Cracks at cleats

I am so close to being a new owner of a Flying Scot. It needs a few repairs. I have attached a picture of a crack that needs repaired at a cleat.The crack continues to the other side of the cleat. Another cleat has a similar crack but about 50% shorter in length. A third crack is even shorter. I do not have any more pictures at the moment.  It is a WestScot, built in 1988. The rest of the hull and deck looks to be in excellent condtion.   

Have any of you repaired similar cracks?  Any advice?  

 Thanks,  rb


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I've been sailing Flying Scots since 1977 and can tell you I've never seen cracks like those! I'm not famliar with the Flying Scots constructed by West Scot, but I am pretty sure that the Gordon Douglas or Flying Scot Inc pulled their license to construct Flying Scots due to such issues.

But in any case, they can be fixed assuming that the cracks are superficial and not all the way through to the balsa core or the wood reinforcement in the deck. Without looking at it first hand, its hard to tell. If they are superficial, that you can repair it with gelcoat. If the cracks introduced water to the wood reinforcement or balsa, then there is a bigger issue. Balsa does not mix well with water as it sponges it up and turns to mush or if the wood reinforcement is rotted it could affect the structural integrity of the deck in that area. The good thing, the crack running down the side of the seat back is mostly fiberglass. The issue I see where water could get to the balsa core or the wood reinforcement is at the cleat itself and if the cracks lead to the gunwale.

Hope I didn't scare you, but do some due dilegence and if you can find someone who is familiar with the Flying Scot, have them take a look at it for you.



Thanks Mark. I will examine all of these cracks in more detail to determine if the balsa is in good shape, and then come up with a plan.  When i can provide more detail I will also send an inquiry to Flying Scot to see what they think, even thiough it is a WestScot.

Thanks again.

Randal Bradshaw

Flying Scot #4503

I agree.

This crack looks like maybe water entered via the screw hole, and froze.  The area shown has wood in it, not balsa, to make it hold screws.

i have seen small cracks radiating from a screw hole.  Its recommended to use a countersink bit, to chamfer any screw holes.  This helps to keep the surface gelcoat from cracking as the screw goes it.

i would remove, and re-bed all your deck hardware with 4200 sealant.

Take the other screw out, and loosen the one with the crack a few turns, so you can slip a small pry tool under the cleat.  Apply some force, gently, and see if the screw is holding.  If so, I would repair the gelcoat, and re-seal the screw holes, and go sailing.

Phil Scheetz

Flying Scot 5919

Fleet 163, Nockamixon Sail Club