Cracked polyester hull after a bad accident

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MacCharter
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Cracked polyester hull after a bad accident

Post by MacCharter » Mon Aug 31, 2020 12:11 pm

Last week, I and my Mac 26X have been badly hit by a bigger sailboat during a storm with wind up to 33 kn. The port side of the hull has a big hole right over the kitchen. The Mast is bend, some stays are broke and one of the spreaders is broken too. The insurance is quoting the damage as a total loss, not repairable!
Of course, the Mast, the Rigg, and the Window, etc. can be replaced by spare parts of Blue Water Yachts. But even the specialist of my shipyard is telling me, it would be very difficult to rebuild the hull and the inside.

Has anybody any experience, is it possible to patch these cracks in a way that it is stable and not visible after repair?

Thanks for any suggestions and feedback.
Regards
Stefan from Switzerland
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Jimmyt
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Re: Cracked polyester hull after a bad accident

Post by Jimmyt » Mon Aug 31, 2020 1:30 pm

I hate that happened to your boat. How terrible.

People fix damage worse than that all of the time. Difficult? Not if you do it all of the time. Expensive? Yes. So, you have to decide if you want to look for another one, or pay the same amount to fix yours. It is a complex DIY that probably shouldn't be attempted unless you are an experienced fiberglass technician.

So sorry that happened. Hope you can find a good outcome.
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MacCharter
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Re: Cracked polyester hull after a bad accident

Post by MacCharter » Mon Aug 31, 2020 2:55 pm

Thanks for your warm words. I appreciate it.

Well, I do know that fiberglass repair is possible, I did it by my self a few times. However, my fiberglass technician told me the problem is the twin-hull technique and the incredible thin Gelcoat layer over the Fiberglass. It makes it very difficult to establish a homogenous and new Gelcoat layer over the repaired area and connect it with the existing Gelcoat so that you can't see the border from old to new.

It needs a lot of time and hand polish, and therefore, yes it will be pretty expensive.

Steff

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Jimmyt
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Re: Cracked polyester hull after a bad accident

Post by Jimmyt » Mon Aug 31, 2020 3:12 pm

I agree.

Simply matching the gelcoat color can be a real challenge. On an old boat, it is going to be almost impossible to make an invisible repair without doing a large area or painting the whole boat and liner. But, the technician should be able to give you a quote for the repair. And, if your expectation is an invisible repair, make sure you make that clear. Good Luck!
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Starscream
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Re: Cracked polyester hull after a bad accident

Post by Starscream » Mon Aug 31, 2020 3:15 pm

I don't see that damage as a huge deal, because it's Mac.

The inner liner is cosmetic only. Leave it. Fix the outside yourself, unless you are OCD about color matches, it will just be a battle scar and a story.

Fix the outer hull from the outside, sand it smooth, and live with the color mismatch. It won't be pretty, or smooth, but with a little research, the right product, and some care it can be very strong. If that happened to my boat I'd certainly give it a shot. Maybe I'm not seeing the whole picture.

When I bought my X it had a big hole smashed through the cabin side just behind the windows. A buddy and I repaired it in a couple of hours about ten years ago. You can see it very clearly because we didn't care about the finish. I still don't care, and nobody has ever noticed it. Actually, that's not true, my wife asked me about it at the beginning of this season. First time she noticed it.

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Jimmyt
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Re: Cracked polyester hull after a bad accident

Post by Jimmyt » Mon Aug 31, 2020 3:37 pm

Starscream wrote:
Mon Aug 31, 2020 3:15 pm
I don't see that damage as a huge deal, because it's Mac.

The inner liner is cosmetic only. Leave it. Fix the outside yourself, unless you are OCD about color matches, it will just be a battle scar and a story.

Fix the outer hull from the outside, sand it smooth, and live with the color mismatch. It won't be pretty, or smooth, but with a little research, the right product, and some care it can be very strong. If that happened to my boat I'd certainly give it a shot. Maybe I'm not seeing the whole picture.

When I bought my X it had a big hole smashed through the cabin side just behind the windows. A buddy and I repaired it in a couple of hours about ten years ago. You can see it very clearly because we didn't care about the finish. I still don't care, and nobody has ever noticed it. Actually, that's not true, my wife asked me about it at the beginning of this season. First time she noticed it.
That is a much more realistic expectation, although I'd have to repair the liner as well. I had some deep hull scratches when I bought my boat - around the centerboard trunk area. I repaired them and put new gelcoat on. There is a slight color mismatch, but I'm ok with that.

I understand Steff's wish to have a pristine boat (I'm kind of OCD about my boat, too); but I'd rather have my boat with a slight color mismatch than have to go boat shopping... I've got a fair fiberglass game, and like Starscream, I'd fix it myself.
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opie
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Re: Cracked polyester hull after a bad accident

Post by opie » Tue Sep 01, 2020 2:39 am

My Mac26X had a very similar hole in the fiberglas, and it was right on the waterline. It occurred to the boat's PO when the trailer broke in pieces on highway.
I bought the boat from him and after plenty of research, repaired the hole myself and brushed gelcoat over the patch. Can't even see the patch if you stand back a bit.
That being said, I have had to make several repairs to the liner inside boat. That liner is so thin and so shiney that every repair I made is ugly and noticable.
So, you will need to live with the inside being less-than-good, just like a previous member said.
Good Luck.

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Highlander
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Re: Cracked polyester hull after a bad accident

Post by Highlander » Mon Sep 07, 2020 10:00 am

Once u have repaired the liner u can make & install a hutch on the galley counter which might hide most of the repair inside
Image



Image
I made this one for my boat for extra storage & a place for my toaster oven
if ur hull & hull joint was not compromised then this is not really a difficult repair just time consuming if u cut out the inside damaged liner with a dremel or simular tool u could make most of the stronger re reinforcement repair hidden between the inside space between the liner & cabin wall , best of luck
J

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Re: Cracked polyester hull after a bad accident

Post by adudinsk » Thu Sep 10, 2020 4:57 am

?? insurance Claim??

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Cougar
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Re: Cracked polyester hull after a bad accident

Post by Cougar » Thu Sep 10, 2020 7:30 am

MacCharter wrote:
Mon Aug 31, 2020 2:55 pm
However, my fiberglass technician told me the problem is the twin-hull technique and the incredible thin Gelcoat layer over the Fiberglass. It makes it very difficult to establish a homogenous and new Gelcoat layer over the repaired area and connect it with the existing Gelcoat so that you can't see the border from old to new.
I feel sorry for you and I know how it feels. Two years ago we lost the nose of our :macx: in a collision with a much larger, former cargo ship. The damage was extensive, though much smaller than yours. The entire laminate had to be built up again and the specialist did a wonderful job. However, he didn't apply gelcoat as a finish, but a polyurethane laquer. You can only tell the difference if you look very closely. And you have to know.
As for the inner shell, I would repair it and try to camouflage the scars by creating something useful for the galley.

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Re: Cracked polyester hull after a bad accident

Post by Herschel » Wed Sep 16, 2020 2:31 pm

Judging from the location of the damage, it appears to me you were the privileged or stand on vessel. Is the insurance to which you referred yours or the other guys? I would think that if it is the other guys, you would have the option of taking the money to use toward a rebuild. If it is yours, I suspect you have to give the company the boat in order to get the money. Is that the case? The reason I ask is that it seems like it would be a repairable damage, but being able to keep the boat and still having the funds from the settlement would be crucial. I have a '98 26X, and I routinely wonder if the boat is at that age where just painting it would be the most desirable option as opposed to trying to nurse the Gelcoat along a few more years. Worst case scenario, after the repair, you can paint the whole boat. You might want to check the YouTube channel for Sailing Magic Carpet. It is a 28 footer from the 70's. The couple that sail Magic Carpet completely rebuilt the stern after a crane dropped it! It shows you what is possible. And OBTW, the guy in the video is Swiss and did the work in Switzerland! 8) I bet you could subscribe to his channel, and he might be able to give you some good local advice. He is currently on the Rheine River. Good luck which ever way you go. Sorry you have to deal with this. :|

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Re: Cracked polyester hull after a bad accident

Post by kmclemore » Sat Sep 19, 2020 7:56 pm

This sort of repair is not at all impossible. I have repaired many a fiberglass car (mostly Lotuses) and I've fixed a LOT worse. Ideally, you could take a mold from another Mac and then fabricate a new part in that mold, feathering the edges... then, cut out the old part to the extents of the new part, feathering the edges, then pop the mold and part onto your boat, brace it in place, then join the two from the inside. As to the liner, that's a bit more difficult to repair, however, I think Highlander's solution solves that issue.

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1st Sail
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Re: Cracked polyester hull after a bad accident

Post by 1st Sail » Sat Sep 19, 2020 9:48 pm

Check out the surface results of Alex Seal. Following is a Youtube channel I found that tested the application of AlexSeal using a roller. The results were impressive.

:macm:

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Re: Cracked polyester hull after a bad accident

Post by MacCharter » Fri Sep 25, 2020 2:21 pm

Dear Mac Sailors
Thanks a lot for all your kind and useful replies. In the end, I made a deal with my insurance that they will pay the repair cost up to 18'000 USD. I guess it will cover most of the Expenses. Even my Shipyard experts are confident that they will get the work done propper and the repair areas are almost not awareable as long as you don't know.

Best regards
steff

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Re: Cracked polyester hull after a bad accident

Post by Herschel » Fri Sep 25, 2020 6:33 pm

MacCharter wrote:
Fri Sep 25, 2020 2:21 pm
Dear Mac Sailors
Thanks a lot for all your kind and useful replies. In the end, I made a deal with my insurance that they will pay the repair cost up to 18'000 USD. I guess it will cover most of the Expenses. Even my Shipyard experts are confident that they will get the work done proper and the repair areas are almost not awareable as long as you don't know.

Best regards
steff
Great news. Nice work. Glad you can keep your boat and get it repaired. 8)

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