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Catalina 25 Bow/hull Damage - Advice Appreciated :)

Aug 18, 2018
3
Catalina 25 Delaware
Our '82 catalina 25 was unfortunately damaged in a storm. Repair quotes are significantly more than the value of the boat, so we are looking into any last-ditch home-made type repair we could do to try salvage the boat. We're new to sailing and were excited to really get into it with this boat, but are now faced with this:

https://imgur.com/a/9e5oJ0g


There is a hole in the bow, and the decking is partially cracked and lifted up. The gunwale is bent upwards. The hole in the hull luckily only communicates with the anchor well and there does not appear to be a direct connection with the interior. Because the decking/gunwale is bent upwards, there is slack on the jib forestay.

How feasible is it to patch the fiberglass (we don't care if it isn't pretty) and install a new gunwale? Are we crazy for even considering this?

Any advise at all is appreciated!! thanks!
 

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Nov 8, 2010
10,957
Beneteau First 36.7 & 260 Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
Ugh. That’s not going to require a patch. You seriously compromised the structural integrity the boat, in the one of the places it needs to be strongest. That’s gonna take time, and be expensive if someone else does the work. The hull and the deck will have to be have to be repaired separately, then bonded together.

Most 40-year-olds fiberglass boats are one significant incident away from being totaled. You’re not alone.
 

Rick D

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Jun 14, 2008
6,876
Hunter Legend 40.5 Long Beach, Shoreline Marina, CA
I don't know where you got your quote, but you might try a good body shop (automotive).
 
Aug 18, 2018
3
Catalina 25 Delaware
I don't know where you got your quote, but you might try a good body shop (automotive).
Thanks for the suggestion. I got 3 quotes from various places recommended to me. The lowest was $9k, which is way more than I paid for the boat, so I am not very optimistic to find much better.
 
Nov 8, 2010
10,957
Beneteau First 36.7 & 260 Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
A reputable shop will spend the time (and your money) making sure that the peak can handle the loads of the forestay. That's the biggest issue you face. If you try and find a less costly route, your #1 task will be making sure the solution is done in a way which allows that to happen and keeps you and your crew safe.
 
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Aug 18, 2018
3
Catalina 25 Delaware
A reputable shop will spend the time (and your money) making sure that the peak can handle the loads of the forestay. That's the biggest issue you face. If you try and find a less costly route, your #1 task will be making sure the solution is done in a way which allows that to happen and keeps you and your crew safe.
Thanks for the responses, Jackdaw. I share your concern. The very last thing I want is to do a half-assed repair job and have a catastrophic event (i.e. mast falling) occur while sailing. If there is anything I can do for a reasonable price, I'd be willing to try, but would need to have a professional at least inspect it after the fact to ensure she is safe.
 
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jviss

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Feb 5, 2004
4,525
Tartan 3800 Westport, MA
I does come dow to your skill and interest level, and time available. I've done extensive fiberglass and structural repairs to boats, and you have to understand the engineering of the original structure, and make sure your repair satisfies the requirements. Plus you need to be "handy" - with tools, materials, and so on. This can be fixed! It will require skill and a plan. You'll certainly have to take more of it apart.

Give the cost of the boat (under $9k, as you state), and the time and materials involved, and the final value once you are done, you might want to consider just chalking it up and looking for a replacement.
 
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TEM58

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Apr 4, 2013
21
Catalina 350 35 Kemah,TX
Ouch! That’s a crying shame. As a former owner I can tell you some of my fondest memories were on on Cat 25. Take a look at this post. It’s very similar to your damage, and will give you an idea of how the owner approached the repair. There are two similar incidents discussed near the end of the original post, so there’s a lot of info to take in. Every situation is different, but this may give you some ideas.
http://catalina-capri-25s.org/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=29052&SearchTerms=Bow,repair
 
Feb 26, 2004
21,137
Catalina 34 224 Maple Bay, BC, Canada
There are two similar incidents discussed near the end of the original post
Yes, the Catalina 25 Association website is THE place to go for info about C25s! :) Good luck. After 40 years sailing I finally did some fiberglass repair work under the guidance of a friend. Do your homework and you should be able to seriously consider whether you can do it yourself. There is nothing that says you have to rebuild it the same way it was original constructed. You could actually improve it and make it stronger, by, for example, addition stainless supports from the forestay fitting to under the deck inside the bow. Nothing wrong with over-building there. You should also consider eliminating those bow lights and putting one up on the pulpit.
 
Last edited:

Johnb

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Jan 22, 2008
1,194
Hunter 37-cutter Richmond CA
Long long ago when a fellow student and I were young and stupid we paddled a fiber glass canoe out into the ocean. Then the surf came up, and by the time we got back to the beach he and I we each swimming towing one half of the canoe. Not having much money, we matched the two halves and glassed them back together. We then abused that canoe for many more years. The point here being that this is the most repairable material ever made. (My buddy got a degree in law and eventually became a judge, but that is irrelevant here).

If I was young (had plenty of time) and broke, but wanted the boat, cared more about using it than cosmetics, and did not intend to cross oceans, I would repair that damage. The upward force of the forestay is opposed by the two sides of the hull meeting at the bow and stabilized horizontally by the deck. Yes it is a highly stressed area, but it is naturally strong because of the geometry of the area, essentially a triangular pyramid.

I would look at using epoxy glass sheet to provide the structural strength, fabricate a new long chainplate tied way down into the original bow material, use what you can of the deck to provide a cosmetic cover and fill in and paint the rest. As above, relocate the bow lights, that is just a complication where they are.

Good luck.
 
Nov 6, 2006
8,704
Hunter 34 Mandeville Louisiana
If you can find a "post Sandy" C-25 in a salvage yard around there, cut the front 20" off the end of it .. use that as a pattern for the cut on your boat and glass the part into your hull, possibly extending a tang down to the original hull and bolting it there.. Not easy.. Good luck
 

MitchM

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Jan 20, 2005
856
Nauticat 321 pilothouse 32 Erie PA
get yourself the free west epoxy system primer, and some good advice from the catalina forum.
 
Oct 3, 2011
722
Anam Cara Catalina 310 Hull #155 155 Lake Erie/Catawba Island
Take the money, sell off the boat parts-sails etc that can be sold off and buy another Catalina 25-
We loved ours but Catalina made LOTS of THEM, you will very well find one that is better.
You and your sailing partner will also have piece of mind!