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Have builders forgotten how to fair a hull/ mold?

Discussion in 'General Yachting Discussion' started by sailandfish, Nov 5, 2008.

  1. sailandfish

    sailandfish New Member

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    Something that really caught my eye while cruising the Lauderdale show was the amount of waviness and unfair hulls. This was most noticeable in a number of express/ go fast yachts such as Azimuth for instance, or most outstanding the NorTech yacht.

    Maybe I'm just a nitpicker but I thought these hulls looked awful, apparently buyers must not care or am I just a picky bystander?
  2. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    It's because builders have gotten busy and have been cutting corners and not buffing the molds in-between hulls with mold release compound. I have heard horror stories of builders having 16 guys with 2x4's prying on hulls to get them to pop out of the mold. Good builders will wax the molds between each boat, while some others will only do it every 4 hulls etc in order to save time or money....Also some builders are using more hardener to get the boats to cure faster and that will cause waviness also. ....It is really apparent on the colored hulls
  3. Loren Schweizer

    Loren Schweizer YF Associate Writer

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    Over on the 'G' and 'H' docks, I noticed one or two boats with print-through on their toerails--22oz. woven roving at that. Shame!
  4. AMG

    AMG YF Moderator

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    Loren, sometimes when you can see the fibreglass pattern from certain angles on the gelcoat, it means the boat is built with a core and vacuum infusion. Some say it is a quality hallmark, but of course it should not be too visible....
  5. YachtForums

    YachtForums Publisher/Admin

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    With offshore raceboats such as Skaters, the woven print shows through everywhere. Because weight is critical, the gelcoat is purposely kept thin. Most of these boats will become billboards anyhow, carrying the added weight of flashy paint. I think it's safe to say Skaters are among the best build boats in the world, yet the finish might be misconstrued as inferior.

    BTW... the infusion process would not push woven through gelcoat during lamination because the gelcoat is allowed to dry prior to laying materials and saturating. More likely, the heat generated during the curing process will embed the woven into the gelcoat. I've seen instances on some boats where the woven pattern is showing through in some areas, yet not in others. This will often happen in areas that are difficult to spray, or when applying too much gelcoat in areas prone to flexing is a concern.

    Switching back to the original question: the waviness is caused by several factors, including aging molds that haven't been maintained or regularly reconditioned; pulling a piece prior to the laminate properly setting; an improper mix of hardener; or poor quality materials to begin with.

    In the case of polyester resins, they can take years to completely cure. During this time, they are prone to warping from stress and sun. Keep in mind, if the hull (or whatever structure) is laid up thick enough, warping over time probably won't be an issue. In contrast, if a hull is laid up too thin, warping over time is likely.

    Here's a suggestion... if the hull is wavy and the water ripples when idling... buy another boat, because this one's built like a potato chip. There is a reason a certain builder adapted resin infusion in recent years. Too many delaminated hulls! (read between the lines on this)
  6. sailandfish

    sailandfish New Member

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    I understand the many different reasons that cause the problem, what I am not understanding is how the consumer allows it.

    On boats like Skaters or racing sailboats it is somewhat acceptable, the added weight of fairing would not be in line with the boats goal of speed, not looks. But on most of the boats I noticed they were making no great efforts to save weight, only money on materials and labor.
  7. goplay

    goplay Senior Member

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    Interestingly, the best I see consistently are from American builders. Surprisingly Marquis does a really good job. The European production builders seem to be mediocre (a certain big brand British builder is particularly bad) and the Asian builders vary from OK to bad. You could see the patchwork of fiberglass in one Asian trawler.

    I don't think it has anything to do with whether it is a "go fast" or a "go slow" boat.

    Other than cosmetic, I don't think "waviness" points to structural or longevity problems, does it? Sure, a thin gel coat bad be bad, but waviness? Aren't the cosmetics fixed with additional labor, which, again doesn't really change the structural aspects of a hull.

    I do agree, though, for the money that is charged, the finish should be automotive quality.
  8. Seafarer

    Seafarer Senior Member

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    That may or may not be an improvement.
  9. sailandfish

    sailandfish New Member

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    I do agree most American vessels are pretty consistent, but then again most of them come with some of the higher price tags.

    Come to think of it the auto industry is having a similar issue, just look at the orange peel and badly stamped sheet metal on the average car, truck , suv. Ford and GM are particalarily notorious. I think the consumer just doesnt know the difference anymore, too much money, not enough brains. Agreed the finish is purely cosmetic, but if they cant even put a nice finish on the outside, think about how ****** that boat must be put together on the inside.
  10. Seafarer

    Seafarer Senior Member

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    GM has been quite fanatical about factory finish for several years now, working to put out products that can compete with the best at every level of the market. It's dismaying to hear comments like "notorious" applied to anything '03/'04 forward, because it implies the reputation of GM (and domestics in general) from 10-30 years ago is still prevalent in the consumer's mindset. Sadly, it is prevalent, which partially explains the trouble the domestic brands are currently facing.

    Mercedes, and recently Toyota, have had major paint issues in the last few years - moreso than the domestics - as they try to trim costs and are experimenting with different paints and thinner coatings. BMW has a certain "acceptable" level of orange peel and fisheye in the factory finish, particularly on plastic components such as bumper covers and mirror housings.

    The "best" have been averaging down at the same time the "most notorious" have been averaging up... and yet old habits (along with old outdated opinions) die hard.

    Even the Ferrari 430 Scuderia I got to play with a couple weekends ago had ripply and dimpled paint. Then again, less paint saves almost a pound of weight on the car! The Bugatti Veyrons that were supplied for a weekend of track time, however, were blemish free. I guess you need to be up around 7 figures for mirror finish these days. :eek: :p
  11. sailandfish

    sailandfish New Member

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    Going way off topic here! The jap cars have bad paint, chips very easily, which results in rust on nearly new cars. But their paint in general looks far superior to the average American vehicle, take a stroll through the dealership and look at the black GM trucks, suburbans and tahoes, tell me that doesn't look pitifull. And obviously the can do it right because the Denali trucks look excellent. If I was paying 50k for a vehicle is expect it to be blemish and orange peel free. Likewise if I was paying 1-3 mil. for a boat id expect perfection, or at least a very good attempt at perfection.

    Since Ive digressed so far; I got to see 3 Porsche Panamera's cruise through Nawlins on friday, pretty awsome looking! By the way my opinion and consumer mindset is pretty young, although my income doesn't allow me to consume much more than cheeseburgers.

    Back to poorly finished boats.
  12. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    It doesn't take hardly any extra time in the thick and thin of things to make a yacht with a good finish. You only have to have a good mold (which is much easier to do in this day and age then the 60's), properly wax the mold between boats with mold release compound, and layup the gelcoat and fiberglass properly without trying to cut costs or speed up the process......

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