They built the seats and forward air chamber as one piece. The mold was laying top down. They sprayed on gelcoat. Then they put in a layer of chopper glass--a thin layer--a thin layer without enough resin to thoroughly wet the surface. Then they laid a number of small blocks of plywood on top of the wet resin. The resin was supposed to be the glue that held the small blocks in place. Then they put more chopper glass on the backs of the small blocks. You can see all this when you cut out a section of the seat.
|An oscillating saw cut a small hole in the seat. As the damage revealed|
itself, the hole was enlarged to remove all the cracked pieces. The builders
dumped in a load of small foam blocks for flotation.
With section of seat removed, you can clearly see the construction details and why it failed. Mickey mouse as it was, this design would have worked if the builders used enough glass and enough resin between the gel coat and plywood blocks.
|Here you see the three blocks that were never glued to the|
top layer of chopper gun. At the first stress they just let
go and pulled the surrounding blocks with them.
|The total damage was about twice as big as the hole in the seat.|
The small blocks were probably used so that the plywood reinforcing material would conform to the curve of the seat without a lot of fussy fabrication. Nowadays it would probably be laid up with some fancy foam for reinforcing. If they had built the seats for strength, they probably would have skipped the plywood and hand laid-up two layers of roving on top of the first layer of gelcoat and chopper glass. But that would have added substantial cost and weight to the boat. Goodness knows the boat is heavy enough already. At the very least they should have staggered the placement of the blocks so the seams didn't line up so neatly.
Next--putting it back together.