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whichwaysup

2000 MA Repair Thread - Stringer issue

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Well, after arguably the most aggravating and frustrating 5 months, I am finally about to get my 18.5 MA repaired.   For those of you who don't know the story, you may want to review this thread. 

 

There are a lot of good learnings in there that I'd rather you get by reading, vs. repeating, my mistakes.

For those who don't want to ready 4 pages, here's the cliff notes version of what's going to be addressed here:

1) I bought this boat sight unseen in November of 2016.  The boat was nearly pristine and had clearly been babied it's entire life.  Hardly a scratch on her, upgraded poling platform, great engine, and (arguably now) a very good deal.    I had a few guys from the forum check it out, didn't get a survey, and when she arrived here, she was everything I had hoped.

2)  Almost to the day, one year later, I discovered a new crack in the hull on the port side chine when running down a small leak.   This eventually revealed a much more serious problem - I had a delaminated stringer.   By all accounts, this is a manufacturing defect that caused the stringer not to fully bond to the hull.   It was exactly because the boat had been babied all of its life and hardly used that the issue remained hidden.   I take the boat out 2-3 times a week, and the stinger separated more and more over time until the hull began to fail.   Thankfully, I caught it relatively quickly.   Unfortunately, insurance doesn't cover manufacturing defects, and Maverick isn't going to take responsibility for an issue they caused 17 years ago, so I'm on my own.

3)  Getting someone to take this on has proven MUCH harder than I had ever dreamed.   The first guy only wanted to fix it when he thought the insurance company would pay.  He jacked the price up and then stopped calling me back when the claim was declined.   I had 2 other shops simply refuse to take it on.   The next shop wanted 20-25K to address it, and would only do it if I did a full cap-off restoration.   The tank (poly) and wiring are in excellent condition, and I don't have 20-25K, so that wasn't an option.   I was about to bite the bullet and drive her down to Bob at Inshore Marine Specialties to get his opinion, but with 5 kids and a crazy work schedule, that trip was proving impossible.  Bob has been great throughout this process giving advice and guidance on what to consider when addressing this.

4)  Spence/NagJuice has been pushing me to check out a guy 2 hrs north of here who he's been following on the Hull Truth.  It's taken me 5 months to finally reach out to the guy, but he's got the experience and ability to do the job right.   Some of you  have seen his build threads on The Hull Truth, where he guts old SeaCrafts and restores them.  

 

So, here's the plan:

1) We don't have any reason to believe that the issue is broader than the port side stringer, but we don't want to leave anything to chance.   Popping the entire cap off of a boat is not a small matter and frankly, we don't have enough reason to believe it is necessary at this point.   The plan currently is to cut the cap off just aft of the cockpit, cutting across the narrowest sections where the gunnel meets the back deck, then across and mid-way up the rear wall of the cockpit.    He will have to cut around the splashwell because the cap is likely puttied impossibly to the transom there.     Doing this will allow him to remove the rear portion of the cap and have full access to the entire stern.   

2)  He will check out the starboard stringer to see if there are any issues there, and then confirm that the issue on the port stringer is isolated to the rear, port quadrant.    If you are a praying type, say a prayer for me that it doesn't extend any further forward.  

3)  He will then cut out the stringer, fix the crack in the hull from the inside, then repair the stringer.   If there are any issues with the starboard stringer, he'll obviously address that as well.   

4)  From there, it will be a matter of replacing the rear section of the cap, glassing/reinforcing, and repairing.

If this boat were in less pristine condition, a full restoration would make sense, but the fact is, the boat looks new, the wiring is in great shape, and all of the various builders/repair shops have agreed that the tank has many many years left in it.   

Work won't start on the boat for a month or so, but I wanted to put this out there to get any reactions to the plan.   While I plan to keep the boat for a very very long time, I am having it fixed with the idea that the repair should be done in a way that only increases the confidence in the boat's structural integrity.   

The shop will be taking a ton of pics to document the repair from start to finish, which I will post here as I get them.   

 

Stay tuned, and feel free to PM me with any thoughts - 

Whichwaysup

 

 

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Awesome your finally getting to it. 

Have you thought about replacing or atleast pulling, inspecting and coating it to prevent having to deal with it later. It seem to be an issue on quite a few MA’s around 20 years mark  

Sorry your having to go through this buddy. 

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23 minutes ago, justfish said:

Awesome your finally getting to it. 

Have you thought about replacing or atleast pulling, inspecting and coating it to prevent having to deal with it later. It seem to be an issue on quite a few MA’s around 20 years mark  

Sorry your having to go through this buddy. 

when you say "It" do you mean the fuel tank?

If so, we will definitely take a good look at her while we're in there.  Getting to it would require more cutting, but to your point, we're 3/4 of the way there.   It is a poly tank and appears to be in excellent shape (there is a large inspection port underneath the bench hatch), but we will take a closer look when we get in there.  Every boat builder I've talked to indicates that the Poly tank has a MUCH longer life span than an aluminum.   Every time they see that it is poly they say "Oh, no point in replacing that, it's got a lot of time left", even they 20-25 "total refurb" guy said that.   

I'd be curious if anyone has a different take on it though.   

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If it’s poly, you should be fine.  It’s the aluminum ones that are problematic. Didn’t realize they switched the MA to poly at some point. 

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Okay, we're finally there.   The shop was going to start work in May, but got pushed back to June.  We're rolling now.   As discussed, the issue seems to be relegated to the port side stringer in the back 1/3rd of the boat.   Original plan was to pull the entire cap, but after multiple discussions with multiple shops, we were strongly advised against it unless the issue extends further forward than we think.    Ended up agreeing to a plan to remove the cap from the rear deck backwards to minimize damage to the cap and maintain structural integrity of the overall hull.   Wiring and fuel tank are in great shape, so only attacking the stringer issue.   

Here's what we're looking at as of 6/8 - the issue doesn't appear to be affecting the other stringer, but we're going to bleach the entire are and take a closer look for potential issues/delam.   The rear deck is removed without issue and we're seeing the clearest view yet of the stringer delamination.   So far, no surprises.   

More updates soon!

 

 

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I like the approach this shop took to do the repair. Cutting off the back deck makes total sense and seems to be the easiest way to get it fixed. 

Hope its done soon and you can get back out there. 

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I"m assuming you are going to re-wire and re-pump the systems?  A lot easier to do when it's "open" then closed back up.

BTW, what is the cost estimate for this work?

dc

 

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Hmmm, it looks like in the area that cracked, there is a disconnect or gap between the stringers and the transom.  Maybe the space was needed to make room for the hidden trim tabs?  The attached pic of my Redfisher shows how the stringer is actually beefed up where it meets the transom, which would make that whole area more rigid (less flex).  If there is enough clearance for the top cap to still fit in afterward, you might ask the glass guys to tie it all together down there.  Just my $.02.

0609181110.jpg

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2 hours ago, geeviam said:

Hmmm, it looks like in the area that cracked, there is a disconnect or gap between the stringers and the transom.  Maybe the space was needed to make room for the hidden trim tabs?  The attached pic of my Redfisher shows how the stringer is actually beefed up where it meets the transom, which would make that whole area more rigid (less flex).  If there is enough clearance for the top cap to still fit in afterward, you might ask the glass guys to tie it all together down there.  Just my $.02.

0609181110.jpg

yeah, I am really surprised by that.  Maybe slyshon or skip can weigh in as to why the stringers dont go all the way to the transom

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3 hours ago, geeviam said:

If there is enough clearance for the top cap to still fit in afterward, you might ask the glass guys to tie it all together down there. 

Gus, Thats a good idea, might add a little cost but will be very strong.

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Sorry to see this has happenend to you & your boat, but glad you caught it fast and it looks like you have it in good hands to be repaired right.

We are all praying and/or pulling for ya!

 

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36 minutes ago, Tarpon1215 said:

Isn’t that a release well not a stringer?

I think he's referring to the portion below the release well - where the transom support drops down and then extends forward.

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2 hours ago, whichwaysup said:

I think he's referring to the portion below the release well - where the transom support drops down and then extends forward.

Gus is correct.  Here's a pic from a slightly different angle:

RF16_Stringer.jpg

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Update:  I reached out to Ray Ayres with MBC to ask about the stringer.   He seemed as confused as we are about why those stringers wouldn't go all the way back to the transom.   Here's his response:

I have no idea why they stop before the transom? Very strange, I would probably extend them if it were my boat. And or add to the knees coming off the transom as well.

 Unless anyone can think of a reason we wouldn't want to do this, I'm going to go ahead and have my guy extend the stringers to the transom and join them to the knees.   She'll be stronger than new.

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1 minute ago, whichwaysup said:

Update:  I reached out to Ray Ayres with MBC to ask about the stringer.   He seemed as confused as we are about why those stringers wouldn't go all the way back to the transom.   Here's his response:

I have no idea why they stop before the transom? Very strange, I would probably extend them if it were my boat. And or add to the knees coming off the transom as well.

 Unless anyone can think of a reason we wouldn't want to do this, I'm going to go ahead and have my guy extend the stringers to the transom and join them to the knees.   She'll be stronger than new.

Yep, since you're in there better than new should always be the goal within a reasonable budget overrun...slippery slopes are my specialty9_9

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Captcalf - if you get a chance, can you check out Smurfette and see if your stringers stop short of the transom or go the whole way back?   Anyone else with an MA too?   Curious if this was the standard design or if specific to my boat and/or year.

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8 minutes ago, whichwaysup said:

Captcalf - if you get a chance, can you check out Smurfette and see if your stringers stop short of the transom or go the whole way back?   Anyone else with an MA too?   Curious if this was the standard design or if specific to my boat and/or year.

Will do!

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The stringers in my 1995 17' MA did not attach to the transom. Crazy!! What's even crazier is that we all didn't hear about more stringer failures & hull cracks in the MA line. 

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I can't, for the life of me, figure out why they wouldn't.   I get that some flex would be good in a boat, but not that kind of situation!   Very strange - and agree, amazing that this structure apparently (generally) worked well.   I have never heard of a stringer issue on an MA except for mine (and the pre 2003 21's, but that's a different issue).   I was even more surprised by Ray's reaction.   There has to be a reason.

 

EDIT:  looking over my pics again, suddenly wondering if it was done to allow for drainage from the portion of the hull outside of the stringer itself.  can't think of any other good reason (but clearly they figured it out in the post 2000 versions).

Wish someone from MBC could give some history here.

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It matters not why MBC did what they did back then. The MA line has been extinct for quite some time. Kind of like the Gremlin and/or Pinto models of the past. We can pontificate for days about those type of things. 

Now that you know there's a void between the stringer and the transom the only thing that matters is that your boat is fixed to be good as new! :D 

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I would have them add an extra set of knees tying the stringers to the transom or at least tie the existing knees to the stringers.  Also make sure they account for drainage thru or you will potentially trap water on either side.  I would also re-seal or replace all thru hulls and plumbing.  Nothing worse than having to get back in there after all that hard work is complete. 

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1 hour ago, conocean said:

It matters not why MBC did what they did back then. The MA line has been extinct for quite some time. Kind of like the Gremlin and/or Pinto models of the past. We can pontificate for days about those type of things. 

Now that you know there's a void between the stringer and the transom the only thing that matters is that your boat is fixed to be good as new! :D 

Thanks Paul, good to know yours didnt tie in either.  As for why it matters, it only matters if they had a good reason for doing it.  I would hate to "fix" it only to create unexpected issues.  But knowing that the later models did tie the stringers in to the transom is encouraging, and knowing that models earlier than mine did not also helps me make sure this wasnt an issue with my particular boat.  

Lap it up, agree on all points.  My through hulls were leaking so good time to address, and definitely need to make sure water can drain from the outside area on either side of those stringers.

 

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While not a Maverick but Hewes, my 97 Bayfisher's did not have the stringers tied to the transom but my 05 does tie in.  On the 97 I was starting to develop some small cracking at the top of the transom.  I took it to a MBG dealer/shop where the fixed the issue and by beefing up the transom they tied the stringers to the transom. 

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