Cracks in topside

Hello, I'm new to this forum, but have been thinking about buying a used FS for quite some time. I'm currently considering one for sale that was built in the early 1980s. It's been dry sailed mostly, but for the past couple years it has occupied a slip on a lake (no salt water use).

One conern I have is some cracks in the topside of the boat. See photos at The other is the owner has painted the underside with anti-fouling paint...not sure if this is a good or bad thing. Other than these potential issues the boat seems solid.

Should I be concerned about the cracks or paint? I'm planning to get a closer inspection soon, but may not be able to see the underside of the hull, although the owner claims no dents, delamination, etc.

Thanks in advance for any feedback on this,

My boat has the same stress cracks. I have been told that they are superficial, in the gelcoat, and other than looking funky they don't affect the boat.

My boat had antifouling paint, when I got it. It apparently was on since the boat was new. I removed it with acetone, and under the paint there was pristine gelcoat. The gelcoat had been sanded, very evenly, to get the paint to stick better, I assume.


Phil Scheetz
FS 4086

How easy does the Acetone remove the anti-fouling paint? Can you use cloth application or do you need something stronger, like a brush?

I had a bit more difficulty removing the bottom paint of my 1960's vintage Scot. My boat had multiple coats and the Interlux Interstrip did little to remove the paint and I resorted to scraping + sanding before repainting with VC epoxy. You can read about it here:

The acetone took the paint right off. I used disposable "shop rags" from Home Depot. You need to do it outside, on a breezy day, preferably shady. If it is breezy and hot, sunny, the acetone evaporates really fast.

The trick is to keep a clean cloth against the boat as you get most of it off. Thus the disposables worked well.

No smoking, flames etc. Acetone is HIGHLY flammable.

I haven't tried the strippers, but they may work just as well.

Phil Scheetz
FS 4086

those cracks are likely not structural. most boats have them somewhere. pretty much just in the gel coat. be warned though, repairing them properly essentially involves a complete paint job. they have to be ground completely out and filled with glass and resin and fairing compound/filler then painted over.

for the bottom, cheese grader type tools are used often to get the bulk of it off, but at any rate you're in for quite a bit of sanding. wet sanding if you're environmentally conscious.