Welcome Guest - Sign Up today
Welcome Guest - Sign Up today
  • Dear Community Members,

    Over the last two years, there have been updates to the environment that have introduced challenges in usability, performance, and security. Efforts to improve the technology, user interface and site performance have revealed weaknesses in the platform and outdated software our site uses. This has made it increasingly difficult and frustrating to support and upgrade to more modern reliable standards that users deserve. This is not the experience we want for the members of this community.

    Members want a fast site that performs well across all devices, to be able to find relevant and interesting content, and easily share through text, images, video, and messaging on a secure platform. Our goal is to provide this user experience to all members. We will be updating to a new platform to better meet the needs of this community and allow us to provide support more efficiently. Our focus is to create a sustainable platform that performs well and loads faster on all devices while offering seamless ways to search and connect. Technology is constantly innovating - by creating an environment that we control we can maintain the site with more frequent improvements and maintenance updates.

    Although change can be difficult, we are here to support you through the process. We make every effort to review existing settings and make the changes needed so the migration goes smoothly. If you notice something doesn’t seem correct once the site goes live, don’t panic! We’ll have a dedicated person monitoring as the site goes live to answer any questions and provide support through this change. What’s next?

    When will this be happening? The plan is to put our current forums into maintenance mode (off line) at around 9am MST on 9/30/2020! The whole transition should take 24-36 hours. We recognize the user experience is slow and there are bugs from the outdated software. The sooner we can change that the better we can make the experience for you. You’ll start to see activity related to cleanup in preparation for migration very shortly. We will post an announcement to the community prior to starting the actual data migration.

    We appreciate each member’s contribution to this community and look forward to an improved experience for you all.

    - Management


No announcement yet.

Perspective of Fiberglass Boat design life

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Perspective of Fiberglass Boat design life

    Having been a member on this wonderful forum for a few years, I thought I would share some perspectives

    Design Life..... that magic duration of time that your product is designed to survive until being replaced.

    Lawn and Garden equipment has a design life of about 7 years for the average consumer. Commercial lawn and garden equipment has a design life of 5 years with a major overhaul and re-power at 2-1/2 years

    your average automobile has a design life of 180,000 miles (300,000 km's) or about 15 years with proper maintenance

    our boats..... depending on manufacturer, about 10-15 years depending on manufacture (yes some have longer design lives). I am not talking large 40meter and 50 meter yachts which have a design life of 20-25 years between major refurbs or mega yachts with a 75 year design life, I am talking your average 21 foot run-about or 24' cuddy (express cruisers are about 15-20 years)

    over 70% of the average new boat owners will resell the boat for a new boat. that number was in the 40% range in the 60's and the 60% range in the 90's the average boat is intended to be maintained on a regular basis and used on average about 50-100 hours per year the need to continue selling new boats will always prevent the market from building a "forever" boat. if such a boat could be built, it would be outside the realm of the average "Joe" and it would push the boating hobby to the uber rich only, and after a few years, the style would be out of date.

    at the end of the design life, the mechanical systems will need serious attention, the trim within the vessel will need to be replaced, and all the soft surfaces should be replaced. if the boat has been maintained, the structure may be intact. The wood structure under many boats is slowly being replaced, not for longevity of the boat, however because it quickens up the boat building process. stinger tubs pulled out of a mold, slathered with adhesive from a pneumatic gun to glue the parts together is actually faster than a team of carpenters using machine cut plywood and stapling it in place for the guys to drape and bag resin soaked cloth . However the capitol required to invest into permanent molds pushes the building technique to some of the bigger names, or higher priced names.

    Some of you may be thinking....if it doesnt have wood, it will last forever because it wont rot....true to some extent, however the boat still has a finite design life

    just because a boat is "wood free" doesn't mean its problem free. adhesives put together in haste can have a curing or bonding issue. the adhesive bond has a minimum gap and a maximum gap to work within. work outside that window and the joint can fail. Adhesive joints can only flex so many times prior to parent material or the adhesive material failing from fatigue. exposure of flotation foam to moisture and freeze/thaw cycles can damage a boat. Back to the design life of the boat in the 10-15 year range. This is because the boat may not have wood to rot, it does have a one-time build hull that will eventually fatigue and fail at its flexure points

    Add rough water, impacts to objects such as a beach, a trailer, another boat, or projectiles from a storm and the life of a particular boat is altered

    Just getting to the desire of boat owners over the years add things to their boat to personalize them. flag poles, drink holders, rod holders, spare batteries, etc. all are screwed into the boat somewhere. in many instances the fastener will breach the method of encapsulation on wood structured boats or engineered structured boats. the flotation foam is then exposed and starts to deteriorate This also impacts the life of the boat

    There is not much information on the web for design life, infact I found this by accident http://www.proglassinc.com/assets/boat.pdf which triggered a chain of thoughts stemming from design life conversations on other equipment at work the other day.

    To that end, I thought I would post this here for those people that question why a boat manufacturer 30 years ago used wood or stables to hold the wood together.....and not make it "wood free". or why cant boats last 50+ years with neglect such as leaving the plug in the boat while the boat is exposed to dropping leaves, sun, rodents, etc.

    its about the design life of the boat. its about getting a boat out the door at the lowest possible cost to the consumer while making the maximum profit for the manufacturer. This is done by not over-building boats as the manufacturer would be out of business as the demand drops when the market is saturated..... and not under-building boats as the warranty exposure would decimate the company..... however by building boats to a design life, where the boat makes it thru the warranty period, a few years past it to be sold and replaced, or mother nature drops a tree on it and its replaced

    we here on iboats tend to be similar to the folks that sink $25,000 into a 1950 pickup truck. A new 2017 pickup truck would be 10,000 times better in ride quality, NVH quality, fuel economy, etc. however not everyone can afford a $55,000 truck and that 1950's truck is just cool

    We do it because we enjoy the hobby of boating. we do it because our specific situation in life may preclude us from buying a new boat every 7-10 years. we rebuild motors, replace or rebuild outdrives, replace interiors, restore the hulls and structure. WE ALL complain that the boat should have been built better and built to last forever. the truth of the mater is that if the boat was built better and to last forever, most of us would not be boating, we would be rowing a $15,000 row boat or paddling a $10,000 canoe.

    Instead we buy $10k or $20k used boats, we use them for a while, we then sell them and upgrade. or we buy a $5k project boat, completely strip it down to just the hull and build it up from there. We do it for the love of working on the boat, for the boat hobby itself. We do it to complain about things that we know in our heart we should not complain about. We do it because we love fishing or water sports or simply going for a cruise up the river/lake/ocean. Some of us do it because of nostalgia, some of us do it because we can build what we want when we cant buy it.

    Happy Boating and remember, nearly all of us own a boat, car, lawnmower, etc. that is past its design life.
    Last edited by Scott Danforth; October 7th, 2016, 09:46 AM.
    Cheesehead boating the Gulf Coast of FLA 27.51° N, 82.53° W

    1988 Cruisers Rogue 2420 -VP 290 DP now powered by custom 468 - https://forums.iboats.com/forum/owner...988-rogue-2420

    Past Boats
    1970 Wooster Hellion - Merc 9.8
    2002 SeaRay 190BR - 5.0 - A1G2 - "Cheeseheads in Paradise"
    1984 Avanti 170DLI -3.0 stringer- "Ship Happens"

    What’s behind you doesn’t matter.Enzo Ferrari

  • #2
    Great post! Well, most of my stuff is beyond it's "design life". (maybe me too(?)

    I struggle with it daily, and am trying not to feel I have to fix everything - sometimes ya gotta move on.

    We struggle with that at my company too - do we fix that compactor again that has 26,000 hours, or drop the $mill ?

    I'm sure I will continue to keep/maintain plenty of things that are beyond their design life (the Admiral should be happy about that - as long as she doesn't hear it that way). But I did recently lease a new car ( I drive quite a bit, so I decided to make this part of my life much easier - the money will just be spent by somebody else on something else anyway). I sure do like just cleaning it, putting fuel in, an driving that thing!


    • #3
      Interesting concept . . .

      All of my boats and some of my cars are past their 'design life'. Some I actually purchased past their design life and had to bring new life back into them
      Best regards, Ted . . . . Cape Cod, MA

      Current Boats: Formula 330 SS O'Day Mariner Sail #3224, Sunfish, Boston Whaler 13
      Past Boats: Catalina 22 Sail #10531, Formula 242 SS
      Twin Mercruiser 7.4 LX MPI (0F802036, 039), Bravo 3's (0F806198, 199), Mercury 7.5 HP (1969), Johnson 4.5 HP (1980), Evinrude 25 HP (1992), Yamaha 3 (1990)

      My Boating Web Pages: http://www.tpenfield.com


      • #4
        ... even my lawn equipment is past it's design life

        Almost reads like an iBoats manifesto. Cool read.


        • #5
          Originally posted by southkogs View Post
          ... even my lawn equipment is past it's design life

          Almost reads like an iBoats manifesto. Cool read.
          Thousands of posts every year and very few are "I just got a brand new XYZ". Most are "My new to me XYZ".

          It's satisfying and thrilling to keep something old going and going by yourself with some iBOATS or Internet help. Anyone can take the newer stuff to a dealer, but you can't say "I fixed it myself"!

          As always there are exceptions. I'm probably past my design life, so the experts can take a crack at me.

          Nice take on this, Scott.
          Please, no PM's (Private Messages) regarding boat/engine problems.
          That is what the forums are for.
          Only forum/moderator issues will be answered in PM's.


          • #6
            Thanks for the kind words guys.

            GA, hoping to make this a sticky or get it into a link for all the newbies that come on board

            When I was director of product development for a large L&G manufacturer, we used to give employees test/eval equipment and specifically tell them to do no maintenance. at the 7/8 year mark the oil would have coked so bad the motor would fail. Pneumatic tires from Kenda/Carlisle would fail and crack at the end of the warranty period. we would get letters all the time that someone inherited Granddads 60 year old snowblower or tiller or what not and it was running great. it was on its second motor and the auger had been replaced twice, gearbox was replaced, however it was still running. that is 1-2 rebuilds (effectively resetting a design life clock)

            the current lift equipment I work on has a life expectancy of 25 years. there are annual inspections as required by flag state and the certifying bodies. after 5 years, the units are pulled apart, re-painted, new bearings, cylinders repacked, etc. The tender lifts have a 1-2 year warranty mainly because with lack of maintenance, they corrode off the boat within 5-8 years as no-one ever replaces zincs, or they abuse the equipment. Generally at 25 years, the equipment is replaced because the new stuff is lighter or has enhanced features.

            when I worked for a telehandler manufacturer, the equipment was a 10 year design life. 5 years with primary market (rentals mostly) then 5 years with general contractors prior to being sold off-shore or to south america. prior to being sold off-shore, the wheels/tires were replaced, the transmission rebuilt, new brakes in the axles, cylinders rebuilt, any damage to the frame repaired and unit repainted. Lift cranes were a little longer.

            remember design life is one thing, going past the design life requires refurb or restoration. my current daily driver has 195k on the clock its past its design life and every system in the car needs an overhaul. redid the cylinder head, on the 3rd timing belt, (finishing the HVAC, moving to convertible top next). I generally buy near junk vehicles and throw a low-mileage driveline into it from a wreck as my daily drivers. generally because I am broke as heck and I have made the distinction between transportation and a quality vehicle

            My boat went thru a mild bulkhead/stringer/transom repair and a motor refresh in 2012. a drive refresh in 2014 to repaint/reseal and will be getting a repaint/re-gel and repower this year. prior to my owning the boat, the rotating electrics were replaced, the interior vinyl replaced and the outdrive re-sealed. over the past 29 years, the boat has had 5 owners that i know of.
            Cheesehead boating the Gulf Coast of FLA 27.51° N, 82.53° W

            1988 Cruisers Rogue 2420 -VP 290 DP now powered by custom 468 - https://forums.iboats.com/forum/owner...988-rogue-2420

            Past Boats
            1970 Wooster Hellion - Merc 9.8
            2002 SeaRay 190BR - 5.0 - A1G2 - "Cheeseheads in Paradise"
            1984 Avanti 170DLI -3.0 stringer- "Ship Happens"

            What’s behind you doesn’t matter.Enzo Ferrari


            • #7
              Lets not forget the B52 bomber.
              They first flew in 1952 and are now expected still be flying at 100 years of age.


              • #8
                I think my boat will outlive me!!! My "Design Life" gets closer every year!!!!
                1961 Lonestar Flamingo - SPLASHED...Kinda!!
                Fabricating Decks, Stringers, and Transoms
                Paint Your Boat with Tractor Paint...Say What!!!


                • #9
                  Great post Dan, this needs to be a sticky somewhere. I take pride in using equipment that is well beyond end of life. Some vehicles and boats have a certain everlasting appeal that draws us in. I'm a sucker for those!!!
                  1986 Bayliner 16' Capri, 90 hp Johnson (sold)
                  1990 Chaparral 2000 SL Sport, 4.3L LX, Mercruiser Alpha I, Gen I

                  Link to Chaparral restoration- https://forums.iboats.com/forum/boat-repair-and-restoration/boat-restoration-building-and-hull-repair/10286641-chaparral-2000-sl-sport-floor-and-more


                  • #10
                    Very interesting post/thread. One of my problems is, when I should let go of things and buy new? When I see a new mower at $3,000 to $4,000 dollars, I try my darnedest to fix my old one. But it is at least 18 years old now and seems I have fixed nearly everything on it at least once. But when I crank it up and am mowing, it still does the job. So until I can convince myself to give it up and buy a new one, I keep fixing it. That is one of the curses of being able to fix things to keep them going. Where does that stop?
                    Tom Boy Boat Project https://forums.iboats.com/forum/boat...s-what-trailer
                    Rebuilt trailer project https://forums.iboats.com/forum/gener...r-back-to-life
                    '76 40 HP Johnson rebuild https://forums.iboats.com/forum/engin...mplete-rebuild
                    Minn Kota 599 Project https://forums.iboats.com/forum/boat-...ta-599-project


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by gm280 View Post
                      . Where does that stop?
                      when you win the lottery and finances exceed the tools and ability

                      Cheesehead boating the Gulf Coast of FLA 27.51° N, 82.53° W

                      1988 Cruisers Rogue 2420 -VP 290 DP now powered by custom 468 - https://forums.iboats.com/forum/owner...988-rogue-2420

                      Past Boats
                      1970 Wooster Hellion - Merc 9.8
                      2002 SeaRay 190BR - 5.0 - A1G2 - "Cheeseheads in Paradise"
                      1984 Avanti 170DLI -3.0 stringer- "Ship Happens"

                      What’s behind you doesn’t matter.Enzo Ferrari


                      • #12
                        Cool thread Scott. Thanks for the research.
                        1983 Sportcraft Cuddy Walkaround Rebuild


                        • #13
                          Just saw this post. Describes me perfectly... my limit when buying a "new" car is $3000. I drive 50,000 km a year, I would lose way too much money in depreciation on new cars... as it is, I generally get another 200,000 km or more, relatively trouble free out of my used $3000 cars. So, roughly 4 years of driving. Generally, I retire them at 400,000 to 450,000 km, usually because of rust. Whatever repairs they do need, I do myself.

                          My dad has a snowblower we use regularly (he lives in our house). We call it the Frankenblower - it's actually built out of three totally different brands of snowblowers, two of which he got for free. The third he bought new a few years ago - other than the engine it was junk. That engine, and the plastic chute, are now on Frankenblower. The rest was sold as scrap metal. The planned life of snowblowers is quite obviously getting shorter!

                          Only makes sense that when I buy a boat, I would get a used one for cheap and then fix it up. That's how we do everything in our family.

                          Not gonna win the lottery any time soon. No money for lottery tickets- need that to buy fibreglass supplies!
                          First project (splashed Sept 2017): 1969 Sea Ray SRV185 Re-build Current project: 1974 Sea Ray SRV240 Weekender
                          Videos of my project here.


                          • #14
                            Sign up today
                            We just bought a flat which is in terrible shape, this on top of this four year long boat escapade which is finally near completion starts forming a pattern. I hear you loud and clear.

                            I'm also quite sure older stuff is generally built better with quality materials. The fact that there is a lightbulb from 1894 (approx) still in service in some fire station on your side of the pond says a lot (fun stuff to read up on, there's a documentary called " The lightbulb scam" about planned obsolence well worth watching).
                            Last edited by Red Herring; January 2nd, 2017, 03:00 PM.
                            Finnish 30ft fishing boat overhaul