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PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2017 2:06 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2017 4:57 pm
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Thanks in advance to the wealth of knowledge and tight knit group of folks that seem to lurk around here. My son and I had a 1981 H18 tailgate us home. We found her on Craigslist; no pics were on the add. But we were the only ones to call. We got'er for a hundred bucks with trailer and spare tire (needs 3 new tires) :D Here's where the seasoned skippers come in. What did we get ourselves into? Here is a list of items I know need attention and or replacement:

furler spool (maybe just housing) deck plates and new lids, needs both daggerboards, drain plugs, needs new mainsheet block cleat (springs are bad and unavailable) and the jib needs a new zipper and some repair (or total replacement.) one hull has what appears to be a soft deck, not crunching yet (I will try to drill/ inject got-rot or west 105) tramp has about 3" tear port side corner (my opinion doesn't look too bad, could repair and get a season out of it at least) one trapeze wire is freying,

Luckily the main sail is great! And cat has wings!

We are seeking guidance to aide us in deciding to keep and fix her or get another ready to go. Also if anyone in the south Tejas area would be available I can trailer it to meet some one to assist in person and we would love to meet folks to help teach us. Cat sailing from start to finish is supposed to be delivered today.

[img] http://s347.photobucket.com/user/jessem ... 3.jpg.html [/IMG]
[img] http://s347.photobucket.com/user/jessem ... s.jpg.html [/IMG]
[img] http://s347.photobucket.com/user/jessem ... z.jpg.html [/IMG]

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1981 H18
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2017 2:21 pm 
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Location: Detroit, MI
It's really hard to tell what's going on - the photos are not very clear - especially the ones shot in the dark.

It's also really hard to tell what's going on when the boat is so dirty. Shoot some new pictures after you've cleaned it up and get closeups of the rudder system, mast tang area, trampoline and any spots of concern on the hulls.

The first priority on any "restoration" (and I use that term loosely here) is safety and functionality. Replace ALL the wires (the bridle wire in the first photo is kinked). The lines and bungee cords probably need replacing too. Inspect the hulls around the beam saddles for cracks and deformation - reinforce if necessary. Repair soft spots in the decks / hulls. Replace the rudder pins, inspect the gudgeons and rudder castings for cracks. Make sure the rudder system works properly (rudders lock down?). You want everything to work and not break the first time you use it.

Plan on spending $500 - $1000 on the boat and trailer to make sure they're safe and fully functional.

Think of it this way - a Hobie 18 w/trailer cost the same as a small car in 1981. Would you expect to buy a 1981 Honda Civic for $100 and not spend some money to make it highway worthy?

Another consideration is where do you plan on sailing? Cypress is a pretty good haul from most of the active catamaran sailors in the Houston area (they're down in Texas City). I'd be real nervous about taking this boat out on big water.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2017 3:39 pm 
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Location: Jersey Shore
First off, if you got a Hobie 18 with trailer and wings for a couple hundred bucks, you're doing OK.

That being said, I would not put another penny into it until you have a good feel for the condition of the hulls. Soft spots are definitely a concern. Press firmly all over the decks and hull sidewalls. The only place that it is acceptable to have any considerable amount of flex is the first foot or so of the bow (the bows are very broad and thin on the 18 so they tend to flex somewhat). If the soft spots are large, it may not be worth attempting to repair (and there have been numerous posts on this forum about people that tried to fix large soft spots and ended up dumping a lot of money into a boat only to end up putting it in a dumpster in the end).

Once the soft spots have been addressed, the next place to look is under the hull flanges for cracks. Look for cracks at the shroud or front or rear crossbar anchors. Your boat does not have the updated front crossbar anchor plates, these should be added.

Front and rear crossbars should be closely inspected for excessive corrosion or cracks.

Lot's of other stuff to look at next, but make sure you've got a solid platform first.

sm


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2017 8:23 am 
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Joined: Tue Jun 17, 2014 7:22 am
Posts: 33
I think you may have a real jewel there. The boat, trailer and the fact you have wings is a great deal. Personally, I do not like the wings but that is mostly because I never had them. They are great for day sailing and folks that have them, would not sail a boat with out them.

So, others have cautioned you about the areas of weakness to be concerned about.

My take is you have some real potential for great sailing at a very low cost. The bang for buck versus other boat situations is the best you will find with what you have.

As far as parts you need to get the boat back into shape can be found on Ebay. I locate all my Hobie 18 parts there. Many of the dealers advertise their parts there. Sometimes used stuff, sometimes new stuff. Be patient and spend some time looking. Your most expensive items will be dagger boards. However those can be very inexpensive if you find the right deal. Do not worry about a little damage on the boards they can be easily repaired with epoxies these days.

First clean up the boat, various beach cleaners. Next item is a new tramp. The one you have can be used with out issue, but good news is they are not that expensive either.

Your jib can be repaired. I just had a new zipper put on one of mine by the local sail shop.

Now a word about "soft hulls". I think this topic has caused way more "concern" than is necessary. Here is my "experience" with old Hobie 18's and "soft Hulls". I currently have 4- Hobie 18s. I have one for each member of the family. At our local Club races if one of my family members can not make it out on the water, I get who ever wants to take one out to come out and sail a boat. So usually all 4 are out sailing. Now all of these boats are aged between 1979 and 1982. Some decks are softer than others. The 1979 is the oldest, heaviest and softest of the boats. My plan was to just sail it until the hull either cracks significantly or breaks, mainly to determine how big an issue this soft hull concern is? The reality is the boat just will not die. Now I have been sailing it the most. I have been sailing in the Ocean too off of Daytona Beach, in and out of the surf. It has been turned over many times by my daughters and it just keeps on ticking. And yes, the hull decks are still soft. So to shorten up the story a little, go sailing. If the hulls seems so soft that it is scary, then put in a port hole and add some more glass. I am of the camp, that I doubt it will need that.

The wires that hold up the mast should be replaced if they look rusted. We just had a mast fall down this Saturday when we had all 4 boats out sailing. The reason was the pin in the side shroud came out. No biggie, put the mast back up and we were out again. So probably more important to tape the ring dings so they don't come off. On that boat, when we towed it back to shore by powerboat by the front bridle, the front bridle had spit half way at the attachment. So now it is time I should replace some shrouds on that boat. I still sailed that boat the rest of the day with wind gusting to 21. Point is, these boats can take a lot of abuse and still work well.

Just to back up my confidence. If that boat is of too much concern for you, I will buy it from you for what you paid :-)

Good Luck and many happy years sailing. By the way, I have been abusing that 1979 for about 4 years now and still no issues.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2017 12:38 pm 
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Location: Jersey Shore
I wouldn't take delaminating hulls lightly. If your rudder pin breaks, you can limp home. If your mast falls down, you can float around while you figure out how to jury rig a sail or flag down a power boat for a tow. If your hull snaps off at the bow, you're swimming and there's a good chance your boat is a goner.

Most people that express the "concern" are folks that have either experienced or witnessed a total hull failure. Tired, soft, old 18 hulls are certainly at risk.

Do some reasearch on this site for delam repairs. There was a guy not too long ago that bought an old 18 that should have just been put in the trash. Despite warnings, he ended up pumping in gallons of epoxy trying to salvage the aging hulls only to realize the whole effort was hopeless.

Not saying this boat is the same way, but a 1981 Hobie 18 that has one hull with "what appears to be a soft deck" leads me to the recommendation of proceed with caution. It would be very easy to start dumping money into this boat only to find out the hard way that the hulls are shot.

sm


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2017 6:05 pm 
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Location: Memphis, TN
Good news.... I have a Hobie 18 parts boat ( soft hulls ) that i'm parting out on the cheap. Have a crisp like new aftermarket mainsail for $200 + shipping and have crossbeams, Boom, Furler, mainsheet blocks, jib cars, rudder assemblies, spare standing rigging ect... it's a freshwater boat so NO corrosion. I only want to break even on the boat purchase ( $400 ) so i'd be happy to unload any parts if it will improve your situation :)
Tim

grovertim@gmail.com

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Memphis, TN fleet 134
Hobie 16 and 20!
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2017 10:45 am 
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Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2008 8:21 am
Posts: 288
Location: St. Helena, CA
Whether this is the right Hobie for you or not it looks like you have an enthusiastic skipper or crew...

Take a look at this video it will show you what the boat looked like when it was new and what it is capable of from mild to wild.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u_rfKUE675Y

The crossbars are not to faded so this boat could have been covered and maybe solid. If it has any soft spots where are they and what size are they. Top deck soft spots forward of the front crossbar are really bad. Top deck soft spots between the rear crossbar and dagger board well are manageable.

As stated in previous posts step one is to check for Delamination.

Grab a bag of Doritos and crunch along with Jeremy, then check out your find!!!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dL33jMcV4oM

What ever you discover get back to us and we can discuss pros and cons of moving forward.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 07, 2017 9:09 pm 
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Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2015 8:27 pm
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Location: Dunedin, FL
Fxloop wrote:
Good news.... I have a Hobie 18 parts boat ( soft hulls ) that i'm parting out on the cheap. Have a crisp like new aftermarket mainsail for $200 + shipping and have crossbeams, Boom, Furler, mainsheet blocks, jib cars, rudder assemblies, spare standing rigging ect... it's a freshwater boat so NO corrosion. I only want to break even on the boat purchase ( $400 ) so i'd be happy to unload any parts if it will improve your situation :)
Tim

grovertim@gmail.com


Emailed you about the main.

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'86 Hobie 18 DIY front tramp camping edition


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 1:43 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 25, 2011 3:15 pm
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Location: Buffalo, NY
I agree with srm 100% about the soft spots. Small soft spots in the deck by the rudders may not be of a huge concern, but if you have large soft spots and they're anywhere near the forward crossbar, you could easily have a hull break in half.

Your first move should be to clean up the boat and do a thorough inspection. Check the hull lips for separation between the deck and hull. Check for cracks under/along the lip. Check for soft spots on the decks and sides of your hulls. Sometimes it will appear that the hull has a "bubble" in it. You should be able to put your weight on the deck without it moving more than 1/8 inch or so. If it moves by a quarter inch, that's a soft spot. Figure out how big the soft areas are. Is it 6" x 6"? 1' x 1'? 4 feet long and full width of the hull? That right there will tell you whether or not the boat is worth saving. Be careful putting weight on the boat on that trailer too, as rollers like that don't adequately support the weight of the boat. You could have cracks from the boat sitting on those for an extended period of time. That is fixable, however.

As others have said, given the condition of the boat, throw out all of the standing rigging - all of the wires. Frayed, rusted, kinked... even if it looks like new, it's likely sat for years. I wouldn't trust it. The tear in the trampoline isn't bad (it's actually cut, not torn), but there isn't a great way to repair it. Best you could do is try to stitch it together to reinforce it. A heated vinyl patch is an option, but it would probably be expensive, ugly, and only buy you a couple seasons. All the parts that you're missing or that are in bad shape (furler, daggers, hull ports, mainsheet blocks, etc) are replaceable, except the hulls. However, I'd keep your eye out for another boat. You might need $1,000 worth of parts to get this one sailing again, and you could probably find a boat in better condition for that price. If you want to start pricing out what you need, request a hobie parts & accessories catalog. They have the full parts list and pricing in there. Find your nearest dealer, and they can get you whatever parts you need. There are some dealers that have websites which allow you to order all the parts you want online, too. It's best to go to your local dealer first, as it supports them and they can provide more direct help and advice, but I know backyard boats has a great website for looking up parts and getting them ordered when it's something not in stock locally. You can go the ebay route, but the pricing on there is usually pretty similar to what the dealers are selling it for, and it's a lot more work to find all the parts you need. The only thing I'd really go used on are parts that don't typically wear out, or parts that, even if in poor condition, won't be catastrophic. A used set of mainsheet blocks or jib blocks, daggers, rudders, boom, maybe even some sails... those are fine, and probably much cheaper than new. Just don't buy used rigging or load bearing hardware, unless you're comfortable with the risk that it could fail on you.

One other thing... wings typically cost $500-$1,000 used, so even if the hulls are junk, you still got one hell of a bargain! And you've got at least a half a boat's worth of usable spares!

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'79 H18 standard 'Rocketman II' sail #14921


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 7:19 pm 
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Well, maybe I have fallen victim to purchasing a 1980 H18....

I picked it up from a local doctor who has had it at least 25 years and kept it on a local freshwater lake.

Sails look serviceable, trailer is a rusted hulk with new tires, rigging actually looks good with no corrosion or frays, and the biggie....the hulls have a few places on the port side that crunch when you put your feet on them. I have pressure washed it and removed all of the rigging. I will prob disassemble completely and do a sand, gel coat, etc with all new rigging, tramp, and updated mast post.

My big question....what would you do? Is the hull repair doable? It crunches aft of the daggerboard and fore of the front crossbar, and mainly in the middle.

Can you cut porthole and add a few layers of glass, and then inject epoxy from the top? I am brand new to Hobies, and sailing. I have a power boat and re-did rotten wood stringers and floorboards, so I am not afraid of a job.

Please be honest. I paid $500 for it.

Sorry to hi-jack this other dudes post, but it seems so familiar.

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1980 H18 - all original when purchases 04-2017.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 7:52 am 
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Location: Jersey Shore
It's been discussed on the forum 100's of times. Your hulls are delaminating. The hulls are a composite sandwich construction which consists of an inner and outer layer of fiberglass surrounding a foam core. That crunching you hear is an indication that the hull structure has broken down. It's not clear from your post if the crunching is occurring only on the deck, or on the deck and hull sidewalls.

In small areas, you can carefully inject epoxy into the hull to rebond the structure back together. In large areas, you would likely need to cut out and completely rebuild the sandwich structure because the injection method would require a huge amount of epoxy. This degree of repair really isn't practical for most people due to the time, expense, and weight penalty needed just to get a few more years out of an older boat.

I would suggest you fully inspect both the deck and the hull sidewalls and determine the full extent of the delamination before you put any money or effort into restoring the boat. If the hulls are too far gone, you would just be throwing good money into a boat that is destined for the dumpster.

sm


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 11:18 pm 
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Location: Buffalo, NY
srm wrote:
I would suggest you fully inspect both the deck and the hull sidewalls and determine the full extent of the delamination before you put any money or effort into restoring the boat. sm


My thoughts exactly. Where and how big are the soft spots? There should be no crunch, and minimal (say less than 1/8") deflection when you put your weight on it. When you do find soft spots, start pressing around the edges to see how far it goes until you get good solid decks/hulls again.

Soft spots between the daggerboard trunk and the rear crossbar are not entirely uncommon, as the repeated pressure from skipper & crew sitting on this area of the deck tends to break down the foam quicker than other areas. This is not a high stress area, and can be easily repaired either with epoxy injection or reinforcement under the deck with plywood (I went the epoxy route).

Soft spots (delamination) anywhere near or forward of the forward crossbar are a much bigger deal, as this is a very high stress area, and more likely caused by the bond between the polyester resin and foam core breaking down, something that is only likely to get worse over time. If it's just one soft spot, and it's small (say up to 6" diameter, roughly), you can inject epoxy and continue to monitor the area, and be relatively comfortable the boat will make it through a few more sailing seasons. If it's larger or there are many, the repairs may become too costly or add too much weight for most people to consider, and may not last very long... epoxy injection fixes a symptom of old age, but doesn't cure it. Delamination will continue. As srm mentioned, you can build back the area with new fiberglass/foam sandwich, but that's much more expensive/labor intensive, and still only fixes one spot.

All that said, one fellow on here epoxied damn near the whole side wall of his bows last year and is out sailing happily, so anything can be done. It's just a matter of how much you're willing to put into it and how much you expect to get out of it. I bet he spent $500 in epoxy and added 40 lbs!

I've had to fix 4 soft spots now in 4 different places in the last 5 years of owning my '79 freshwater Hobie, thankfully none in high stress areas. It seems every year I find a new one, but if I can keep her sailing it's worth it to me!

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 5:41 am 
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to add to the good info already given. injecting epoxy from the outside into a soft spot works if the inner layer of the fiberglass sandwich has not cracked open.
in my instance of a soft spot forward of the rear crossbar on the port hull, the epoxy ran out through the cracked lower layer, necessitating an interior repair project.

fortunately the wax blush on the hull interior allowed me to pull the useless epoxy out.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 5:34 pm 
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Thanks for the input. I spent a little more time with the boat today, and found another crunchy spot just in front of the rear crossbar. So, I would say approximately 1/4 of the port hull top has varying degrees of crunch. Some very small some 1/2 of the width of the top. I found zero side delamination.

So, two things now.

1.) what causes it?
2.) what do I do now?


Do I cut holes along the inside of the hull and lay up a few layers of glass? Then pour the epoxy to it on top??

Do I carefully remove the outer skin and lay up new glass on the top? It almost seems easier to trim off 100% of the top layer and just lay in new glass on the whole top....but, then all of it isn't delaminated, so some of it would be a royal pain to separate.

It's fine if I miss this season.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 3:05 pm 
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OlderBowman wrote:
injecting epoxy from the outside into a soft spot works if the inner layer of the fiberglass sandwich has not cracked open.

Good point. One of my soft spots actually was caused by an unsaturated section of fiberglass on the inner layer. Much of the epoxy ran right through it and piled up inside the hull. I didn't realize it until I cut holes for inspection ports the next year. Quite the mess, but I haven't bothered trying to remove it. It's a few extra pounds, but not worth the hassle.

midgainc, I'd recommend you save the parts you can, but look for a new boat. At $500, you've got at least that value in parts, sails, trailer, etc. With that much delamination, the hulls are only going to get worse over time. You'd have to put a few hundred dollars worth of epoxy into it, plus the time and effort, and it probably won't last you more than 3-5 years... with more soft spot repairs in the future. The repair you're proposing, to re-glass and re-gelcoat the decks would cost thousands, and would take a lot of skill to do successfully. Remember, these boats were made with the aid of a female mold, in two pieces, and then the deck was joined to the hull. To re-build the entire deck without a mold would be a massive undertaking, and if not done carefully could result in hull failure.

Soft spots are caused by the old age of the boat. They're caused primarily by the breakdown of the bond between the polyester resin impregnated in glass fibers and the foam core. They can also be caused by the breakdown/rot of the foam core itself, though this hasn't been the case on my boat. The primary factors in soft spot development seem to be UV exposure, moisture absorption in the hull (polyester based fiberglass absorbs water), and repeated/frequent local loading, i.e. constant pressure from someone sitting or stepping on the same spot every time the boat is used. It can't really be prevented, eventually all boats will delaminate and get soft. Keeping the boat dry (inside & out) and covered will prolong its life, however.

Epoxy and polyester resin don't get along, btw. Epoxy bonds well to polyester and foam, but polyester resin will not bond to epoxy. Because gelcoat is polyester based, this means that any repairs done with epoxy cannot be gel-coated over and must be painted or left bare. However, epoxy doesn't absorb water the way polyester does, so it doesn't need gelcoat to prevent water absorption. The UV will still cause the resin to break down over time, however. Polyester is also considerably cheaper than epoxy, hence why it's used in the first place.

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