"Mid Size Power Boats" - Buyers' Guide by David Pascoe

Cores and Structural Issues

by David Pascoe
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  • Bad News For Bertram

    This failure involved an area of laminate failure on the port side and bottom along a length of about ten feet where the outer skin came off the core. The incident reportedly occurred in fair weather and the yacht made it back to port without sinking. Much of the core is exposed, unfortunately for Bertram, since we can get a good idea of what happened and why.  Entire Article

  • Are They Fiberglass Boats Anymore?

    It happened when I was asked by a client to attend an auction of storm damaged boats here in Fort Lauderdale. There were two minor hurricanes and one tropical storm in Florida last year, but other than to trees, I wasn't aware of much damage having occurred. In fact, during one of the hurricanes, I was out there with a video camera filming what was going on at several marinas. Not much, except for a few people that did nothing to prepare. Mostly it was these people's boats that ended up in the auction. Entire Article

  • Cored Hull Bottoms: The Final Word

    In many of my previous articles I raised some warning flags about this latest trend toward coring boat bottoms, pointing out the potential for some very serious problems. Those warnings haven't been heeded as numerous builders jump on the cored hull bandwagon.Entire Article

  • Core Materials

    The Hamburger Helper of Boat Building, Reviewed in the Light of History

    The roots of fiberglass boat building go all the way back to the 1930's when, so far as I know, the first reinforced plastic boat was built by Gar Wood in 1936. Were it not for the Depression and W.W.II, production fiberglass boat building probably would have been initiated in the 1940's but, as it was, really began in earnest in 1960 with the pioneers of fiberglass boat building, Bertram, Hatteras and Hinckley. Entire Article

  • More on Cores

    And Why New Boat Surveys are Becoming a Necessity.

    Putting cores in boat structures is now THE thing to do. Almost all late model boats we run into have more and more coring. Decks, hull sides, bottoms. Which leads me to wonder if boat builders know why they're doing this and what the potential consequences for their future reputation is. Entire Article

  • Sea Ray and Balsa Core Bottoms

    The debate over the use of balsa cores in boat bottoms seems recently to have come to an end when, in October, 2002, Powerboat Reports ran a piece entitled "Core Complaints".  Purporting to be an editorial, when in fact the piece ran five pages and is a full-blown article, including a response from Sea Ray to a PBR inquiry for Sea Ray's response to allegations of serious problems with the use of balsa core in the bottom of their boats 40 to 55 feet built from 1995 to 2002. Entire Article

  • ATC Core-Cell: A Foaming Solution?

    The problems involving the coring boat of bottoms will not be going away anytime soon. However, the problem may be considerably relieved by a relatively new material called ATC Core-Cell – relatively new because the material has been on the market now for about ten years, but is only now beginning to get some serious recognition. ATC is the manufacturer and Core-Cell is the product name. Entire Article

  • Pararrel Universe

    Composite Troubles in Aircraft

    Warning: The reader is cautioned not to make comparisons of the consequences of composite failures in aircraft with that of boats. The purpose of this discussion is to reveal that even in the world of really big money, the experts are still having trouble with composites in what amounts to life and death situations. Entire Article

  • In "Boat Insurance Issues" category

  • Latent Defects

    A little understood term results in boat owners not taking advantage of insurance coverage. The term latent defect in maritime use is widely misunderstood, for it is not the same thing as with common law usage. A latent defect is an unknown defect not discoverable by such inspection or test as the law reasonably requires under the circumstances, i.e. reasonable and prudent inspection. Entire Article

  • In "Marine Surveying" category

  • Hi Tech Materials in Boat Building

    The Pros and Cons of Space Age Materials in Boat Building.  What it Means for the Consumer

    The boat building industry has entered an unprecedented period of experimentation of new materials for use in the fabrication of what were once called fiberglass hulls. Those of us who have been around the boat building scene for a while have seen a lot of new ideas and materials come and go over the years. Some have met with success, but many have met with failure, or one way or another have proved unsuitable for building production-line boats. Entire Article

  • New Materials Again

    It seems the gentleman owns a foam cored boat himself without nary a problem. As a skeptic of foam cores, it's been lonely out here over the years in face of so much promotion and fanfare for the material. However, he overlooked the point that I never said that foam couldn't be used successfully; it can and it is. Entire Article

  • Direct Links to Some Chapter Contents

  • Chapter 5   Hull and Its Structure (Surveying Fiberglass Power Boats)

  • Chapter 4  Basic Hull Construction (Mid Size Power Boats)

  • Chapter 5   Evaluating Boat Hulls (Mid Size Power Boats)

David Pascoe Power Boat Books

Buyers' Guide to Outboard Boats Surveying Fiberglass Power Boats (2E)
David Pascoe - Biography

David Pascoe is a second generation marine surveyor in his family who began his surveying career at age 16 as an apprentice in 1965 as the era of wooden boats was drawing to a close.

Certified by the National Association of Marine Surveyors in 1972, he has conducted over 5,000 pre purchase surveys in addition to having conducted hundreds of boating accident investigations, including fires, sinkings, hull failures and machinery failure analysis.

Over forty years of knowledge and experience are brought to bear in following books. David Pascoe is the author of:

In addition to readers in the United States, boaters and boat industry professionals worldwide from nearly 80 countries have purchased David Pascoe's books, since introduction of his first book in 2001.

In 2012, David Pascoe has retired from marine surveying business at age 65.

On November 23rd, 2018, David Pascoe has passed away at age 71.

Biography - Long version

David Pascoe's
Power Boat Books

Mid Size Power Boats Mid Size Power Boats
A Guide for Discriminating Buyers
Focuses exclusively cruiser class generally 30-55 feet
With discussions on the pros and cons of each type: Expresses, trawlers, motor yachts, multi purpose types, sportfishermen and sedan cruisers.
Buyers' Guide to Outboard Boats
Selecting and Evaluating New and Used Boats
Dedicated for offshore outboard boats
A hard and realistic look at the marine market place and delves into issues of boat quality and durability that most other marine writers are unwilling to touch.
Surveying Fiberglass Powewr Boats
Surveying Fiberglass Power Boats
2nd Edition
The Art of Pre-Purchase Survey The very first of its kind, this book provides the essentials that every novice needs to know, as well as a wealth of esoteric details.
Marine Investigations
Pleasure crafts investigations to court testimony The first and only book of its kind on the subject of investigating pleasure craft casualties and other issues.
Nearly 80 countries
Countries List
Browse Chapters with Excerpt at
Page last modified  November 07, 2015.