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  1. #1
    F-15x Owner DBINX's Avatar
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    Stress cracks in foot wells

    I was just giving my F-15x a look over and noticed an area of small spiderweb cracks about the thickness of hairs on the back corner of my right footwell. It looks like they are just on the surface so other than cosmetically, is there anything I should be worried about?

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  2. #2
    Q in Arizona's Avatar
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    My 2003 F12x was covered in those all over. The shop I go to said it's nothing to worry about. I hope they were right. lol
    Last edited by Q in Arizona; 06-24-2013 at 04:50 PM.

  3. #3
    I have stress cracks in both of mine it happens to gel coat if you want there is some stuff that u can use to fill the cracks you do it with a hypodermic needle
    Most of the time they are no issue filling is usually for larger cracks
    I've done my own fiber glass work in reguards to repair holes and gel coat it's all easy and all info online
    The more u do it the better u get

  4. #4
    xdrian's Avatar
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    got them too just ride it

  5. #5
    F-15x Owner DBINX's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone. Glad to know it's normal.

  6. #6

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    Sorry for this. Gelcote is more flexible than the glass laminate under... i.e., if the gel is cracked, there is laminate cracked under. Doesn't mean that the laminate is going to fail, or even that you need to do anything about it but there is some resin under the gel that is cracked. I've seen this often on boats and it usually means a layer of matt is involved. Skis are pretty much universally matt and gel and a layer of resin rich matt would be first against the gel, which would crack. Don't be deluded into thinking it is just the gel as there necessarilly is damage beneath. Jet ski construction has more to do with shower surround construction than boat construction - it is how they keep the costs down and why racers can save a hundred pounds or more with a custom hull that can be made to be stronger than OEM.
    The polyester that these hulls are likely built with is hydrophilic, it will absorb water. It will get heavier. It will not endure freeze/thaw well with time. and parts of the resin will slowly leach from the laminate into the water and the laminate will become more brittle and porous. The saviour is that the hull will almost always still outlast the ski, itself, and it can be ground down, dried out, relaminated and painted sometime down the road. Ride the thing, have fun, and don't even get into it unless you are a perfectionist and are willing to spend much time or money. The injected (epoxy) repair will prevent further water immigration but I wouldn't even bother with that. Just ride!

  7. #7
    Hydrotoys's Avatar
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    ...and if you ratchet-strap your ski down to the trailer, don't over tighten it. Torquing the back of the ski, over thousands of miles of roads can wreck havoc on any pressure point, such as the top of the footwells, where they arch both forward and backwards and near the rear. If you must use the ratchet style on the rear, just snug 'em down. Common with ratchet strapped skis over time.

  8. #8
    Pain is fear leaving your body.... rlovebk's Avatar
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    Mine has the cracks. It is the gel coat as stated. This is why Kawasaki started painting their skis. Gel coat can get brittle and over time developes these cracks. It does not always mean there is damage underneath and most times does not. It is only typically a cosmetic issue.
    I have been sailing boats since I was a youngster. Many developed these cracks. Raced a Trans-Pac on a boat with them. No worries. A lot of people do crank those straps down Hydroman. I use friction ones crossed in an X. Do you think that is sufficient? I broke the drive shaft on the Bully. I felt so bad for Jim. Quite a ski there.

  9. #9

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    Good point on the ratchets. Also, good bunks are better for a ski than rollers as they are not point loading. I know that hulls go on rollers better but look at an asphalt parking space after a few years in hot sun - it is "plastic", just as an FRP hull is, and it deforms. The best bunks are fiberglassed to a new hull, popped off and carpeted, then mounted on a custom trailer. Rod, I won't get into it with you but I build, own and repair boats for a living and we diverge on what is underneith that crack. If we are talking "crazing", that is a different matter. I stand by what I said 100%.

  10. #10
    Pain is fear leaving your body.... rlovebk's Avatar
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    I am not saying what you have stated is not the case. On the Honda though I am pretty sure it isn't. It only happens on the top deck, not on the hull. And they are spider cracks. Not delamination type. Like too much hardener or crappy gel coat. In the 70's during the oil embargo this was a big problem and there were whole craft (Ericson which is one manufacturer which is typically a very well built boat) that eggshelled. Most mty glass experience was from then and 80's not much since so if your is more recent I defer to your experience.
    I have worked on a few of these too. The Honda deck and hull are the thickest I have encountered in PWC so not a flex issue either.
    No RickWhite or whatever here. Just sharing my experience.

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