Pain At The Dock by Dave Weakley

Dr Gel,

“I’m looking into purchasing a 1987 Hobie 16. During the inspection, I noticed that the starboard deck is completely soft from just forward of the front pylon to pretty much the bow. It is more than delamination, but gel coat looks fine. It appears the inner core and glass have failed. Is there any hope of a repair (e.g., cutting access holes and the glassing in some structure)? If so, what would be a ball park estimate (e.g., under $500, between 500-1000, greater than 1000) and would it be done by July 15? If an access hole is required, would get one on both hulls to maintain symmetry. Thanks.”
The Hobie 16 construction is fiberglass with a foam coring material. They will overtime develop soft spots on the top of the deck. As people step on the boat over and over the core material breaks down and breaks away from the fiberglass deck. The delamination you have described is often the beginning of the end for a foam cored boat. Core replacement can be…

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