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4788 Spider Cracks in Gelcoat

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    4788 Spider Cracks in Gelcoat

    I looked at a 4788 to purchase this past weekend. I noticed there were several areas of spider cracks on the sides above the rubrail (see image).
    How concerned should I be about these?

    #2
    You will find spider cracks on most older boats. The ones in the picture are nothing to worry about.
    1999 Bayliner Ciera 2655
    5.7 Bravo 3

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      #3
      Only way to fix it is to grind them out, then you never know what is under the gel coat.
      Looks like the area was bumped hard against something.
      Pat says: DO-IT-RIGHT THE FIRST TIME!

      Bayliner 3870 "ALASKA33)
      Twin 350 GM power
      Located in Seward, AK
      Retired marine surveyor

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        #4
        No on grinding. It would be nice to seal with Captain Tolley’s. Most older boats have these.
        cglazier - "Fiftybucks"
        1995 2855 7.4 bravo II

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          #5
          I am told the spider cracks in that location are also caused by lifting the boat with straps that pull in too tightly against the rub rail
          1997 4788 with Cummins 5.9 (315 hp)
          12 ft Rendova with 40 hp Merc 4 cycle
          Pacific NW

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            #6
            If the cracks are directly above the lifting strap tags then theoretically that could be the cause.

            Otherwise they are impact damage as Pat indicated

            Yes older boats can get spider cracks, but I can say that my 17 year old 4788 only has them on the swim platform corners, clearly impact damage.

            Pat is also right, if you want to fix them right, grind away the gel coat and re-apply.

            I will say that if I was looking at a 4788 and all else was good, I would not sweat the ones I saw in the photo too badly.

            KEVIN SANDERS
            4788 LISAS WAY
            SEWARD, ALASKA

            Comment


              #7
              Pat and Kevin are absolutely correct if you want to permanently repair spider cracks. They usually are deeper than just the gelcoat. On causes I thought I would give my two cents worth on that. Sometimes they begin at the factory. It is sometimes caused by the workers using wedges to along the edges between the mold and part to get the part to pull out of the mold. They may or may not be apparent immediately. Sometimes it takes a season of use with the stress and flexing of the hull and deck for spider crack to show up. One manufacturer use to just sand and polish spider cracks especially on runabouts with metal flake gelcoat. It was a quick way to make it look better for a while anyway, but the cracks always reappeared later. Eventually they went to fixing the cracks the correct way of grinding out the gelcoat and lamination layers that were damaged. Much more work and expense but the crack would not reappear a few months later. Of course if the operator hit something that was a different story.

              Greg
              Newport, Oregon
              South Beach Marina
              1986 3270 with twin 110 HP Hino diesels. Name of boat "Mr. Darcy"
              Past work history: Prototyping, tooling, and repair for Reinell,. General fiberglass boat repair starting in 1976.
              Also worked as heavy equipment mechanic, and machinery mechanic for over 30 years.

              Comment


                #8
                If it was Impact damage shouldn't also show up on the hull??....I put backing plates under their for the stations I felt they needed to be stronger so I know it's hollow under except for about 1 inch or less... I have the same spider cracks at the lifting areas also and it's caused by lifting straps and the flex in their due to lack of material.You will see these cracks on most 45/47s and others due to this design.And yes the proper way to repair is to remove rub rail grind area out,refiberglass and Gelcoate,then never use a strap hoist again only a "Seawise"type haul out,Our cracks have remained the same scene I quit using the sling type.....Hope this helps....Brad
                Brad & Sharon
                Lady Jake
                1985 4550 EH 700TI /Twin Disc 502
                LaConner,Wa. (summer)
                2003 Scout CC 24' W/225 Yamaha
                kailua Kona,Hi (Winter)

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                  #9
                  Between the cracks and that rusted fitting I'd want to look at other boats as I narrowed my choices.
                  1989 26' then 1994 32' now 2001 39'

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                    #10
                    After repairing all my spider cracks when I bought the boat, I use snubbers on the lines. That should help to prevent it from happening again. The shock wave when the boat is tied up and there are waves really is a major cause of spider cracks around the cleats.
                    Stephan
                    "Mahaiya" 4788
                    Vancouver, BC

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