Hull Wood Rot Under Fiberglass


Old 04-14-04, 11:04 AM
Visiting Guest
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need advice

Hi everyone,need a little advice on fiberglass boats. I had a pontoon for the last 10 years and recently sold it .I was thinking of buying a used bass boat or fish ski boat and I am very skeptical about fiberglass because I heard the wood can be all rotted out under the fiberglass. If this is true is there any way that this can be checked. Thanks in advance.
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Old 04-14-04, 11:30 AM
Sharp Advice's Avatar
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Join Date: Feb 1998
Location: The Shake and Bake State USA
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Hello; Steve

The concern is the wood framing and not the fiberglass. Vaild concern when and if purchasing an older boat.

Especially from a private party of which you do not know. One just never knows the history of that vessel and or the true reason for the boats sale.

May have wood rot and or water damage not visable upon inspection. Since the boat is a small vessel, an appraiser is not needed.

Appreaisers do this type of detailed inspection on large boats paid fro by the buyer. Small boat buyers would be best to lift floor boards where possible to do a visual inspection themselves.

Any boat owner whom does not or will not allow such be done by the buyer...buyer beware.

Such a boat purchased through a dealer reseller, an inspection should be allowed and or may not be needed based on any trust in the dealer/reseller and or warranty offered.

Question than would be which option would you personally be comfortable with? Dealer. Dealers reputation. Warranty. Your own inspection.

All based on from whom the boat will be purchased, how the boat will be purchased and what comfort level is acceptable to you, the buyer.

Does not exactly offer you a sure fire means nor a direct answer to your vaild question. Which has to be based on not being on site and in person advice, opinions and suggestions.

But it does provide, in my opinion, options which need to be explored and those based upon my own personal experiences, as a boater and boat buyer in the past, etc.

Regards, Good Luck & Safe Boating.
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Old 04-14-04, 06:29 PM
Desi501's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Boynton Beach Florida
Posts: 2,207
The style of boat you are considering generally uses very little wood. You may find it in the floor which is very easy to replace. Some larger boats use it in the transom and the stringers. It's pretty easy to tap around on the transom looking for hollow areas. You could drill a small hole in the transom to look for wetness. Wet wood will eventually rot.
Old 04-15-04, 10:47 AM
Ed Imeduc's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Mountain Williams Missouri
Posts: 18,389
On small boats like this about all you have to look for is in the transom. If the motor is a bolt on you can pull one or two of the bolts and feel in there if the transom is dry. Also when you see the small spider cracks it can just be in the gel coat not in the hul . But still check them out.Another thing ask if the boat was inside or covered all the time. Lots of boats that have a foam or polystyrene core and set with water in them. It will get down into the core and will make the boat heaver and run slower. On a used boat there are a lot of things to look for. But on a small boat now days there isnt much wood.

My .02 cents

Old 02-29-12, 05:51 AM
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: south africa
Posts: 1
another query on same topic of wood in fiber glass boat

I have a similar query to that of 'visiting guest'. I am considering buying a small fiber glass fishing boat, with small cabin on front of boat. It dates from the 1960's and sports a beautiful retro design.
However, the boat has been on its trailer out of the water for at least two years, out of doors, and is in not a particular good state. I can get it cheaply but am unsure whether the possible problems will not eventually outweigh the cheap price.

The deck has holes in it where the fiber class has given way. The wood directly underneath is rotten, and I can spot water below this. I assume then that the stringers are also covered in water. The deck I am willing to replace, but the stringers are a different matter. My question: how critical are wooden stringers on a smallish boats like these? Is the fiber class structure sufficient for ensuring structural integrity, or - if rotten - and i assume they are - should they be replaced?

Thank you!


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