Hobie power skiff stringer repair

Discussion in 'Boat Yard Basics' started by jeopardy954, Jun 16, 2017.

  1. jeopardy954

    jeopardy954 Member

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    Hi all,

    Longtime lurker, first-time poster, still boat non-owner....

    I just looked at a Hobie power skiff for sale for 1500, the transom was obviously rotted away, which didn't bother me too much as I'd replace it, but there was a longitudinal crack in the portside stringer, and you could see the foam underneath.

    I pointed it out to the owner (who didn't know much of anything about boats, he was trying to convince me it wasn't an important part!).

    It started at the transom, and ran approximately 2 feet forward, turned toward the hull, and stopped.

    Anyone have any idea if this is repairable, specifically without ripping out the deck? I spotted it through an access hatch in the deck.

    Alternatively.... Anyone in the Miami area with good fiberglass skills looking for a project, he's at 1500 and may go lower! Don't think I'm going to pull the trigger on it. Comes with a running 40 johnson.
     
  2. firecat1981

    firecat1981 BBA Counselor

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    That's probably going to need sectioning the stringer and ripping up the floors. Those boats were well made, but not made to be taken apart like that so it's a bit of work. If you look around you can sometimes find a solid hobie for 3k or so.
     

  3. fjmaverick

    fjmaverick Well-Known Member

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    In 2002 I bought a 1990 hobie skiff with a 1995 evinrude 50 for $1500.
    Id keep looking.
     
  4. jeopardy954

    jeopardy954 Member

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    Ya, that's my instinct, just because I'm not an expert at fiberglass work, but it may make a good project for someone who is.
     
  5. jeopardy954

    jeopardy954 Member

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    By the way, if anyone is interested, I'm pretty sure the hobie power skiff mold is being manufactured by a company called hogfish boats. Haven't heard back directly from them, but it looks identical, there's no way it's not the same boat, although I don't think they're using the same fiberglass stringer system. Also wood free now.
     
  6. predacious

    predacious Well-Known Member

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    there's a few mfgs using the old 15 power skiff mold
     
  7. predacious

    predacious Well-Known Member

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    unfortunately,the power skiffs are famous for transom problems.it's a balsa cored transom,balsa,when it gets wet,it turns into saw dust ! failure point is @ the scuppers....

    stringers can be tricky - never seen them repairable/replaceable without cutting deck


    never seen a boat that was mfg'd to be taken apart ??
     
  8. firecat1981

    firecat1981 BBA Counselor

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    While not specifically made to be taken apart many boats are manufactured in multiple pieces (hull, liner, cap...). Sepraying them without damage, while a pain, is doable. The hobies were made in multiple pieces, but with a process that made it all more like one part and near impossible to take down without cutting. If they used a better core they would be near bulletproof.
     
  9. predacious

    predacious Well-Known Member

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    you're referring to a "3 piece hull",and a "liner" hull...

    both are similar,as far as repairing is concerned - structural repairs usually mean cutting to access...

    better core ? not really the core's fault - it's the mfg process - wood requires sealing,sealing with epoxy - most boats are built with polyester resin.wood rots from lack of proper sealing,simple as that...
    balsa is an excellent core material,light and strong - drawback is,when it gets wet,turns to saw dust...
     
  10. firecat1981

    firecat1981 BBA Counselor

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    I don't disagree as I prefer to build in wood and epoxy, but I've seen a lot of failures with balsa. I think it's a great material for one off race boats, but I'll take ply over it for production due to the difference in how they fail.

    No matter if it's a 2 piece, or 3 piece hull I would rather try seperating, and only cut the liner as a last resort.
     
  11. CapnK

    CapnK I Love microskiff.com and my PowerSkiff!

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    FWIW: The only place balsa was used in HPS construction was in the transom. Treated properly when mounting 'things' to it (overbore mounting location, backfill with solid material before final mounting), balsa works great as a core material. I've got a 1967 Pearson Ariel sailboat, the entire deck is balsa core, yet has been worked on properly over th eyears, and so it is as stiff now as it was when built, 50 years ago.

    Still - not many people do the right thing with boats.

    Such was the case with my '87 HPS transom. I fixed that this year, though, and it wasn't difficult. Couple hours to cut the skin off and dig out the old balsa mush. Re-cored with 1" H100 Divinicel and a heavy layup schedule and it worked out great. Probably less than 20 hours in the whole project. The core in the rest of the boat looks *very* similar.

    The Hogfish is definitely a HPS derivative, the curves at bow and stern 'humps' in the deck mold are exactly the same. They added a strake to the bottom hull chine; not sure if that would have any noticeable effect on the ride, might be as much cosmetic as anything else. If they are smart they'll stay with the original construction method, it's a tough little boat that feels very solid when running, yet is very responsive at the same time. A joy to run.
     
  12. predacious

    predacious Well-Known Member

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    "FWIW: The only place balsa was used in HPS construction was in the transom. Treated properly when mounting 'things' to it (overbore mounting location, backfill with solid material before final mounting)"

    that "solid material" needs to be an epoxy - west system,mixed with 403 adhesive,that's the product I use.attempting to use a cheap,low quality 2 part polyester product will prove a poor choice.polyester products,besides being brittle,are not waterproof - problem with balsa all begins with water intrusion...

    20hrs ? 20hrs,to derig motor,remove core form outside in,prep all surfaces,laminate replacement coring in place,glass over seams - refinish and rerig ?
     
  13. CapnK

    CapnK I Love microskiff.com and my PowerSkiff!

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    I used West 404 bonding filler, along with a 2:1 low visc epoxy I get from a wooden boat builder. 20 hours (maybe) for just de-, cleaning, and re-coring the transom, yes. I do have experience working in glass, in a past life making surfboards/etc on the East Coast and the North Shore, HI. The HPS transom (at least on my Omni-built boat) is double cored, with a 3rd glass layer separating the inner and outer cores. All 3 skins seem to have a nominal 1/4-5/16" thickness. Test boring showed my outer core was fine, only the inner core had gotten wet, and so I did not have to tear down and reshape an entire transom. Yet what really made it so quick to do and easy when it came to finishing was using the Divinicel as the new core. After bedding the that into place, I was able to shape it to minimize any height/level differences at the edges prior to final glassing. Finish work is usually where most of the time is spent, in my experience, so doing the job with that in mind can save one a lot of time.

    The engine work took longer than the transom job because I re-routed all cables and wiring (except steering) under the deck for a cleaner installation. You can see that part of the project beginning in the attached pic.
     

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