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 Post subject: Hobie hull repair
PostPosted: Thu Jun 11, 2015 9:53 pm 
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I just bought a used hobie and trailer for 300 bucks. This will be the first boat that I would have fixed up before. Now i have a few questions about painting the hulls, there are small cracks all along the hulls, how would I repair these? There are patches of lighter areas underneath where I did a bit of sanding, should I worry about them? How much should I sand before I start to paint? Thanks for any and all help!

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 Post subject: Re: Hobie hull repair
PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2015 3:00 pm 
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Location: Nepean S.C. Ottawa, Canada
I'll let SRM and Matt and others give their opinions here....

We don't paint Hobie catamarans.
Paint does not seal, it adds no structural integrity, it adds weight and will eventually peel off.

If the cracks are hairline cracks, that is usually normal 'crazing' which usually affects the gelcoat only.

From the little that I can see from your picture, your Hobie has the deck delaminating from the hulls - check the joint.
That could be the death knell of this summer's sailing OR you can repair with thickened epoxy, hard to tell from the picture.

It is likely that a $300 Hobie might have 'soft' hulls. (You can feel the softness when you press down with your fingers. Or,
if you tap the hulls with a 25c coin, softness = a dull sound).
This is critical around the front cross bar, so check it out.

Your hulls are badly scratched and worn. Assuming they are solid, for fibreglass hulls, clean and buff the hulls, usually with a buffing compound.
If you need to do a 'bottom job' (replace worn fibreglass and gelcoat), that's up to you.

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1989 Hobie SX18 Sail # 1947
'Only two things are infinite, the universe, and human stupidity. But I'm not sure about the former.'


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 Post subject: Re: Hobie hull repair
PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2015 3:36 pm 
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Thanks for the reply, I thought that a two part paint would be good because the boat will be stored outside in florida and I've heard that the sun really does tend to beat up gelcoat quite a bit more compared to paint. I also like the glossiness of paint compared to gelcoat and I do not have any spraying equipment for gelcoat. But if I were to use gelcoat instead is there any specific brand that you would recommend? And how would I go about applying it, should I try to do it by rolling and brushing or buy spraying equipment?


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 Post subject: Re: Hobie hull repair
PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2015 9:45 am 
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Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2005 10:13 am
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Location: Nepean S.C. Ottawa, Canada
I suggest you first concern yourself with STRUCTURAL INTEGRITY.
Cosmetics come later, and BTW, gelcoat is the way to go.

Why don't you search this wonderful Forum for subjects like SOFT HULLS, DELAMINATION, and BOTTOM JOB.
When you have dealt with issues such as ensuring the H16 is solid and safe, then you can deal with other matters.

Fibreglass and epoxy are not that difficult to work with, if you are handy and patient.
Gelcoat has some tricks to it (search Amine Blush on this Forum).

My own suggestion is that if you want to go sailing this summer, you may be better off buying a used boat from others, and combining parts from this and the other Hobie to create one vessel that is seaworthy, one that will last and give you much enjoyment.

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1989 Hobie SX18 Sail # 1947
'Only two things are infinite, the universe, and human stupidity. But I'm not sure about the former.'


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 Post subject: Re: Hobie hull repair
PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2015 5:52 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jul 15, 2012 10:59 am
Posts: 54
300 bucks is nothing just sail that b!tch hard until she breaks. have fun.


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 Post subject: Re: Hobie hull repair
PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2015 11:46 am 
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Joined: Wed May 25, 2011 3:15 pm
Posts: 195
Location: Buffalo, NY
The sun/UV beats up paint and gelcoat all the same. Gel coat is easier to restore than paint, which will either need to be re-painted over, or stripped down and then repainted. With a regular coat of wax, gelcoat will remain glossy. Gel coat is much thicker and provides more protection to your hulls than paint. If gelcoat starts to fade, it's a simple process to buff it back into good shape. Gelcoat is made of polyester resin, the same material the rest of the boat is made of, so it will adhere perfectly. It's purpose is to protect the fiberglass from oxidation, UV damage and water absorbtion of the fiberglass. Paint is somewhat less effective in these regards, and will start to fade, crack or peel later down the road. There's a reason that nearly every fiberglass boat on the water is "painted" with gelcoat! Unlike paint, brand doesn't really matter, it's all the same product. Spraying gel coat, if necessary, can be done in the same way as paint, with a typical air compressor, cheap spray gun and some thinner. It's a very involved project though, so better leave that until the winter.

This article is an excellent how-to that will tell you everything you need to know about gelcoat restoration: http://www.fiberglassics.com/RESTORATIO ... G-GEL-COAT

All that said, I would have serious concerns about the structural condition of a boat selling for $300. Maybe the owner just wanted to get rid of it, but more likely it's seen years of regret long before he decided to sell it. I would check every aspect of that boat for soft spots, loose rivets, cracks and frays, etc. Note that most everything on a Hobie is reparable, aside from widespread softness of the hulls.

Take a good look at the rigging, too. Old rigging should really be replaced, especially if it shows any signs of wear, stress, fatigue or fraying. Shroud anchor pins too, as these can fail almost without warning when fatigued. Check the forward crossbar for any cracks. If the boat is stiff, the hulls are solid and the rigging is good, you've got a good boat! If any of these are compromised, they should be repaired or replaced. Otherwise it could lead to a dismasting on the water, which can be very dangerous.

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Mike
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'79 H18 standard 'Rocketman II' sail #14921


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 Post subject: Re: Hobie hull repair
PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2015 9:05 pm 
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I've done a bit of snooping around my boat, tapping and pressing mostly. There are one or two slightly deeper scratches that I am sure that I can repair, a bit of crunching when pressed down on the deck of the left bow, you can kind of see the foam through the fiberglass on the right hull (I will try to add some more layers), and maybe two soft spots from what I can tell. Or all of the hulls except for two spots do not have soft spots. I messed up my shoulder so I am not too concerned about having the boat ready and sailing it for the summer. But what I do want is a beautiful boat so I can practice some basic repairs as I do hope to move on to larger boats in a few years. So for the cracks that I showed pictures of should I just try to sand it down and spray over it?


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 Post subject: Re: Hobie hull repair
PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2015 5:39 am 
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Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2005 10:13 am
Posts: 763
Location: Nepean S.C. Ottawa, Canada
Scratches are not a problem, crunching is a major problem, and frankly I would expect a few soft spots and crunching from a $300 30 year old Hobie.

What is more worrying is that you said you have a bad shoulder - our sympathies.... and our warnings that Hobie sailing can be 'an active sport' very quickly once you are out on the water. To be safe, you might want to read up about the dreaded capsize, and how to 'right' the boat, and see if your shoulder can handle that.

If you have time and patience, (and some $), anything can be repaired.
You mentioned 'spraying'..... with gelcoat?

_________________
1989 Hobie SX18 Sail # 1947
'Only two things are infinite, the universe, and human stupidity. But I'm not sure about the former.'


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 Post subject: Re: Hobie hull repair
PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2015 6:32 am 
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Joined: Tue Jul 19, 2005 6:29 pm
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Location: High Point, NC
Those marks appear to me to be under the gelcoat/paint, left from an orbital sander from a previous repair.


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 Post subject: Re: Hobie hull repair
PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2015 7:31 am 
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Joined: Wed May 25, 2011 3:15 pm
Posts: 195
Location: Buffalo, NY
Crunching is a sign of a soft spot. Like John said, for the age of the boat and the price, they're to be expected. If it's small or in a low stress area, fixing it isn't a problem. If it's large or in a high stress area, you can try fixing it, and it'll probably hold up, but I'd still be a little nervous about it. The highest stress on the boat is pretty much in the deck, bottom and side walls between the forward crossbar and the bow/bridle wire tangs, with some similar but slightly more localized stresses around the shroud anchor pins/plates & daggerboard trunk.

Can't see the pictures for some reason, so I can't comment on those. In all, I'd say a Hobie is an excellent place to start learning about boat repair & restoration!

Note that filling with epoxy is the "quick & dirty" fix to a soft spot. The proper, professional repair is considerably more invasive and expensive, requiring the fiberglass in the area to be removed and re-laminated. On a Hobiecat, nobody really bothers with this, but if you took a larger pleasure boat to a repair shop with a soft spot, they'd more likely replace/re-glass the delaminated area. Fortunately the problem seems less prevalent on the bigger boats, but on a Hobie, soft spots are an age thing, and once you get one, more are sure to follow. It seems that the adhesive bond between the polyester resin and the foam core just seems to break down after 30-40 years!


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 Post subject: Re: Hobie hull repair
PostPosted: Fri Jun 19, 2015 12:03 am 
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Joined: Mon Sep 15, 2014 12:34 pm
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Location: Hartland, WI
300 isn't bad if you got a good trailer and solid mast. From the photos it looks like the deck is coming loose from the hull, That, and the crunching noise, would make it a parts boat. You may be best off looking for a boat in need of a trailer. Personally, I prefer the older solid masts over the newer comptip, so that may be a plus for you also.
The hulls cut up real quick with a saws-all. You can see just how they are constructed then.

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JKK
83 Hobie 14 Carumba
85 Hobie 16 Cat Fever


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 Post subject: Re: Hobie hull repair
PostPosted: Fri Jun 19, 2015 12:17 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 25, 2011 3:15 pm
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Location: Buffalo, NY
Finally saw the pictures. I agree that the "cracks" are cosmetic damage from a power sander. I'm not so sure that they're under the gelcoat, but either way they look deep. You'd probably either have to leave it alone, or sand most of the gel coat off and then re-coat it. I also agree with cpnsoo, that hull lip looks bad. You can glue it back together with epoxy and then clamp it as it cures, as I've done this on my boat before. Still, I'd be extra cautious with this boat. Before putting too much into repairs, I'd check the whole boat over again. The hulls should be completely solid. You should be able to sit on them, stand on them, put some force on the sides, without hearing any crunching, feeling any sponginess... you should see or feel no displacement or deflection whatsoever. Check the underside/edge of the hull lips. These should be glued together. Any separation, cracking or peeling needs to be fixed. Check the shroud anchor pins, bow tangs, pylons... make sure that all the high stress anchor points of the rigging is tightly secured and the surrounding hull section is solid. If you're absolutely confident that the rest of the hulls are okay, I'd repair the soft spots and hull/deck separation, then step the mast and get some tension on the rig. Check over all the rigging for kinks, frayed wires, corrosion, etc. beforehand. If you see any flexing in the hulls, decks, etc, I'd walk away from it. There are some boats that are unfortunately beyond saving, that would cost more to fix than it would be to buy a brand new one. A Hobie 16 is a $12,000 boat new. A good used boat usually costs at least $1,500, but typically more... and not all used boats are worth the asking price. I'm afraid you might have to spend several thousand on this boat, just to make it seaworthy.

However, if the boat proves to be structurally sound, the next thing I'd do is a bubble test to check for leaks... you wipe down the hull with soapy water and then GENTLY blow air into the drain plug... you're looking for maybe about 0.1 psi increase in pressure on the inside of the hull, then look for bubbles that indicate holes, cracks or deck separation. Check around the pylons for cracks and leaks. If there are no major leaks, and the boat holds up under some stress, then I'd continue.

Are you sure you're seeing foam on the right hull? Ordinarily, the worst that you'd get is gelcoat that's worn through, exposing the fiberglass underneath, or fiberglass wear. To wear through to the foam would be highly unusual. The foam is only on the sides and deck of the hulls, the bottoms were pure fiberglass. Also, fiberglass is clear, so if the gelcoat has worn off, you can usually see light through the fiberglass. This does not necessarily mean that the fiberglass is worn thin, however.

cpnsoo is also right about the trailer and mast. $300 is actually a pretty good deal on a mast and trailer, and I'm sure the aluminum extrusions are in good shape, so you still got your money's worth, even if the boat's a bust.

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Mike
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'79 H18 standard 'Rocketman II' sail #14921


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 Post subject: Re: Hobie hull repair
PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2015 1:32 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jun 11, 2015 6:58 pm
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Thanks for all the replies guys, it is very much appreciated. You guys are right, unless I buy used parts for the boat it will ending up costing way too much. I may get another one and use either one for parts. Im sorry I phrased it wrong, you can see through the fiberglass, there is no gelcoat left above the area. It does come with the older mast without the newer fancy comptip. I'll try to get another hobie, with complete parts and everything, and hopefully with better hulls too. It just doesn't make sense to my wallet for me to get all new parts separately for a boat so old in such a condition.


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