY from the late '90s docked alongside at the selling dealer; its entire foredeck was spongey from water intrusion penetrating the core material, and an otherwise beautiful boat was facing tens of thousands to repair. Our surveyor, using a moisture meter, found a little moisture in the area surrounding the foredeck hatch, and the selling dealer removed and rebedded the hatch prior to delivery; the surveyor knew what to look for.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Above Cape Ann
    Boat
    Sea Ray
    Details
    02' 280 DA
    Engine(s)
    496 w BIII
    Posts
    3,458

    Re: Delamination of fiberglass caused by water seepage

    Just a question, how is this repaired? Is the top skin removed and then glued back down once the old core has been replaced?

    Henry
    Ciao Bella - '02 280 DA - 496 MAG B III
    Air Bella - '07 Zodiac Fastroller -T 6' Alu & Plastic Oars


    ​MMSI 338130198


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Middle Tennessee/NW Florida
    Boat
    Sea Ray & a Boston Whaler Dauntless (75hp Merc)
    Details
    1996 450DA
    Engine(s)
    3116 Caterpillars
    Posts
    7,909

    Re: Delamination of fiberglass caused by water seepage

    Matching the deck non-skip is never easy and can be a terrible job that may involve re-glassing the entire deck to get a match. Most fiberglass guys will save the top layer and glass it back to the repaired spot, or use it to make a mold for the repair. That way, they only have the seam around the edge to match the non-skid on.
    Frank

  9. Re: Delamination of fiberglass caused by water seepage

    Thanks for the info recieved so far.

    As for the survey, no I didn't and I have learned learned the hard way the value of a proper marine survey. Prior to purchase I had the boat inspected by my mechanic, who did a thorough job on the mechanical end and I chose not to bother with a survey since the boat appeared to be in showroom condition while being 9 years old. Having been a boat owner for 18 years before this purchase I believed that I knew enough of what to look for as long as the mechanical end was checked by my regular guy. Guess I was wrong and it will cost me a few bucks.

    As far as the way it is being repaired the foredeck is removed with a shallow cut from a small saw as is shown in a previous post and then the rotted balsa core material is removed, the area cleaned out down to the original interior material that the wood is bonded to and then the reinstallation of the core is started. Unlike the original factory insallation which ran the balsa wood right up to the hatch opening, which I believe is done that way since the hatch is cut out after the full foredeck is framed and glassed, the repair will have a 1 inch wide strip of non absorbant material framed around the hatch opening before the balsa wood starts to prevent this from happening again. The problem with the balsa core is that it absorbs the water rather then insullating the foredeck which would causes the water to leak into the cabin making the leak easy to spot.

    In closing let me say that while I am extremely happy with the boat that I purchased in spite out this and plan to keep and enjoy it for many years, I am still somewhat confused as to how Sea Ray could have known that this was a problem and not have told the people who purchased these boats. Boat that carry the price tag of a Sea Ray should not have design problems left unchanged or unacknowledged. I know that the two previous boat that I owned, and 1987 21'Bayliner Capri and a 1989 235 Four Winns Sundowner both had hatches that were caulked in and never leaked and I don't understand how Sea Ray would let a piece of neoprene protect a vulnerable balsa core that could lead to such extensive damage.

    Again, thanks for the info and look forward to using this site in the future.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    New Port Richey, Florida
    Boat
    Sea Ray
    Details
    1988 300 DA
    Engine(s)
    tw 350's w/ Alphas
    Posts
    3,280

    Re: Delamination of fiberglass caused by water seepage

    The prior boats you mention may not have had a cored topside because they were much smaller boats.

    SR has a bad reputation in this area. I've heard of late model yachts where the engine vents were simply cut into the cored hullsides without them being sealed- and requiring removal of the skin on the side of the boat.

    When you refer to a 1" strip of non absorbent material, you're probably referring to "potting" the penetration. When the opening is large enough, you remove (scrape out) the balsa core around the opening, then fill the void between the laminates with a thickened epoxy mixture. That way if there is a leak in the sealant the moisture can't get to the balsa core. If I need to through bolt a cored deck, (small hole, no room to remove the coring), I'll overdrill the hole by one size and thoroughly coat the inside of the hole/balsa using a pipe cleaner dipped in epoxy. The balsa will soak up the epoxy and prevent moisture from doing so.

    I'm going to pull my bowrails, the rails running along the cabin top, and the hatches as soon as the weather cools.
    1988 300 DA
    Former boats:
    1985 390 EC, 3208TA CATs
    1972 281 Chris-Craft, 6.0 Crusader
    1987 22' Chris-Craft Seahawk

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