Tuesday, August 30, 2011


My mainland-moving-here-to-retire friend is on a mission to buy himself a boat. Now I will admit they do increase your reach fishing and diving, but I always liked the description 'a boat-shaped hole in the water you keep afloat by pouring money into' (It was said by some famous person, like my brother, I think.) There was one advertised in the island news... so we were asked to have a look. It had a good motor, by the looks of it, and very elderly dodgy boat attached to that - looked like a 1950 speedboat. The decking - marine ply covered with fiberglass had rotted in part. And the boat didn't look to me like it would handle a big sea well. I wonder... how do you tell?


  1. Absent a marine engineer assessment the only other way is to take it out in a rough sea. If ya'll come back it can handle it.

    Personally I would never buy a boat that has rot that is covered by fiberglass. The repairs are impossible. Working with fiberglass is a freaking pain...not the least of which is that some people develop allergic reaction to it quickly.

    I build rockets that fly to a mile or two high. I use fiberglass because it paints well and is strong enough to hold the bits on when it hits mach. But if a fin breaks I retire the rocket because it _never_ will be as strong as the original build. Few things in life get your adrenaline up like having your rocket loose a fin part shortly after launch and decide to try and imitate a cruise missile.

    Now imagine a hull part letting go along the patch line in a bit of rough water. No thanks!

  2. Quilly, one of the best books I've read for years recounts the misadventures of a professional abalone diver - who had one of the early 'cats (I think IIRC a Shark cat. Good working platform, but shoddy glassing and rotten timber. His story of the 2 hulls splitting is enough to put me off glass forever. That said there are some commercial-fishing built glass boats which are just so tough that they're an investment. But hopefully Peter will get an aluminum boat, which do quite well in our rocky waters (even if hard commercial work does tend to bust them). It's a recreational boat, so should be fine.