If you find a boat with sealed off hull compartments you should always ask yourself, what is the boat builder hiding?
The Main Problems This Causes
Not being able to see into or access your hull compartments at all can be a big problem. There’s no way to know what’s going on down there, or if there is damage that could compromise the functionality or lifespan of the vessel. For instance, if a small impact poked a little hole into the hull, how would you get to it to plug it up? In fact, you may not even know it’s there and wonder why your ship looks like it’s slowly sinking. Furthermore, with more and more builders cutting costs by not properly attaching decks to hulls, it’s even easier for water to seep through the deck joints. You also might have leaky plumbing or a build up of condensation from your A/C. And where does all that water go? It goes right into the empty void spaces that make up your hull compartments. Worst of all, if your plywood stringers have been painted over with gel coat rather than wrapped in fiberglass like they’re supposed to be, you may even end up with rot.
How To Fix It
Although some people will point out that there should be limber holes in the stringers to help with draining any water that’s getting in, but once again in order to make sure that the vessel even has these limber holes (which some don’t), you have to actually be able to see into the hull. Another “solution” often seen is the use of foam to fill the empty voids, but even that is only an ill-conceived notion, and not a viable remedy. The only way to get a full picture of what’s going on underneath is to make the areas accessible by creating at least one small hatch for each concealed area. Although the process isn’t too difficult, it is time consuming and must be done precisely. If you’re unsure of your abilities to do it yourself, you can oftentimes have your yard do it for you. Either way, at least you’ll finally know what’s going on down there!
Need Some Help?
Anytime you’re looking at buying a boat, you should always consult a professional marine surveyor, like CAS Marine Surveyor. However, when it comes to sealed off hull compartments, even the most skilled marine surveyor may not be able to help you determine if there’s anything you should know about going on underneath. They will, of course, be able to tell you that the compartments are sealed off and that there could possibly be undetected problems that may cause hassle later on. In this case, the best you can do is trust the advice of your marine surveyor and, if you do purchase the vessel, add access hatches as soon as you can. If you are considering the purchase of a new or used boat and are looking for a marine surveyor, call Christian today at 1.810.531.0992 or fill out the form in the sidebar to schedule your free consultation.