New Boat Owners: Notice

General boating discussion
kmorin
Donator 08','09,'10,'11,'12,'13,'14,'15,'16,'17,'18'
Posts: 1408
Joined: Mon Aug 18, 2008 1:37 am
Location: Kenai, Alaska

New Boat Owners: Notice

#1

Post by kmorin » Wed Dec 26, 2018 4:25 pm

this is a report of my exposure to some "NAME" brand boats' that were shipped to Alaska, some built here too, and a general notice of potential but VERY AVOIDABLE defects.

When a boat is being fitted out- the wiring is added and it is most often multi-stranded copper and those wire types are fitting to crimp style terminal ends to mount to electronics and DC powered wipers, motors and other hardware. If the insulation is stripped a bit too far (most often done by eye) there will be a gap from the insulation to the shoulder of the crip fitting ; revealing bare conductor. MAny/most/lots of electrical techs will then trim the conductor's end by 1/16" or 3/32" to get the insert depth correct so the conductors' insulation shoulders evenly to the crimp fitting's shoulder or plastic skirt.

It is these trimmings that seem they are being left in the bilge?

Evidently (?) *** there have b e e n some, (not naming names but) of hull pitting and holes from some source like this? I'm asking new owners to make specific inspections themselves- instances of the ends of these wires being trimmed and the tiny stub ends of copper wire left in the bilge?

In our area of the Cook Inlet there many (most) Seattle built <40'er's of the forward cabin twin outboard live aboard class welded aluminum boats. Until recently they have been reliable but... In the past two years I've been asked to inspect (the local Marine Surveyor has been in communications about this as well) and suggest reliable methods to repair "Swiss Cheese Bilge" hulls!!

The conclusion I've reached (speculative and circumstantial) is that wire end trimmings from fitting out- are being left in the bilge. & - when they get wet- the copper-to-aluminum battery formed, is corroding little holes all the way through (in 5 separate cases) the hull!

It is a fact these boats (in question; but not named) are suffering holes in the hulls. What is not firm and factual is the cause... that is my (mine alone) speculation.

If you buy a new >26<40' footer I'd suggest you make sure you and the builder vacuum the bilges - or you do so personally (??) so that there cannot be any question of tiny copper wire trimmings being left in YOUR bilge?

If all new owners, who read this site; INSIST on a bilge inspection with a magnifying glass (no exaggeration) - then the builders will become more thorough- until then.... ? these new boats may continue to show up with holes bored through their hulls within a couple of seasons of launch?

I may be wrong in presuming the wire ends are the culprit? but i cannot really say what else would 'drill' those uniform holes- any suggestion welcomed in reply? What other very reactive items could we expect to see in the bilge of a welded aluminum boat?

Any reply and speculation, or explanation is very welcomed.

Cheers,
Kevin Morin
Kenai, AK
kmorin

User avatar
gandrfab
Posts: 412
Joined: Fri Mar 28, 2008 12:33 pm
Location: Edgewater Fl

Re: New Boat Owners: Notice

#2

Post by gandrfab » Thu Dec 27, 2018 11:34 am

Does not sound like a fun fix.

Chaps
Donator '09
Posts: 2144
Joined: Sun Jan 13, 2008 12:19 am
Location: Seattle, WA

Re: New Boat Owners: Notice

#3

Post by Chaps » Sun Dec 30, 2018 12:09 am

I'm under lots of contemporary alloy boats (painting bottoms) and I've seen that pin hole issue only once in a home built . . . wish I knew what brand you are talking about I'd keep a close eye on 'em
1987 24' LaConner pilothouse workboat, 225 Suzuki
Image
please view and like: https://www.facebook.com/bottompainting/

Tfitz
Donator '16
Posts: 329
Joined: Mon Jun 23, 2014 10:08 pm

Re: New Boat Owners: Notice

#4

Post by Tfitz » Sun Dec 30, 2018 7:16 pm

Dadgumit electricians anyhow! Hard to get good help these days!!

kmorin
Donator 08','09,'10,'11,'12,'13,'14,'15,'16,'17,'18'
Posts: 1408
Joined: Mon Aug 18, 2008 1:37 am
Location: Kenai, Alaska

Re: New Boat Owners: Notice

#5

Post by kmorin » Sun Dec 30, 2018 11:59 pm

Chaps, I'm not willing to go public with the boats' name brand as that is something they're likely to know about- and fixing the problems we've seen is their responsibility- I don't need any legal issues at this age!!!

I have another tale of a boat with holes along the major seams!!!s Keel & Chine!~!!! evenly spaced 1/8" or larger holes!!!
??
The builder admits to using a jig-to-plate bolt hole in their build!!!!! THEN..... and I mean THENN... they've admitted to a Surveyor they "just MIG them closed"... and the Surveyor found evenly spaced, uniform sized, holes in the boat! Somewhat exactly where they were drilled and inadequately filled by the substandard (idiot is the term that comes to my mind) "builder".

Tfitz, anyone who leaves junk of any kind in the bilge is just as much a problem as the 'lecTricians' so don't feel I'm singling your trade out for riduKULE.

just a note to everyone, builder, tradesmen, buyers, owners.... clean the bilge! and don't leave bilge water to stand and cause these problems.

Cheers,
Kevin Morin
Kenai, AK
kmorin

kmorin
Donator 08','09,'10,'11,'12,'13,'14,'15,'16,'17,'18'
Posts: 1408
Joined: Mon Aug 18, 2008 1:37 am
Location: Kenai, Alaska

Re: New Boat Owners: Notice

#6

Post by kmorin » Mon Dec 31, 2018 3:35 pm

As long as we're on the subject of potential problems with absolutely new (within a few years) welded boats.... and since I have explained and argued for acid etching the mill scale off of the new sheet goods (so many times that everyone is probably tired of listening to me.... ?) I will illustrate why I have the ideas about mill scale. [And why I call myself the Mill Scale Gnat-Zee of the AAB.com Forum]

first image shows a closeup of the paint line between a clear coated topsides and an upper topsides paint or color band. The area under the pain (blue at the top) was not etched- as near as can be seen from the color being darker gray and showing mill scale left intact. I do not know (or have any hint of ) the painting procedure- and I'm not saying this paint lifting is happening on 100% of the topsides- after a few years of use.
However, the boat's paint is lifting, and the clear coated area seems to have trapped moisture and is causing 'flowers' to form under that coating? its not for certain- but... the lower areas being lighter colored- it appears this area was etched?? that is not something I know- but am conjecturing from this image.
Mill Scale_1.jpg
Mill Scale_1.jpg (48.3 KiB) Viewed 515 times
managing attachments is not very clear to me? The lower image shows the obvious corrosion cell just under the original blue paint line- indicating the paint wasn't chemically bonded to the metal- not sure what came first? no primer was used? - the primer didn't etch the metal to bond? the paint did adhere but the lower edge of the exposed mill scale provided a corrosion path under the paint film?

anyway we view this the paint was not applied in a manner that will stay on the boat- as indicated by the corrosion cells and bubbled paint film in these images. Even if this was etched- without a chromium oxide conversion (allodyne etc) there appears to be a very temporary bond to the metal by the paint?

I'm not a painter by trade, but have painted numerous of my own welded aluminum boats. And those I've not painted I've etched, and I don't see paint lifting on those I've painted and I don't see the white flower corrosion spots beginning on any of my boats. I'm suggesting that as long as a reader of the forum is considering spending all the money a welded aluminum boat of this class costs (!!!!) wouldn't it make sense to insure you know what will be expected of your builder in the contract?

If you're told that "we've always done it that way" or "We've never had any problems like that"- then why not ask for a visit to three owners' boats that are 2-3 years old? "Trust but Verify" as Ronald Reagan used to say.

For the uneducated welded aluminum boat owner: Shiny is not good! might look good for a first season or so, but I've seen that shine turn into problems- where the dull gray or whitish gray always seems to last and last?? Word to the wise.

Cheers,
Kevin Morin
Kenai, AK
Attachments
Mill Scale_2.jpg
Mill Scale_2.jpg (55.65 KiB) Viewed 515 times
Mill Scale_3.jpg
Mill Scale_3.jpg (57.19 KiB) Viewed 515 times
kmorin

Post Reply Previous topicNext topic