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What is normal hull thickness?

Old 08-05-2020, 09:17 AM
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Default What is normal hull thickness?

Since I have been doing so much research as to why my new 2019 Wellcraft 262 fisherman has been having so many issues I am going over everything.

After speaking with the warranty manager and him not clearly knowing what a 2 piece vs 3 piece hull was I inquired if they were vacuum bagged, hand laid etc.and what their hull thickness was since when the thru hull transducer broke off I saw only about a 1/4 inch thick hull. This is closer to the keel and maybe a foot or two forward from the transom. I was informed that they hand laid their fiberglass using 1808 mat and that their hull is about 300 mil which is roughly the thickness I saw.

Is this normal? I have always been used to my Pursuit and previous (1991) Wellcraft where the hull in about the same location was much much thicker. Im remembering over 1 inch.

I was also informed that the stringer and liner assembly (all one piece as he made it sound) where then bonded to the boat. This really throws me off as I have always known that you need to glass in all the stringers to give the hull the structural strength.

Can someone with a bit more experience chime in and help me understand this? What he is telling me and what I know aren't coming together for me
Old 08-05-2020, 09:35 AM
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My 93 27 oceanmaster is 7/8ths of an inch thick 8 inches out from the keel.
Old 08-05-2020, 09:40 AM
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thinner hulls are becoming more and more common due to advancements in fiberglass tech. 300mil is not out of the ordinary. Some boat builders go thicker, some boat builders use older/thicker tried and true products and methods, but I dont think you are the abnormality here.

It seems to me you are just searching for a reason to not like your boat.


Old 08-05-2020, 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Supergumby5000 View Post
thinner hulls are becoming more and more common due to advancements in fiberglass tech. 300mil is not out of the ordinary. Some boat builders go thicker, some boat builders use older/thicker tried and true products and methods, but I dont think you are the abnormality here.

It seems to me you are just searching for a reason to not like your boat.
I am not looking for a reason to not like my hull. Go look at the thread of all the issues I am having with my hull and then we can discuss the matter.

I need help contacting Wellcraft directly 🤬 worst quality boat ever made

When a hull is cracking everywhere, screws are stripping, the through hull breaks off and almost sinks my boat, the helm seat/livewell come loose, the fuel water separators come loose, the center console is coming loose and the screws coming off and breaking the fiberglass and you have fiberglass chunks flying around the boat you raise serious questions and concerns. Mind you I bought my boat brand new in mid November 2019 and have logged 44-45 hrs of use in SW Florida with very good weather. I am searching if I got a lemon boat or if in general they suck. From what I am gathering from many owners, 2 of them being family, they are all coming apart.

I would look into why I am looking at this before making such comment.
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Old 08-05-2020, 10:17 AM
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There have been a lot of advances in production methods and someone on here is an expert (I am not). In general the older 60-80s boats were hand laid and often had wood encapsulated stringers and due to a multitude of factors were overbuilt (which imo is a good thing). As with anything there were attempts to use cheaper products, materials and production quality control hence the varying quality of brands. Often turnover/ownership can change quality as well.

Newer production methods are all composite/foam materials. They have several molds for the hull, stringers and ‘bond’ the stingers to the hull. Similarly they model the topside pieces separately and assemble them together. The same aspects of products, materials, and production quality control apply.

IMO the best indicators are a brand who have been in business for a long time, have proven consistent production process and are open and willing to show you how they do it (factory tours, phone calls). Typically the salesmen and dealers are not well versed and you have to go to the builder. IMO Wellcraft (and whomever owns them nowadays) is not one of those consistently high quality production companies.

1808 ‘mat’ probably means they took regular 8oz ‘woven’ fiberglass (Fibers at 90deg to each other) and stiched mat to it. They do this as a way to improve production time as I think they lay out the fiberglass sheets and vacuum bag it to fill it with epoxy and create the hull shell. The devil is in the details as far as their process for impregnating the fiberglass with resin to ensure a nice even layer free of voids (weak spots). I think they should have at least 3 layers of 1808, if not 5.
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Old 08-05-2020, 10:44 AM
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Originally Posted by DEboater View Post
There have been a lot of advances in production methods and someone on here is an expert (I am not). In general the older 60-80s boats were hand laid and often had wood encapsulated stringers and due to a multitude of factors were overbuilt (which imo is a good thing). As with anything there were attempts to use cheaper products, materials and production quality control hence the varying quality of brands. Often turnover/ownership can change quality as well.

Newer production methods are all composite/foam materials. They have several molds for the hull, stringers and ‘bond’ the stingers to the hull. Similarly they model the topside pieces separately and assemble them together. The same aspects of products, materials, and production quality control apply.

IMO the best indicators are a brand who have been in business for a long time, have proven consistent production process and are open and willing to show you how they do it (factory tours, phone calls). Typically the salesmen and dealers are not well versed and you have to go to the builder. IMO Wellcraft (and whomever owns them nowadays) is not one of those consistently high quality production companies.

1808 ‘mat’ probably means they took regular 8oz ‘woven’ fiberglass (Fibers at 90deg to each other) and stiched mat to it. They do this as a way to improve production time as I think they lay out the fiberglass sheets and vacuum bag it to fill it with epoxy and create the hull shell. The devil is in the details as far as their process for impregnating the fiberglass with resin to ensure a nice even layer free of voids (weak spots). I think they should have at least 3 layers of 1808, if not 5.

I agree. That was my oversight and my lack of homework when I bought the boat. I owned a Wellcraft previously, knew about the older models as well as the older Scarab models and for the most they were decent boats. I briefly looked into it and saw that Beneteau group bought the boat and figured they did a decent job with them. Clearly I am mistaken.

I agree with newer technology and having thinner and lighter hulls. I am by no means an expert but to get them to be that thin they are getting into vacuum bagging. Like I said I am no expert but was under that impression. They flat out told me they are hand laid and I would think that would become a bit of a thicker hull. I am now in this mess and I am trying to figure out what to do.
Old 08-05-2020, 02:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Pursuit1127 View Post
I am not looking for a reason to not like my hull. Go look at the thread of all the issues I am having with my hull and then we can discuss the matter.

I need help contacting Wellcraft directly 🤬 worst quality boat ever made

When a hull is cracking everywhere, screws are stripping, the through hull breaks off and almost sinks my boat, the helm seat/livewell come loose, the fuel water separators come loose, the center console is coming loose and the screws coming off and breaking the fiberglass and you have fiberglass chunks flying around the boat you raise serious questions and concerns. Mind you I bought my boat brand new in mid November 2019 and have logged 44-45 hrs of use in SW Florida with very good weather. I am searching if I got a lemon boat or if in general they suck. From what I am gathering from many owners, 2 of them being family, they are all coming apart.

I would look into why I am looking at this before making such comment.
Fair enough. Interesting read/issues. It seems most of the headache primarily revolves around fastener issues though right? Regardless, that stinks, but it seems more driven by damage caused by fasteners moreso than damage caused by poor glass. If that is true, maybe you can get Wellcraft to step up to the plate and inspect/replace/repair/whateveryouwant to all the fasteners on the boat?

With that said, Wellcraft isnt a best of the best boat and they surely use economical glassing practices like 95% of the mid tier boat builders. Proper prep goes a long ways when using screw fasteners. Sorry for your luck.

Seems like whoever they had behind the screw gun that Friday didn't do you any favors.
Old 08-05-2020, 02:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Pursuit1127 View Post
I agree. That was my oversight and my lack of homework when I bought the boat. I owned a Wellcraft previously, knew about the older models as well as the older Scarab models and for the most they were decent boats. I briefly looked into it and saw that Beneteau group bought the boat and figured they did a decent job with them. Clearly I am mistaken.

I agree with newer technology and having thinner and lighter hulls. I am by no means an expert but to get them to be that thin they are getting into vacuum bagging. Like I said I am no expert but was under that impression. They flat out told me they are hand laid and I would think that would become a bit of a thicker hull. I am now in this mess and I am trying to figure out what to do.
Push them very hard to make it right. I have heard of companies swapping out with entire new hulls. It is under warranty so push them.
Old 08-05-2020, 03:59 PM
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1.5” transom
Old 08-05-2020, 04:07 PM
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Originally Posted by fireisland1 View Post

1.5” transom
most of that looks like nidacore no?
Old 08-05-2020, 04:59 PM
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My carolina classic 32 is 1 and 7/8" of solid hand laid glass. It weighs 26k lbs. Say whatever you want to justify the corner cutting most manufacturers take today. I wont buy their overpriced boats. Even the upper hull sides around the porthole is over 1" thick of solid glass. You feel it when it takes a wave or just walking on the deck.

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Old 08-05-2020, 05:04 PM
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This really varies, depending on what type of cloth, resin, amount of resin fiber length and orientation, hull shape, and inner reinforcements.

But on a well built small hand laid hull I personally would expect a good builder to start with a vinylester gel barrier coat, 2 layers of 18 oz bubble free mat to make the skin coat, and then at least 6 double layers of 1708 and 1808 for the bottom and 5 of those on the boat sides with no fillers under the waterline.

This will give you about 5/8" of solid glass on the bottom and about 1/2" thick on the sides, at minimum, before you start reinforcing that with keel boards, stringers and bulkheads.

Wellcarft has always been a mass produced inexpensive hull imo, and I think like most things, you get what you pay for.
Old 08-05-2020, 06:58 PM
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With everyone today ( & people here on THT being no exception) wanting faster boats that use less fuel,... there is only one way for the builders to get there. Lighter boats = thinner plastic and glass.
Old 08-05-2020, 07:46 PM
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Originally Posted by triggerman View Post
most of that looks like nidacore no?
yes 1/2” outside x 3/4” core x 1/4” inside. Unbelievably ridged. This is from a Downeaster built to go to work 24/7 the layup with just the outside skin would be good enough. After core and inside skin added you really have a rugged hull.
Old 08-10-2020, 08:16 AM
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So after much back and forth I got this from Wellcraft.

Am I reading this wrong? is the bottom of my hull only 2 layers of 24 oz woven roving? And am I correct that the stringer of this boat are NOT glassed in but only on there with Plexus?



Old 08-10-2020, 08:37 AM
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What is the status of your claim/repairs with Wellcraft?

Did you ever hire that surveyor you said you were going to hire? Or the lawyer?

The link to your original issue is from June so I'd expect there'd be some progress to report by now?
Old 08-10-2020, 08:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Fish'nFool View Post
What is the status of your claim/repairs with Wellcraft?

Did you ever hire that surveyor you said you were going to hire? Or the lawyer?

The link to your original issue is from June so I'd expect there'd be some progress to report by now?
On my way to shop as I write. Checking it out and getting surveyor before I even move the boat out.

Depending on the survey if I hire lawyer. I have everything documented from conversations to emails etc.

If it's not right I will return boat with lawyer. I wouldn't want anything to do with Wellcraft at this point. You are correct, since June I have been with this plus way before June it started.

Old 08-10-2020, 09:17 AM
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sell before this thread hits 100K views and nobody will buy a wellcraft
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Old 08-10-2020, 09:21 AM
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So I am now even more pissed off. Email from Bill Kruger on Friday along with those diagrams was that my boat was to be finished Friday afternoon.

Get there, foam still all over deck and gunnels. The transducer "fix" looks like crap. Found both my engine cowlings scratched up. They glassed in the console and removed some screws but left others. Glass is still raw in the interior of the console and it looks like crap in the other areas where the screws were. Etc etc.

I'm done. Time to lawyer up and get very reputable surveyors.






Old 08-10-2020, 09:25 AM
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Here is wht they have glassed in the CC.

All of this on a boat with 42 hrs of use and that I have owned for 10 months and haven't been able to use for over 3 months of those 10





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