View Full Version : Gibson fiberglass hull & beaching

07-07-2015, 03:23 PM
I am considering a Gibson diesel. My goal to to take long trips with the family and beach and enjoy a long week out on the water. My question is how would that work with the fiberglass hull? Would the sand cause too much damage? If so, how would you suggest beaching on the Ohio River that would be less damaging?

07-07-2015, 05:14 PM
on our first Gibson the day I took it out on the trailer I ran it up on the beach. when it was on the trailer I could see where it ground on the keel and I used marine-tex to coat the keel. its hard as a rock and you need to move kinda quick when applying it. I put it on about 3/8ths thick on the scuffed area. I never did run it hard aground though.the one we have now I don't run aground.

07-07-2015, 06:55 PM
Not familiar with that product. Can you paint the entire hull and keel?

07-07-2015, 07:57 PM
First answer is DON'T. Since you wont listen Google beaching shields. If you hole the boat while beaching make sure your insurance will cover. Glass boats are made to be supported by water over a broad area. Repeated small area contact will eventually weaken the structure and you will find water in the bilge and will hunt your eyeballs out trying to find the source. The metal boat guys weld on beaching plates and don't care if they get bent.

07-08-2015, 07:28 AM
I am sorry that I don't have the requisit experience to be in the club here. However, the second part of the question was how do you tie up in a way that you can enjoy the beach without causing damage. If folks could provide picutes on what they do it would be appreciated.

Old Houseboater: If you are unhappy with my posts, don't respond, I am trying to learn not upset folks.

07-08-2015, 08:47 AM
Tillerman: I do not think OHB is unhappy with your posts. He is just passing on years of experience. Also there is no club here. Just a group that enjoys houseboating. You seem to be over reacting to his post. Remember that the context of posts can be hard to discern.

As to Gibson. I have seen Gibson's (more than 1) with the front keel area worn down 1/2 in into the fiberglass mat from beaching. They had to be pulled and repaired. Now this did not happen with 1 or 2 beachings but over a period or time. You would need to very familiar with the spot where you plan to beach to be sure of no rocks or other objects that could severely damage the bottom.

With advise given in other posts the Gibson overall is a mediocre product. There are better options out there, Fiberglass= Harbormaster or any aluminum hulled boat. Just my opinion having owned Steel, fiberglass and aluminum houseboats.

The way to enjoy the beach and not beach is to keep the boat floating. On the way in to the beach throw a stern anchor. This will be used to keep you off the beach. Then proceed to lightly beach so you can get off and secure lines off both frt corners to trees or other objects that will keep the bow from going up or down river with the current or wind. Leave a little slack in frt lines and slowly back off the beach while pulling in stern line till you are just floating. Readjust frt lines as needed. You may need to add lines from the stern to the beach depending in conditions ( I always do). The stern anchor keeps you off the beach and the others keep you in place.

You will find that the front of the boat is usually in about knee deep water just floating. I use a ladder to get on the boat, others may be able to use a ramp. With practice this method is easily done. I have stayed at an island on the Allegheny River for 2 weeks doing this.

Lets us know what you decide on

07-08-2015, 09:04 AM

Thank you for the reply. Can you tell me how the construction of the HarborMasters differs from that of the Gibson?

07-08-2015, 10:16 AM
Better quality of materials. Mostly much less use of wood covered with glass. Molded cabins with less chance of leaks. Better resin in the fiberglass.

On a Gibson ( the one I owned) the only thing that is solid fiberglass is the hull but with fiberglass covered wood stringers and transom. The decks, roofs, walls everything else is wood and plywood covered on one side with a thin layer of glass and gell coat. Any water from a leaky screw or joint WILL produce rot. As I said I had to replace all of the lower deck and the wood inside around the rear window/door on the one I had. I have seen 3 or 4 with the transom rotted and plenty with bad stringers. There are 2 50ft here at my marina that have also had the roofs replaced with the ballcap over the frt deck sagged 3-4 inched. Now these are older boats but I have also seen a mid 2000 model with a roof replacement because of misplaced fly bridge screws.

A friend that owned a marina had a couple at his place that he refused to pull out and store because there no structure left to support the boat.
In my experience the Harbormasters have held up much better. I have seen many a scrapped Gibson and never a scrapped Harbormaster that was not the victim of a sinking.
As with eveything you usually get what you pay for and the price of the aluminum and better Fiberglass boats will reflect that.

That being said WHATEVER you buy a VERY THOROUGH PROFESSIONAL SURVEY by a well recommended certified surveyor familiar with the boat is MANDATORY.

I don't recall if you stated that you read this. If not you should because it is absolutely correct.

07-08-2015, 12:27 PM
AGain, thank you.

Not to cloud the waters, but how do the bluewater yachts stack up in comparision? Yes, different type of boats, but it seems to be a good fit or open water use and shallow draft I am looking for.

07-08-2015, 12:59 PM
Harbor Master, Bluewater, BurnsCraft are a big step up from Gibson, Nautaline etc. They were and are upscale in both quality and construction.
They hold their value well and are what Gibson owners move up to in a glass boat.

Note: Bluewaters are NOT an "unprotected" water boat but are more seaworthy than your Gibson or Nautaline. If you want a real pretty boat
check out a Bluewater 52 Coastal.

Caution: MOST Houseboats are designed for weekending and limited cruising. Most lack adequate pantry space and clothes hanging storage for
extended cruising.

Consider Monticello, Pluckebaum and Kings Craft. These are aluminum boats and timeless. They are also practically industructable.

07-08-2015, 01:29 PM
Thank you Houseboater