Star Cracks (image #2)
What: Cracks radiating from a single point
Where: Point of impact, above or below waterline
Why: Local impact
Fix: Simple grind and fill; stop dropping things!
Star-shape cracks (above, image #2) are indicative of a local impact. Dropping a heavy fishing weight in the cockpit or hitting a small piece of flotsam might cause them. In most cases, star cracks won’t grow and shouldn’t raise concern about larger structural problems.
When cracking is indicative of a larger issue, the shape, size and direction of cracks can provide a good initial list of possible causes. If a large crack (more than a couple of inches in length) appears, it may be attributable to a structural issue. The larger or longer the crack, the more concern the owner should have. Very long cracks demand near-immediate attention. Some causes of other types of cracks — besides or in conjunction with beating on a boat — include improper laminate thickness or resin application (“wet out”), improperly cured resin and even bad design.