Waxing Philsophical.... a cheap lesson in boat buying

  • 24 Feb 2020 01:12
    Message # 8765551

    Getting serious about putting together my canoe trimaran, the weight of the hulls, which had always seemed a bit excessive to me (I weighed one at 78 lbs (34.5kg), about twice what I felt I could have built them for using ply or skin on frame.... even less using cedar strip.   This was a "bargain" set of Hobie 14 hulls.  I bought the entire boat minus mast sail and standing rigging for $100.   

         A quick cheap set of amas for my canoe trimaran camper.........  Doing what passes for "research" these days (on the web, with Duck Duck Go and questioning people in the know)........ I discovered that my hulls were considerably  heavier than they should have been... and my gut told me.   I also found that they are cored hulls....... whodathunkit!!  You won't find that word in a dictonary ;-).........  I was warned about soft spots that are endemic to old Hobies, and armed with those two bits of knowlege, I examined the hulls again. What I had regarded as normal flex of a fiberglass hull was soon revealed as delamination.  I can push on the hull sides with my foot... or hand, and actually hear the surface tearing away from the core. 

              OOPS.... I had unwittingly bought junk!     At $100, it was not an expensive lesson, and I bought a lot of stuff other than just the hulls.  The rudders alone are worth more than I paid for the works.   Very nicely built rudders designed to kick up, all the hardware and latches, linkage, etc.  I couldn't begin to build them for that.

         Education does not come cheap, but  if it did,  it wouldn't be worth much.   The lesson.... do your "due diligence".     Know what you are buying, what is likely to be wrong with it and how to detect those problems......... In the case of a real boat of course.. get a good survey.

         In this case, I will build the boat using these hulls, but keeping in mind that building a good set of hulls must be planned for....... I want 40 pound hulls, not 80 pounders anyway.   One sailing season, focused on  getting the rig right.  The rig isn't going to care that the boat is too heavy.   A cheap lesson............. Now how to I get rid of two 14' fiberglass hulls?   I have a year or so to figure that one out.   That's the problem with fiberglass boats... it doesn't biodegrade,  it doesn't burn decently.   There must be millions of them in landfills.  

                                                                  H.W.

       " ...there is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in junk-rigged boats" 
                                                               - the Chinese Water Rat

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