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Hallberg-Rassy from 2008 with delaminated hull

KellysEye

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It's funny you raise this as a group of us were talking about Swedish yachts the other day and how the quality seems to have gone down. There are many instances of problems: dismasting*, rudder issues, windows leaking, perspex falling out etc. The worst culprit was HR.

*it was a rigging failure on a new boat. The rig was Selden and HR refused to get involved and told the owner to contact Selden.
 

Ricd

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Does that mean we are going to have an HR bashing group as well as a Bav bashing group....can't wait for the posts:D;)
 

johnalison

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My experience from meeting other HR owners and listening to the grapevine is that HR have had problems from time to time for very many years. In some early boats the mast support rested on wood which softened in the bilge-water. In the above thread there is mention of a problem one owner (who I believe I have met) had with water getting in at a seacock fitting below the waterline but where the insulating (non-structural) foam runs. I have not heard of the same problem happening to another boat. Some of the newer boats have had problems, and there was a general recall for 342s to have work done on the lower rudder bearing where water ingress was a risk.

In spite of all these, HR probably have as good a record as a builder of 300 or more boats a year can be expected to, but some of the errors have been foolish, and the company is certainly not good at responding to complaints, though the British agents are usually very helpful, and I believe, the Dutch and Germans too.
 
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I do wonder about some of the complainants too - particularly on the US based sites. For example one poster was moaning about water in the rudder but any surveyor will tell you that that is almost a given if the GRP/ rudder shaft join is below water.
 

robertj

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Surely when spending these inflated prices for HR's they should respond well to complaints !
Stick to Rustler or Malo's
 

stav

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Surely rather than picking on HR it is worth more of a discussion on cored construction. First I must say I can not afford a new boat but would be interested to hear peoples thoughts on the longevity/problems with cored hulls, isn't this the basis of the article referred to by the OP?

My interest lies in the sadler 34, still financially out of reach but would be a strong contender for a replacement for the Nic 36 but a cored hull. My concern would be buying an expensive boat to find I have pushed it hard for a few years and then it has started to delaminated/take up moisture and has become uneconomic to repair. So surely cored boats should have greater depreciation than solid boats.

Therefore thoughts for me would be:
Do problems show themselves early and therefore older boats are going to be OK? Or do they slowly get problems over time? If so how long?

Also cored construction how is it put together? I assume an outer hull 3 to 5mm thick? Then the core (understand closed cell) but what sort of thickness is the foam, 5mm, 12mm, 20mm? Then how is it finished in side, or rather what does the hull look like when it comes out of the mould, does it have a smooth inner surface to which the internal moulding is fitted or does the inner hull have the shape for bulkheads and other inner modules? Also how thick is this part 3mm? Additionally, how heavy is the foam; I have never seen or touched the stuff.

Just trying to understand the methodology and not comment on old/good/new/bad, but also trying to get a better understanding of modern construction, some of which is getting older now. I appreciate the lighter/stiffer arguments and less materials being used and if you can afford new and not worried about potential depreciation factors great, but how does this translate to fairly expensive older boats?
 

oldsaltoz

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Surely rather than picking on HR it is worth more of a discussion on cored construction. would be interested to hear peoples thoughts on the longevity/problems with cored hulls, isn't this the basis of the article referred to by the OP?

Any craft with cored hull below the water line is a major risk and should be avoided, but this is just my opinion.

Early cored hulls did not use closed cell foam and some used Balsa end grain wood, both turn to a slush when wet.


My concern would be buying an expensive boat to find I have pushed it hard for a few years and then it has started to delaminate/take up moisture and has become uneconomic to repair. So surely cored boats should have greater depreciation than solid boats.

I believe cored hull boats do suffer from higher depreciation.

Therefore thoughts for me would be:
Do problems show themselves early and therefore older boats are going to be OK? Or do they slowly get problems over time? If so how long?

Depending on the type of foam used and the resins or types of resin, the application and environment, both early and later failures are possible.

Also cored construction how is it put together? I assume an outer hull 3 to 5mm thick? Then the core (understand closed cell) but what sort of thickness is the foam, 5mm, 12mm, 20mm? Then how is it finished in side, or rather what does the hull look like when it comes out of the mould, does it have a smooth inner surface to which the internal moulding is fitted or does the inner hull have the shape for bulkheads and other inner modules? Also how thick is this part 3mm? Additionally, how heavy is the foam; I have never seen or touched the stuff.

There is no 'one method' of foam or cored construction, and foam or core comes in many forms, not all closed cell. Some are constructed of strips placed over frames then glassed on the outside and turned over and glassed inside.
Others start with the inner lining and have foam glued to it then shaped and glassed over to name all the methods used would fill a book.


Just trying to understand the methodology, trying to get a better understanding of modern construction, some of which is getting older now. I appreciate the lighter/stiffer arguments and less materials being used and if you can afford new and not worried about potential depreciation factors great, but how does this translate to fairly expensive older boats?

Put simply, if you want fast stiff and light for racing, foam is fine. If on the other hand you want a reliable easy to maintain cruiser, avoid any hull with foam below the water line, if foan above the waterline gives you some conserns, avoid it by all means. I prefer solid glass in all areas, not as light as some nor as strong in some areas as cored, but, easy to maintain and not prone to expensive rectification

I hope this helps.
Avagoodweekend......:)
 

john_morris_uk

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I thought that it was generally accepted NOT to have cored hulls below the waterline. The few experiments with the technique a few years ago showed what a mess boats got into if you build them this way.
 
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Bajansailor

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I would agree that having a cored hull, especially below the waterline, is asking for trouble - unless of course you build it in a similar fashion to the RNLI Trent class 14m. lifeboats.
They have cored bottoms - but light years away from your average yacht scantlings!

The hulls were built using pre-preg epoxy glass and 'cooked' in a big oven; the closed cell foam cores are over 4" thick in places, with 4 layers of 1" foam and shear ties (glass and epoxy) in between, tying the layers together.
 

oldsaltoz

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I thought that it was generally accepted NOT to have cored hulls below the waterline. The few experiments with the technique a few years ago shower what a mess boats got into if you build them this way.
Hi John,

I assume you are speaking of the 'open cell' foam failures, not to many of them left today apart from the ones that had a major repairs done that is.

There are a lot of foam cored boats still being built today and for the most part being built well.

Fast, strong and light is a good combination for racing, by the time the opposition can keep up you just build a lighter faster stronger one.

The old one will become a cruiser in later life, provided the foam holds.

Worth noting that there have been and continue to be development of lighter and stronger core materials with very good performance for adhesion to resins with good flexing characteristics. I have little doubt the problems or cored hulls even below the water line will be resolved.
 

oldsaltoz

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I would agree that having a cored hull, especially below the waterline, is asking for trouble - unless of course you build it in a similar fashion to the RNLI Trent class 14m. lifeboats.
They have cored bottoms - but light years away from your average yacht scantlings!

The hulls were built using pre-preg epoxy glass and 'cooked' in a big oven; the closed cell foam cores are over 4" thick in places, with 4 layers of 1" foam and shear ties (glass and epoxy) in between, tying the layers together.
Hi Bajansailor,

Yes, very strong and part of the design is to localise any damage and retain floatation, but this adds bulk weight, not what you are looking for in sailing vessel as per OP.

But a good example of what can be achieved with a foam/glass construction.
 

john_morris_uk

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In general - yes I was referring to the earlier builds. I remain slightly sceptical of the racers of today and their longevity. With modern racing hulls going out of fashion and becoming uncompetitive so quickly, the advantages of cored hulls and their potential short life span for those sort of hulls can be ignored. Furthermore some of very competitive racing boats here (even up to 40 or fifty feet long) are 'dry sailed' - only launched for the race and then taken out and polished for next time. The opportunity for water to slowly make its way into the core and delaminate is reduced. Clearly this is a different sort of sailing and doesn't apply to the cruising boats that I go sailing in.

Cored construction can be strong and light - so I don't dismiss the possibility of its performance enhancing cruising yachts in years to come.
 
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My interest lies in the sadler 34, still financially out of reach but would be a strong contender for a replacement for the Nic 36 but a cored hull. My concern would be buying an expensive boat to find I have pushed it hard for a few years and then it has started to delaminated/take up moisture and has become uneconomic to repair.
The Sadler 34 isnt a cored boat in the normal sense eg where the laminate is vaccuum bagged to the foam core with the intention that the core physically links the two laminate skins together for strength purposes. In the Sadler, the outer hull was strong enough on its own and the inner lining was there for the location of bulkheads and furniture etc. The foam between was injected afterwards as a way of insulating the boat so the foam to hull and lining bond wont be 100% even to start with and wont make much difference if it comes unstuck through use.

Dont forget that almost all boats have a cored deck anyway, that the deck often has self tappers through the outer layer, and that repairing a much more highly shaped deck structure is way more difficult than whipping off a bit of hull and vacuum bagging on a replacement, partivularly with the hull below the water line where is isnt cosmetic.
 

stav

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Thanks for that info Bosun Higgs I will look at sadler 34's with a different view and oldsaltoz at least it is not just me with reservations about cored hulls for everyday cruising boats.
 

Sans Bateau

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As is often the case with these sort of discussions, the success of ETAP in building foam cored hulls since 1972 without any problems is often ignored. The success of this building process by that manufacture is evidence itself that there is nothing wrong with the process in principal, if it is done properly.
 

Marsupial

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Swedish Boat Quality

It was around 2006 when I posted on this following a visit to the SBS. In general HR quality was not as impressive as in presvious visits and the nice man on the Malo stand requested that I did not use the bimini frame as a handhold as it was not strong enough. Other features of the boats looked light in comparrision with previous years and bits (companyonway entrance in particular) were modified to comply with EU directives rather than redesigned, a symptom of cost cutting? or disregard for the rules - in any event "bodge" was the outcome. Yes they only make 300 boats a year and they are very expensive so they should be made correctly, compare with Jeanneau who make circa 3000 boats a year and Bav even more.
 

X-Sail

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HR 37

The problem on the Hr 37 was located to a non-sandwiched hull, see comment from Cruisingworld.com:

"The problem as stated by three different surveyors, evidenced by plugs taken out and by ultrasonic, is that the non-sandwiched hull under the waterline is delaminated. HR have taken the position that:
1) It was not like that when the hull was made
2) I is fully natural that the samples and the ultrasonic can look like they do without the hull is delaminated
3) They will repair the hull by grinding the outer half away and then rebuild it

They do not answer at all to the fact that the hull matrix material outside the delamination is ISO-Polyester ad the inner part ORTO-polyester, in spite that the purchase specification and the yacht specification states the hull to be made using ISO only.

You know the saying: "You get what you pay for"
In this case, tragic as it is to the guy buing this HR37 for his life savings, what he seems to have been paying for is a bunch of lawyers that HR hire instead of just giving him the yacht he ordered..... "

The owner of the HR37 notified the shipyard (Hallberg-Rassy) within a year from purchase regarding a possible delamination. Now HR expects that the owner shall accept a repaired yacht (...grinding of the outer half and then rebuild it.) Is that what you can expect when you by an exclusive and expensive Swedish yacht??
 

contessaman

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Fast, strong and light is a good combination for racing, by the time the opposition can keep up you just build a lighter faster stronger one.

The old one will become a cruiser in later life, provided the foam holds.

Worth noting that there have been and continue to be development of lighter and stronger core materials with very good performance for adhesion to resins with good flexing characteristics. I have little doubt the problems or cored hulls even below the water line will be resolved.
Oldsaltoz,

I hope I dont appear to be Hijacking it, but this thread has got me interested and I would like to draw on your experience and hear your opinion. My OOD 34 has a foam cored deck. This does not seem to be in bad condition at all considering its age and a few leaks hear and there. It seems where foam core is used on the hull of modern racers, the 1970's course of action -as used on my boat, was a very thin hull with many GRP 'top hat' stringers. I'm not sure how familiar you are with the OOD but i believe it was one of the first injection moulded boats. It would appear to be light yet stiff. the hull has however, with age taken up an unsightly 'hungry dog' look, in that you can see the ribs and stringers slightly from the outside. All well raced examples of this class are like it. What causes the hull to take up this look? does it mean its weakened or unduly fatigued in any way? and why then have designers ditched this method of stiffness/lightness in favour of potentially troublesome foam cores?
at 8000lbs displacement for a 34 footer my boat would make even the modern breed of racers seem rather heavy. This matter interests me greatly, because all of the newer boats that I look at with a view to one day replacing mine, seem to have the foam core. Modern, high tech? or am I better off with my 1970s hull??

thanks
 
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