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Stress Cracks on Chine


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I have a 2004 Pathfinder and recently noticed some small stress cracks on port side chine. Does anyone else have experience with this? I would assume either hitting something or running in rough water is the cause? I don't think its from impact with anything because I do not recall hitting anything. Best way to repair? I will work on getting a photo also.

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In 2004 and 2005 MBG had a series of challenges with the stringers delaminating from the hull....the first signs are the surface cracks you see here....again, need to see better pictures....

My 2005 Pathfinder that was manufactured in early 2005 (late 2004) was one of the early ones where this problem took place...mine was under warranty and completely fixed......

The first fix was to cut out the floor and fill the voids with bonding....it worked....however, they found that they could drill holes along the stringers and fill the entire are with bond and it was a sufficient fix.

I would suggest you contact the MBG via your local dealer and ask about potential fixes....pls DON'T PANIC....My $.02 .....Don't go on any other forums and start asking for advice.......it will only stir up a bunch of hornets and most of the people have no idea what the issue is...I know it, I lived it.....my advice.....it's fixable and your problem may not be as serious as I describe above.....

Where are you located ?   feel free to PM me and I'd be happy to discuss with you my experiences...



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100% agree, this looks more serious that normal stress cracks from typical flexing.   I zoomed in on that pic and there are multiple cracks there that have significant displacement and deep crevices.  The orange/yellow color can often indicate water penetration, but not necessarily in this case.  In my situation, discoloration was the clue that my cracks extended into the fiberglass and was allowing water to pass all the way through.


Now, here's the good news.   Don't panic.  I've been through this and many others have as well.   It can be fixed and it may be extremely simple.  Here's how I'd approach it:

1) Look for obvious causes - the trailer would be suspect #1.  The location of it on the hull will tell you a lot about cause.  A stringer issue is also possible, per Dino's comments. but consider more common causes first.  If the cracking is located where the stringer is - and especially where the stringer starts/stops, it could be that your stringer needs to be re-tabbed or re-attached.   

EDIT:  I looked again and that discoloration appears to be a scratch or rub - whatever caused that MIGHT actually be your cause here.   

EDIT 2:  My experience with a de-tabbed stringer had cracks that ran parallel to the stringer - these are perpendicular.  That may be good news for you, not sure if my crack was unusual.  BTW, the primary cause of my stringer issue was my trailer (combined by a temporary design issue in my model year that was later corrected.

2) Address it from the outside first - this is the cheapest and simplest way to get a sense of what's going on.  Have a good shop grind away the gelcoat and see what's going on underneath.  Fiberglass that is cracked is very obvious, and it will tell you how much deeper the problem may go.   

3)  Don't go cheap on the shop.   Go to a HIGHLY reputable shop that SPECIFICALLY has a good reputation for being responsive and completing projects on time.  You will pay double in both $$ and stress if you go with a lower cost shop, especially if they don't have a great reputation.   


I hate it for you, and hopefully it's just damage from an impact that can be easily fixed from the outside.  IF not, MBG may help, but I know a lot of folks on this forum can provide some great advice with more and better pictures and more details on the boat's history.

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1 hour ago, cumberlandjg said:

Good or bad idea to get me by for the time being?

Marine tech will be a band-aid, but, keep you on the water a bit.....if you do have stringer/hull delamination, what is happening is the stringer is banging against the skin of the hull, that is only about 3/4 of an inch thick....you can put the Marine tech to "stop" it a bit and get you through the summer, but, this needs to be fixed....if it further delaminates, what will happen is the first coat of gel (the white) will strip off like a paper mache  and you get to the glass....should this happen while on the water, you could end up with a huge problem.....when mine took place, I noticed it when I  brought the boat out of the water.....I had a 3 foot long strip that the water had stripped off....I called a marine surveyor and we then called MBG....they said bring it up and we got it fixed....I was within my 5 year warranty...you have a 19 y/o hull, but, what I"m trying to say it to utilize the factory team to help you via your dealer....if you put the marine tech, check it every time you are going on the water....you have a problem identified, bottom line, don't risk your crew until it is assessed....my opinion.




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