Polycarbonate Hunters hull cracking

Nov 8, 2010
11,385
Beneteau First 36.7 & 260 Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
in the Anarchist Forum, there was a guy posting that the early ones were a Dow (?) product that is similar but not identical to the Luran.. Apparently, even some of the Dow formulated ones cracked as well..
I heard that as well. In both cases, there was an interaction they they did not (ever) understand.
 
Mar 9, 2015
167
Hunter 23.5 Alameda Ca.
The chances are good that a lower level employee with a cavalier or "get er done" attitude made a substitution without upper management approval. Through the years and in many fields I have seen these personality types de-rail the best intentions of the product/service provider. Remember the Gulf oil spill? Just put it on, it'll be fine, nothing ever goes wrong anyway, we dont't have time and money to screw with it........

Dennis
Hah, sounds analogous to the VW scam. A "get er done" engineering team, which I believe was VW's explanation. And guess what, I have 2012 TDI in the garage. So picking up an APC hulled boat would be my pattern.

Regardless of how it happened tho, I still think it was on Hunter for not being able or willing to identify the bad hulls. Unless as some have suggested, it really wasn't entirely a formulation problem. Maybe all APC hulls have these properties and some formulation might have been worse.
 
Jun 4, 2004
392
Hunter 31 and 25 and fomerly 23.5 Stockton State Park Marina; MO
SFKjeld,

Hunter designed and commissioned the boats but did not make the chemicals or the invent the process. In fact I imagine that the hulls were molded by a third party and then Hunter fitted them out. That many of the boats in question have never had a problem is probably testament that the process was sound when it met specification. The possibility of off spec. could be in the chemical matrix or conditions of the molding process, neither of which Hunter had any control over. This is where there is room for my rogue employee theory. Still they warranted many of the hulls and sought the cause and solution. In the end it was a huge bust for Hunter and those with a bad boat.
As Jackdaw said, the cause was never discovered or on what production it was induced. Still, it's more fun to "armchair" this than "how many shooters were on the grassy knoll".
Dennis
 
Jun 8, 2004
8,885
-na -NA Anywhere USA
I am putting this to rest. No there was no rogue employee theory in this case. Hunter had JY to build their original boats who also encountered the same problem. Hunter did purchase JY and kept the factory up north until it was moved to Florida where a special building was built state of the art to make sure all conditions were met in the manufacturing. It all came back to the manufacture of the ACP skin who without authorization or discussion to JY or Hunter either inadvertenly or wrecklessly change the forumulation. Why I know, I spoke to all the folks over this to include the owners, designers, purchasers and so on as I was considered knowledgable in this case. There is no more to be said other than most of the boats never had issues which you never hear about except for the minority that we do. If there are no cracks, then that is one I would purchase unless involved in a severe accident to have caused that damage which in many cases was the issue with these small boats. In addition, I use to be an investigator at one point in my life too which is why you may see my responeses in the past asking questions and for requesting photos before commenting.
 
Mar 2, 2011
489
Compac 14 Charleston, SC
I've seen cracks in ACP hulls as old as my first Hunter 170 built in 1998 (bought used in 2010) and as new as a 2008 Hunter 216 last week. Perhaps the replacement hulls were better in some respects?
 
Jun 8, 2004
8,885
-na -NA Anywhere USA
then of course we will never know what the previous owners did with the boats either like banging the crap out of them or not predrilling thru the outer skin when attaching hardware or so on.
 
  • Like
Likes: Fly_H23
Mar 2, 2011
489
Compac 14 Charleston, SC
then of course we will never know what the previous owners did with the boats either like banging the crap out of them or not predrilling thru the outer skin when attaching hardware or so on.
True, but I've seen enough cracked ACP boats to realize it's not from abuse or a bad batch of plastic. I love these boats, the style and design are functional and they sail well. I've even gotten good results repairing cracks on both 170's I've owned. They are becoming bargain priced boats due to the reputation of being crack prone. I'm hoping mine doesn't develop any new cracks. If it does it's simple to fix.
 
Sep 20, 2014
1,282
Rob Legg RL24 Chain O'Lakes
I work for a manufacturer of ultrasonic welding equipment. We supply ultrasonic welders to all industries. Changes in formulation dramatically affect the welding process, so when that happens, we often hear about it. The story goes like "we have been welding the same process for years and all of a sudden your welder stopped welding. After a long conversation eliminating the welder from fault, we will bring up the plastic. Customer swears up and down that their plastic is not at fault because there xyz specification is such that will not allow any formulation change. After a long argument, we finally talk the customer into finding old stock that someone has from the original product runs. Put the old part in, and it welds fine. Then the conversation goes up the ladder rather quickly. Usually what it comes down to is some purchasing agent sees as part of their job is to save the company money and allows a slightly different spec formulation without consulting engineering.
This is very common in the plastics industry, and I can tell you, virtually no company is immune. Even happens in the medical industry, which is much tighter on product control than the automotive industry.
 
Mar 20, 2004
1,662
Hunter 356 and 216 Portland, ME
Very true, Dave! I had exactly the same issue with a medical product - new "identical" material wouldn't weld, old stock did. Found out the purchasing agent got a deal on a different company's
"It's the same but cheaper" plastic - only the cheaper part was correct.
 
Jun 8, 2004
8,885
-na -NA Anywhere USA
Dave and Chuck

Thank you for backing me up but in the case of Hunter knowing the purchaser and head of warranty, we discussed that often and it came down to formulation being changed by the manufacturers simple plain and to the point. This is one reason when the head of warranty as to why he finally left after hearing a lot on the plastic boats. I can tell you I was a fan of fiberglass only and will not say anymore on this subject