Please note that I do not conduct general vessel surveys, Condition and Valuation inspections, or Insurance or Pre-purchase surveys.

  My inspection work is exclusively on coatings & composites processes and damage/failure analysis.
     • Composites and coatings on boats, yachts, ships, & industrial applications
     • Expert witness testimony & reports, legal consulting
     • Specialist in failure analysis of cored construction , water intrusion, defects, and damage
     • Civilian, commercial, and military projects
     • Consulting on repair and refit projects


   • Cored construction failures , wet cores, defects
      Infusion problems & defects
   • Secondary bonding failures   
   • Delamination of primary and secondary bondlines
   • Osmotic blistering and resin/ laminate hydrolysis
   • Gelcoat cracking and crazing
   • Print-through and gelcoat weathering
   • Fairing and coating system failures
   • Resin undercure / postcure
     Coating defects


After infra red thermography, visual inspection, manual hammer sounding, and holesaw coupon removals, it was determined that this high-speed sportfishing vessel suffered from extensive areas of 'neverbonds,' where contact between the core material and the hull's outer skin were never established during original construction, which was not vacuum bagged. The core also suffered from large area water intrusion from improperly installed through-hull penetrations. Repairs were made by stripping and relaminating the outer skin.


BP/SPECIAL PROJECTS, LLC provided on-site inspection and support services to the United States Navy, Carderock Div, during the shock trials and follow-on work for the MHC-51 coastal minehunter "OSPREY." OSPREY is of solid laminate construction, approximately 12" thick at the keel, 4" thick at the sheer. Similar on-site consulting and inspection services were provided to the Royal Australian Navy during the at-sea shock trials of their Huon class composite minehunter.
Smart Hammer technology was used during the explosive shock trials of composite rudder blades for minehunters.


BP/SP, LLC was retained by a yacht broker to conduct an in-shop inspection for their client at the manufacturers of this lightweight cored-construction racing sailboat after the hull and deck were infused and ground.
Laminate surfaces were visually inspected and cored panels were extensively tap tested. A written report with color pohotographs was provided by hard copy and an Adobe pdf format file. Numerous very minor quality control issues were addressed by the builder before the hull and deck were mated.


This crosslinked PVC foam cored lightweight racing sailboat was damaged during a shipyard fire, but visible overheating damage was confined to less than one-fifth of the hull's surface area. BP/SP, LLC was retained by the vessel's underwiters to develop a sampling and testing program to evaluate the potential and cost for repairs to the cores and laminates. The vessel was declared a total loss and sold for salvage.


Large areas of 'neverbonded'   core material were detected by manual hammer sounding and marked out with blue masking tape and yellow self-stick ruler tape. Approximaterly 75% of the starboard topsides had bondline problems.

Read a BP Professional Boatbuilder article about core bonding problems.

Test coupons were removed from multiple locations to document the bondline condition and gap between the core and the inner face of the outer skin. Note that both these surfaces indicate a neverbond caused by 'spring-back,' where the core was briefly bedded in the adhesive layer, but drew away before the adhesive gelled.
Protracted international litigation led to the manufacturer rescinding sale of the vessel.


This PVC foam cored, epoxy prepreg construction yacht experienced considerable blister dome formation in the inner skin laminates, with a gap between the core and skin of approximately 1/4" in some of the larger blisters.

Core outgassing and resin cure inhibition , resulting from chemical incompatibilities between the foam and the resin, was suspected as the cause.

True core outgassing problems are confirmed in part by analysis of the gas generated  and trapped inside the blister dome.

I fabricated this gas collection apparatus in my machine shop. The white cylinder contains a twist drill, sealed by two spring-loaded Teflon lip seals, that spins in a small cylindrical chamber, which is connected to the black Tedlar gas collection bladder by a short hose. Note how the bladder was inflated by the pressurized gas in the blister.

The base of gas collection head is sealed to the test surface with the gray butyl rubber sealant tape shown. The blister is then penetrated by the rotating drill , which is withdrawn once the skin has been pierced, allowing the gas in the blister to fill the collection bladder.

Lab testing determined that the gas contained 35% more blowing agent component than ambient air, confirming that this problem was true core outgassing.  Additionally, laboratory testing confirmed that the cure state of the resin in the blister domes was inhibited, another symptom associated with the phenomenon.

I flew to Trinidad to inspect the subject vessel after the boatyard crew preparing the hull for bottom paint noticed water weeping out of what appeared to be porous laminate. They did some grinding and also discovered wet balsa core with unfilled kerfs. These conditions were unexpected because this hull had been built with resin infusion processing.

This 6X macro-photograph clearly shows laminate porosity that extends completely through the outer skin plies, down to the core material, the sources for both water ingress to the end-grain balsa core, and the points of water egress through the outer skin as shown above. BP/SP, LLC was retained by the vessel owner, and worked closely with the designer and repair yard, providing consulting and inspection services during the removal of the defective exterior skin, core drying, and the freestanding overhead infusion of a new outer hull skin from the keel to the boot stripe .


Six one foot thick cross-section samples were removed from the delaminated keel floor and sump region of this lightweight racing sailboat.

Edges were sanded and polished , painted with clear lacquer, and then photographed to document primary and secondary bonding failures in original construction and repairs.

This 10X closeup shows a pronounced  bump at the approximate midpoint of laminate thickness, and a crack in the exterior half of the laminate schedule that originates at the discontinuity in the inner ply surface.


Carbon fiber spar failures have been investigated with proprietary BP/SP SMART HAMMER tap testing,  and with the cooperation of infra red thermography and ultrasonic testing subcontractors. Manufacturing audits at the spar factory have been conducted to evaluate defects and failure modes observed in service .


These 10X macro photographs were taken to document problems in the cockpit sole nonskid gelcoat of a sportfishing boat. Pronounced yellowing and gelcoat granulation, shown on the left, were noticed within a few weeks of the vessel entering service.  Normal nonskid appearance shown on the right.


BP/SP, LLC was retained by a general vessel surveyor and then owner's counsel to inspect and document the poor centerline laminate quality discovered when setting this vessel on centerline blocking produced crunching noises. Note the shiny area at the center, typical of a an interply 'neverbond', where the fabric layers never touched, and the poorly consolidated , heavily aerated laminate on either side. The sale of this vessel was eventually rescinded.


The outer skin of this contour-cut balsa cored vessel's starboard topsides buckled during operation in moderate sea conditions. Water ingress and extensive core deterioration were observed around cored panel penetrations, such as this through hull, which were installed directly through the core.

Read a BP Professional Boatbuilder article on core penetrations and closeouts.


Strict application and acceptance criteria are  essential for succesful coating projects, especially for high performance yacht and containment projects.  Shown here are documentary photographs from a field inspection that show a 0.020" diameter pinhole, and a coating stack of approximately 0.003", 0.005", 0.003", 0.012", and 0.08", taken through optical comparators attached to my digital camera with adapters fabricated in my machine shop.

Contact BP/SP, LLC to discuss your project's specific requirements - you have only seen a very brief overview of the wide variety of composites and coating investigations I have conducted in the past 25 years.