Cracks along seam

6 months 1 week ago - 6 months 1 week ago #33252 by MCImes
Cracks along seam was created by MCImes
Hi guys,
I noticed some more-than-usual water coming out of my old Fenn XT this weekend. After some inspection I see that the seam is cracked on both sides of the bucket for about .5m and again near the nose on one side another .5m. When the boat was on my car rack right after the paddle I pushed on the crack and could get a couple drops of water to weep out so im pretty sure it goes thru to the inside of the hull. based on my buddy Fath2o's experience, the old fenns (~2006) had some build quality issues and this is likely a common problem.

Im proficient with carbon repair and will have no troubles repairing it, but my question is how much of the seam do you think I should tape up? Should I only repair the cracked areas or should I do more if I already have 1.5m of cracks developing? If i do more, how much more? the whole seam front to back? or is there some area known to crack on this vintage of Fenn glass layup boats?

No catastrophic events were involved - (no beach landings, pitchpoles, massive waves, etc). Is this just a build flaw from the era or could the last 2 weekends of [email protected] up and down wind surfing cause this? 

last, do you think 1 layer of 6oz plain weave carbon is sufficient? Here's the cloth I use


Currently - Swordfish S in Southern California's ocean waters
Past Boats: Epic V10 g0, Stellar SR g1, Fenn XT g1
"When you've done something right, they wont know you've done anything at all"

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6 months 6 days ago #33259 by Fath2o
Replied by Fath2o on topic Cracks along seam
Hey Marcus, so yeah, I had a crack develop in the seam of my new Fenn Elite with in weeks of purchasing it. It progressively grew from about 3"  to 24" or so. Not wanting to get involved in cosmetic/finish repairs, I applied a thick layer of epoxy mixed with high density cabasil and powdered graphite to match the existing black seam line/stripe.
Ended up working pretty well. Glassing the seam with a composite tape would be a much better long term solution. The seam around the seat seems to be the most vulnerable area. Had a fleck of gel coat and seam pop on landing after punching through a wave right at the bucket. Since you have a seam split at the nose and the bucket I would suggest you tape the entire seam. Doubt you will ever see another crack if you do. That is of course, as long as you don't pearl into the bottom on a wave in the surf zone. Then all bets are off. I taped the entire seam of my XT with one layer of fiberglass tape vs carbon, it has held up incredibly well. During my last blunder in the surf zone the seam was about the only part of ski that did not crack/split. And yes, IMO, aggressive upwind/downwind paddling puts a lot of stress on a ski, particularly with conditions we have around here.

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