13' Whaler Rebuild?

Questions about boat repairs with our resins and fiberglass: hull patches, transoms and stringers, foam, rot etc.
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13' Whaler Rebuild?

Post by mindunderwater » Wed Jul 02, 2014 2:47 pm

Has anyone done a rebuild / restore on an older 13' BW? I'm interested in maybe (maybe!) doing one. I've always liked the design and how solid they are but, like anything else there's things to watch out for. I haven't picked out a hull (YET) but I'm in the hunt now.

What should I be looking for / looking out for? Is there any year-range to be leery of? Most of the hulls I've seen have been 'beaten up'. One in particular that I haven't yet seen in person has some pretty good gouges in the hull (one almost a full inch and it chipped off gelcoat in the area) but my understanding from those over at CW (who are of course possibly biased) is that they're worth repairing. Too, almost anything on them is 'repairable'.

Any thoughts, experience or input would be awesome. I've loved these since sitting in an 11' paddling about cleaning up & painting grand-dad's boat in the harbor as a kid.



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Re: 13' Whaler Rebuild?

Post by tech_support » Thu Jul 03, 2014 9:47 am

Has anyone done a rebuild / restore on an older 13' BW? I'm interested in maybe (maybe!) doing one.
The problem I have whalers is the construction. They are basically made like a surfboard or cooler; thin skins with a PU foam filling. It is true that if you use dense enough foam, and do it in a mold, you can get the PU foam to "bond" to the skins, resulting in a stiff/light board/boat/cooler. BUT (big but) its only good so long as that foam is bonded to the skins, if/when it gives you just have a block of foam with a glass coating that will peal off like a banana (I have a good story about that happening :wink: ).

That being said, for 13' little skiff, it works just fine. I would not have any issue owning one for a small river boat.

Repairing is a bit of a problem though, you can never know your repair is strong enough. The only way to "know" would be to remove the foam and build a real grid structure (stingers and/or frames), you can then fill it back full of foam.

I almost bought a 13' a few months ago to use as our next project boat, they are super poplar and have a cult following

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Re: 13' Whaler Rebuild?

Post by mindunderwater » Thu Jul 03, 2014 10:19 am

Thanks for the input. I'm considering a rebuild instead of a build for my first project. I've always liked the Boston Whalers and to be sure they do have a following right up there with the Jeep and VW crowd. They'll tell you there's no such thing as a dead BW - if you've got enough time, money and elbow grease. I've personally seen an 11' go from a garden planter (complete with bottom holes!) to working boat...

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Re: 13' Whaler Rebuild?

Post by tech_support » Thu Jul 03, 2014 10:30 am

:D and I have seen a brand new $50k+ 21' BW go from functional to "bottom gone" :D

I would not hesitate to rebuild a small BW for myself

Go for it :!:

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Re: 13' Whaler Rebuild?

Post by mindunderwater » Thu Jul 03, 2014 10:42 am

How well does epoxy (in its various forms) work for fiberglass hull repair in general? I see guys here doing stringers and transoms in what must have been polyester resin hulls?

Oh yes - I wanted to ask, is tap-and-listen a reasonable way to check hulls for foam separation? I know when they're properly bonded they're pretty stout.

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Re: 13' Whaler Rebuild?

Post by tech_support » Thu Jul 03, 2014 11:19 am

How well does epoxy (in its various forms) work for fiberglass hull repair in general? I see guys here doing stringers and transoms in what must have been polyester resin hulls?
The bond between a epoxy repair and polyester substrate is magnitudes stronger that a polyester repair - its not even close.

Its called "secondary bonding", and its what we rely on to know that everything will hold together

Especially on a BW where you will have some flexing of the skin you should NOT use polyester
a reasonable way to check hulls for foam separation?
You never can know for sure, but tapping a screw driver around will give you the best clues.

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Re: 13' Whaler Rebuild?

Post by mindunderwater » Thu Jul 03, 2014 11:55 am

Cool. Thanks for the input. Also looking at a bayliner that'd probably be an IO to OB conversion in addition to a floor / stringer / transom job. I'm not afraid of that TBH. I think it'd be funny to have an old Bayliner with a set of reinforced foam stringers, floor and bracket... I keep seeing people do brackets for these and I'm not sure why. The bracket can't be adding that much + displacement (?!). I can see a jackplate (even a manual one) for clearance without cutting the transom to pieces but a 2' + bracket??? :doh:

^ Nevermind. Motor tilt... must allow for this (possibly among other things)...
Last edited by mindunderwater on Thu Jul 03, 2014 12:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 13' Whaler Rebuild?

Post by tech_support » Thu Jul 03, 2014 12:04 pm

I would not put one dime into a bayliner :wink: seriously :)

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Re: 13' Whaler Rebuild?

Post by Cracker Larry » Thu Jul 03, 2014 12:05 pm

Also looking at a bayliner
Don't do it :help: They weren't any good brand new. Got to be one of the worlds cheapest built, and cheapest priced boats :wink:
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Re: 13' Whaler Rebuild?

Post by mindunderwater » Thu Jul 03, 2014 12:15 pm

I watched them get built - I know :) lol. About the only thing I'd be saving is the cap, bottom and the overall shape of the hull. IDK if it is or isn't better to build from scratch. On the upside at least you know what you have.

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