Phantom 18 repairs/rebuild

Questions about boat repairs with our resins and fiberglass: hull patches, transoms and stringers, foam, rot etc.
Mike Garone
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Phantom 18 repairs/rebuild

Post by Mike Garone » Fri Feb 14, 2020 10:28 am

Hey guys,

New to the forum and boat building/repair. Last year I picked up a Phantom 18 in a trade. The boat had a few soft spots on the back deck and the console was delaminating. Since picking it up the soft spots in the back have spread and I have found the front 1/2 of the casting platform is soft and a soft spot has formed in the forward starboard corner of the deck and another on the port gunwale.

Originally I was going to make spot repairs but now I am planning to take up all the decks, console and the gunwales and replacing with all new ply and glassing everything. My concern is the boat may have other water intrusion issues as I took it to a scale and with the trailer, some miscellaneous gear, Evinrude 88spl and about 20 gallons of fuel the boat weighed about 3000# (I believe the hull weight is supposed to be about 800#). I know I might be opening up a huge can of worms and may have water intrusion in the stringers and hull as well.

I have a ton of questions and any input you guys is appreciated. Mainly I want to figure out what I am getting into. How can I effectively evaluate the integrity of the hull? I spoke with an acquaintance and he recommended tapping all over the boat with an awl and listening for spots that sound dead. I have done that on the decks and a little on the hull itself but I am having some issues differentiating the sound near areas where the bulkheads come into the sides/bottom of the hull. I love the layout of the boat, and want to make her like new again but if the hull itself needs repair I am thinking about scrapping the project, pulling the motor and looking for a new hull. What type of marine ply do you recommend for the deck/stringers, and worst case scenario (deck and stringers need to be replaced) what type of time and cost am I looking at to complete this project. I am not looking for a yacht finish, more function and fishability.

Sorry to be long winded and again thanks for any and all advise.

Mike



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Re: Phantom 18 repairs/rebuild

Post by Reid » Fri Feb 14, 2020 11:07 am

Mike,

Welcome to the Forum! I'm sure you will find a lot of help from our builders on this project.

The first place I would start would be doing some additional investigation.
1. Do you know if the original builder of the Phantom did a build thread on this or any other Forum? Did they document the build with lots of photos? If you had some good photos we can look and see what kind of work they did and what kind of materials they used. If built correctly and with the proper materials this hull should not be having these issues, unless there has been some serious neglect since the boat was built.
2. Were you able to get the original plans? If so, you simply need to rebuild/repair from those plans. The plans will tell you the lamination schedule and plywood thickness to be used. If you need a set of plans, please contact me at our shop 772-742-8535.
3. It sounds like there are quite a bit of soft spots. You will probably need to open up those areas and see what you are working with. There is really not a good way to check for water intrusion other than to cut some access holes in the deck/sole and see what's going on underneath. Soft spots can also be caused by the stringers and/or frames becoming detached from either the hull bottom or the underside of the sole/decks. If the original builder followed the plans, and you have a set of plans to reference, this will help you decide where to cut access holes.

This may sound like a daunting task but make sure you do all of your investigation before starting any repairs. Any and all wet wood and/or foam needs to come out of boat.

Best of luck!
-Reid
Someone asked me, if I were stranded on a desert island what book would I bring... "How to Build a Boat."
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Re: Phantom 18 repairs/rebuild

Post by Jeff » Fri Feb 14, 2020 11:44 am

Mike, Welcome to the Forum!! The good thing is you have already made an excellent decision by joining our Builder's Forum!! You will receive support and guidance from our group of Boat Builders!! Again, sounds like a good bit of work, let's get the investigation accomplished before you start buying materials or a bunch of time & labor!! Again, welcome to the Forum, Jeff

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Re: Phantom 18 repairs/rebuild

Post by cape man » Fri Feb 14, 2020 12:34 pm

Pictures and more history of the boat's build and life will help. 3000 lbs is very fat, and you almost certainly have water in the foam below the deck, or some very saturated ply.

Agree with Reid that if the builder used true marine ply and epoxy, followed the lamination schedule, you shouldn't be seeing these issues. If you have areas on top that you know are "soft", surgically removing them may tell a lot.

A hull up rebuild may be more work and frustration than pulling the motor and hardware and building from scratch. The hull itself is pretty fast and easy compared to the stringers, bulkheads, sole, decks, hatches, console, gunwales, etc. If it were me I would try and find a place below the console and open up an inspection hole. I dont have the plans but there shouldn't be a stringer running up the middle.

It is a gorgeous design, and I will follow your adventure.
The world always seems brighter when you've just made something that wasn't there before - Neil Gaiman

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Re: Phantom 18 repairs/rebuild

Post by Mike Garone » Fri Feb 14, 2020 3:07 pm

Reid wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 11:07 am
Mike,

Welcome to the Forum! I'm sure you will find a lot of help from our builders on this project.

The first place I would start would be doing some additional investigation.
1. Do you know if the original builder of the Phantom did a build thread on this or any other Forum? Did they document the build with lots of photos? If you had some good photos we can look and see what kind of work they did and what kind of materials they used. If built correctly and with the proper materials this hull should not be having these issues, unless there has been some serious neglect since the boat was built.
2. Were you able to get the original plans? If so, you simply need to rebuild/repair from those plans. The plans will tell you the lamination schedule and plywood thickness to be used. If you need a set of plans, please contact me at our shop 772-742-8535.
3. It sounds like there are quite a bit of soft spots. You will probably need to open up those areas and see what you are working with. There is really not a good way to check for water intrusion other than to cut some access holes in the deck/sole and see what's going on underneath. Soft spots can also be caused by the stringers and/or frames becoming detached from either the hull bottom or the underside of the sole/decks. If the original builder followed the plans, and you have a set of plans to reference, this will help you decide where to cut access holes.

This may sound like a daunting task but make sure you do all of your investigation before starting any repairs. Any and all wet wood and/or foam needs to come out of boat.

Best of luck!
-Reid
Thanks Reid,

I got the boat from someone a guy who got the boat from the guy who built it. I don't think the original builder (I be believe tunacious) posted a detailed thread as I found pictures of the boat when it was originally built as he has just 4 posts. If the dates are correct and the boat was completed in 2014 like the photos on here and the title indicate I agree something was not done correctly for the amount of rot that has occurred.

I am going to try and find have someone go over the boat with me to determine if the outer shell is structurally sound, if it is I will be giving you a call to get a set of plans.

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Re: Phantom 18 repairs/rebuild

Post by Mike Garone » Fri Feb 14, 2020 3:10 pm

cape man wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 12:34 pm
Pictures and more history of the boat's build and life will help. 3000 lbs is very fat, and you almost certainly have water in the foam below the deck, or some very saturated ply.

Agree with Reid that if the builder used true marine ply and epoxy, followed the lamination schedule, you shouldn't be seeing these issues. If you have areas on top that you know are "soft", surgically removing them may tell a lot.

A hull up rebuild may be more work and frustration than pulling the motor and hardware and building from scratch. The hull itself is pretty fast and easy compared to the stringers, bulkheads, sole, decks, hatches, console, gunwales, etc. If it were me I would try and find a place below the console and open up an inspection hole. I dont have the plans but there shouldn't be a stringer running up the middle.

It is a gorgeous design, and I will follow your adventure.
There are no stringers in the middle and I have a large access hatch right in the middle of the deck. I will be shooting some pics later today and adding them to this thread.

Thanks!

Mike Garone
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Re: Phantom 18 repairs/rebuild

Post by Mike Garone » Fri Feb 14, 2020 8:29 pm

Unrelated but is it possible to upload and post pictures via smartphone? If so is there an app of other method to do so.

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Re: Phantom 18 repairs/rebuild

Post by cape man » Fri Feb 14, 2020 9:00 pm

There was a tab next options for attachments but its gone!
The world always seems brighter when you've just made something that wasn't there before - Neil Gaiman

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Re: Phantom 18 repairs/rebuild

Post by Mike Garone » Sat Feb 15, 2020 5:40 pm

Here are a few pics

The area with the X's are soft areas. The area with the plastic hatch was already replaced by the previous owner.
Image

Soft area in the starboard side of the deck
Image

Deterioration of the plywood deck plywood on top of the compartment in the bow peak.
Image

Image

Under the gunwale
Image

Soft spot on gunwale
Image

Deterioration of ply between hatches on back deck
Image

Glass separation at seam of back deck
Image

Console
Image

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Re: Phantom 18 repairs/rebuild

Post by Fuzz » Sat Feb 15, 2020 7:33 pm

I got a bad feeling about that puppy :help: Lots of bad places all over the boat. Just a guess from the pictures but it looks like either low quality plywood or no glass was used. Maybe both. CapeMan is right it may well be better to strip the boat and build a new one the right way. Sorry I know that is not what you wanted to hear. I would go ahead and open her up so you know what you have. I do not think putting a few scab fixes are going to work out.

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