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87 Valero- How dangerous to run with rotten core?

Have questions about fiberglass, gel-coat, or core repairs well as composite questions?
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orig-owner87valero
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87 Valero- How dangerous to run with rotten core?

Post by orig-owner87valero » Jan 14, 2015 12:10 pm

OK, I have spent hours reading about re- coring. Any original boat that has seen the water is rotten. It takes all of your "spare" time for a year or more to recore. It can cause divorce and maybe job loss. Is it really worth it? Someone who worked at Hydrostream stated that the balsa was used to form a strong I-beam- like structure with the fiberglass. Shouldn't the fiberglass be strong enough even after the balsa disintegrates?
How many 'Streams have broken apart in action? I remember reading in this forum about one.
I am 58 years old and am raising 2 boys aged 7 and 8 years. I need to keep my job as long as I can. I also need to stay alive for as long as I can.

My question: Do I dare run my 70mph Valero that I bought brand new and have only used about a dozen times over the last 27 years, or do I wait till retirement and rebuild it with the kids if they want the boat?

I don't know for sure if the core is rotten but the assumption has to be it is. The top half of the boat was not adhered to the bottom half near the transom and it leaked every time I took it out, until I partially separated the top from bottom and re-glued it with Marine-goop about 18 years ago. The boat has been mostly in storage since then, in a somewhat damp barn.

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Re: 87 Valero- How dangerous to run with rotten core?

Post by jacklake2003 » Jan 15, 2015 2:24 pm

The easy reply would be it's dangerous and don't ever do it.

But, people take chances all the time. It's a good question though - how many have actually catastrophically failed under-way resulting in a serious crash? We've all seen the photos of the once serious delamination that occurred at speed, but what were the other contributing factors?

I personally have a '94 VooDoo (13') that lives at our cottage. It gets used a couple weeks a year (by me). During those two weeks, I run it at about 40 mph to go see friends around the lake/cruise/etc. Once or twice, I put on the live jacket, grab the GPS, and do my annual run to 60mph. The boat is a little newer and was made my Canadian Edition, but my guess is the core is shot. When I take it out of the water each summer, I look the hull over for signs of stress cracks/bumps/etc.

My point is, I use it in likely a not "perfect" condition under recreational use. If I was racing it every weekend on the absolute edge, I would want it perfect (although, aren't the race versions built without a core?). My thought is that there is a better chance of an accident on the drive on I-75 from Georgia to Canada every year than there is in my hull catastrophically failing resulting in a serious injury or death. I hope I'm not proven wrong... If I ever see signs of serious flexing/cracking/change in ride/etc., I'm done and it will get repaired/replaced.

Just my opinion though and that's based only on "armchair" engineering.

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Re: 87 Valero- How dangerous to run with rotten core?

Post by rossi » Jan 15, 2015 9:58 pm

I realized the core was shot in my 90 Valero when the typically 80+ mph boat started to hit the wall at 68mph and wouldn't go any faster. I had it openened up to find out the core, floor and transom were soaked. This is a Valero that got used 2 weeks a year and spent the other 50 in a dry garage and is in absolutely mint condition. Areas of my floor and core weren't even glassed and a 3' section in between the core and the bottom of the boat wasn't glassed. The end result would have been certain delamination much sooner than later. Boat was redone this year full composite nose/tail and is perfect and gets more use now but the point is you don't know what could happen and 70 is fast when your boat bottom shreds off !

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Re: 87 Valero- How dangerous to run with rotten core?

Post by rossi » Jan 15, 2015 10:02 pm

*just a note also, my brother was the original owner of this Valero until I obtained it a year ago..and the shotty workmanship was from the factory. It was the original wood that was soaked.

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Re: 87 Valero- How dangerous to run with rotten core?

Post by Hippie459MN » Jan 16, 2015 2:47 am

There are a number of members here that have had there boats delam on them and thankfully none of them were seriously hurt. QuarterHourse bought a Vector that was supposed to have been redone only to have the bottom come apart on him and thats when he learned it had not been redone.

If its wet, get the core fixed! The more soaked it is, the easier it will be to get out and cleaned up and ready for the new core. And while you are at it, do the transom too. I hate to see you loose a motor too.
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Re: 87 Valero- How dangerous to run with rotten core?

Post by Hippie459MN » Jan 16, 2015 2:56 am

Hate to see this happen to you...

viewtopic.php?f=4&t=1980&p=15913 :(
-Kevin
Project Vulture | Project Vector | Project Vamp
The Vulture Wish List | Project CobraJet

1977 HydroStream Vulture - Worlds longest ongoing project. :eek:
1982 Hydrostream Vector
1982 Hydrostream Vamp
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1976 Pontoon - aka The Family Truckster

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Re: 87 Valero- How dangerous to run with rotten core?

Post by transomstand » Jan 23, 2015 10:06 pm

orig-owner87valero wrote: Shouldn't the fiberglass be strong enough even after the balsa disintegrates?
Not a chance in hell.

An example of hydraulic pressure exploding a hull:

http://www.screamandfly.com/showthread. ... -from-2004
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Original owner 1975 Ventura II SE

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Re: 87 Valero- How dangerous to run with rotten core?

Post by alaskastreamin » Feb 19, 2015 6:53 pm

Image

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Re: 87 Valero- How dangerous to run with rotten core?

Post by idvette » Feb 19, 2015 7:39 pm

I just read the original post, I must have missed this somehow. I'd say run the balls off her as much as you want, by yourself..... When it delaminates and you're recovering in the hospital you can be happy knowing you only have yourself to blame. But to run it as is with your kids in it? That's a much bigger responsibility.... They say ignorance is bliss, but when it comes to high performance boating it's downright foolish. Have it inspected. If it's suspected to be rotten, rebuild before disaster strikes.

The "I" beam construction that you're referring to is more of a sandwich. Without the "meat" (core) there's really no strength left at all. These boats were built to be as light as possible, with as little material as possible. Without the core, you won't have a hull.

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Re: 87 Valero- How dangerous to run with rotten core?

Post by rossi » May 07, 2015 7:52 pm

The fiberglass in question here keep in mind is probably 3/16" thick.

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