Re: pulpit cracks
Thu, 4 Feb 1999 01:11:39 EST

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
West Wight Potter Website at URL
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
In a message dated 2/3/99 7:15:21 AM Pacific Standard Time,

> >Close inspection shows there is no structural damage- just result
> >of over a quarter-century [!] of leverage on fittings that never really
> >adequate backing plates.
> Since this thread continues, I' feel compelled to mention that gelcoat
> cracks result as often from overtightening of the fasteners as from
> torque on the fastened. Thus, there may be no remedies required.

Hi Gang,

Red Wing has all kinds of cracks from 14 years of hard use - including the
type Bill describes. None of them are serious. We have cracks from
overtightened fasteners under one fitting on our much-modified cabintop, where
there is core sandwiched between the fiberglass skins.

There is evidence that our P19 Red Wing has had more than one "close
encounters of the wrong kind" -- there is one area of gelcoat spider cracks
one her port bow where she apparently smacked into something and another on
her stern where the mast must have fallen on the transom. These spots have a
pattern of not-quite-parallel cracks along the top of the toe rail radiating
out from a single point where the impact occurred. The cracks are up to 10
inches long from one end to the other. The good news is that the deck doesn't
flex underneath at all. It seems consistent with an impact that crazed the
brittle gelcoat without compromising the more flexible, underlying fiberglass.

The cracks under the pulpit endplates are different. They're very short, some
only 1/4 inch long. The longest are about 2 inches long. Maybe they're from
a front-end collision but I'm guessing they're from using the pulpit as a
turning point for the mast raising system on my boat. They look very
different from the cracks that are obviously from collisions or mast dropping.
On our new trailer, we'll use the winch on the bow stop, so there won't be any
more stress on the pulpit anyway.

The good news is: None of the gel coat cracks on our 14 year old boat seem
significant to me. The deck is solid and strong everywhere. Someday, when my
pockets are full of extra Boat Bucks, I'll get someone to fix every single
last one of them. But I'm not holding my breath waiting for that day...

Judy B.