Expert Advice

Old Boat Nightmares #1

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A few years ago I was seriously interested in a Pearson 10M that was on the market for a very reasonable asking price. I had looked it over pretty closely—or so I thought—and I had picked up on a number of faults, none of which were serious enough to put me off.

Luckily, I had engaged surveyor Norm LeBlanc to check the boat over, and he found plenty more flaws. The biggest one can be seen in this photo. No, it’s not the awful bilge pump wiring—that’s easily fixed—or the oily water in the bilge—that’s nothing unusual in boats that have been standing on shore for a while. It’s the small crack in the floor, the athwartships member just above and to the right of the bilge pump. There is another one in the lower floor, just out of sight. Water would have gotten into these cracks and saturated the laminates and wood inside them.

This would have been a nightmare to repair. Cutting out floors and glassing in new ones is within the reach of a competent do-it-yourselfer, but this repair would have entailed first cutting out the Pearson’s molded floor pan liner, and then replacing it after the floor repairs were completed. It takes a skilled glass guy to make a repair like that look good, and good glass guys are expensive.

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