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jfouse111

2016 Chaparral H20 Interior Issues

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  We have a 2016 Chaparral H20 with only 72 hours on it. This boat is kept under a car port with its cover on during the week. In the winter it is stored in climate control storage. The interior is only exposed to the sun, one day a week if we're lucky to find time to use it. This summer we noticed that both front seats the white vinyle has tan colored spots showing through. Also the cooler cushion now has begun to show signs of the same issue. We talked to our  Chaparral dealer. They asked for pictures, that they said would be emailed to Chaparral for review. I am wondering if there our any other H2O owners out there that have experienced the same issue?

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Mine 2016 H2O is used much more frequent than yours with all kinds of groups - mature adults, youngsters, babies -  drinking and eating all kinds of foods and drinks, and some of it gets spilled and dropped, but I cant say that I've noticed any discoloration spots on any vinyl coverings. I dont really "babying" the boat, I give it a good rinse after every use, flush the engine with salt-off, and always use the cover (stored on a boat lift). Once a year, before each summer, I treat all vinyl with Star brite Ultimate Vinyl Guard Protectant with PTEF. All vinyl looks pristine so far.

Could your spots be from spilled wine? Do you use any cleaning solutions to clean your seats?

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No, these spots our not from anything being spilled in the boat. You can physically tell that the white is coming off the seats and you can see a tan or light pink color underneath. We use a damp cloth to wipe the interior off and have used a vinyle protectant that our dealer sales and recomended. Anyone know how to upload a picture to this forum if possible? 

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Pink generally indicates mold when seen on a plastic.  The tan color is puzzling, but it could be on it's way to black (mold/mildew) or simply something below showing through a relatively thin and/or less opaque plastic.  

Good quality marine vinyl is formulated with a UV stabilizer and mold/mildew inhibitor.  Like all plastics though, surface mold/mildew is somewhat common and therefore all good quality manufacturers specify periodic cleaning.  I use the word somewhat because there are many variables at play (temperature, humidity, foam used beneath, plywood used beneath, backing on the vinyl, adhesive used to put the backing on the vinyl, dust, dirt, spills, cleaning frequency, type of cleaning, storage, ventilation, etc.) that it's not possible to state 100% there will never be mold/mildew.  To much information, I realize, but to bring the mold/mildew inhibitor into the formulation, epoxidized soybean oil (ESO) is commonly used as the carrier.  Oddly, ESO is a food source for microbes.  This is not a manufacturing defect, but is how most manufacturers bring mold/mildew inhibitors into the formula.

Setting the above aside, in most instances, the problem is surface mold/mildew and easily removed with mild soap and water and a soft rag.  Strong cleaners and "protectants" should never be used, and will make mold/mildew worse because they create leaching/exudation, and depending on type applied, can also cause discoloration/bleaching and chemical surface degradation, which then creates/accelerates the phenomenon.  My statement regarding strong cleaners and protectants will likely be disputed, but I'm in the plastic manufacturing business.  While marine vinyl is not a product line focus of ours, we manufacture some for high end applications and have significant experience with it.  Please ask any questions that you'd like, other than commercial or who our customers are, and I'll answer,

If the mold/mildew doesn't wipe off, it's not on the surface and the issue is something below the plastic surface.  This could be the backing, adhesive or foam didn't include a mold/inhibitor due to price pressures, or there was a manufacturing mistake along the way.  Likewise, the foam could be discoloring and now showing through, or the plywood/type of plywood might have become water saturated and...  Sorry, there's a lot of variables - some manufacturing related, some environment, some usage. 

Mold/mildew is not normal after two years of proper care and use (please note my cleaning comments above).  Ignoring product warranties, a good quality marine vinyl, wiped down, cleaned with mild soap and water (a few drops of Dawn) a few times per year and covered when not in use, should last 7 to 10 years +/-.  Heavy usage will shorten the life.  Light usage will extend the life.

If you are so included, a petri dish and a swab will determine if mold/mildew or not.  Swab the pink stuff, then swab the petri dish and while keeping it humid and warm, in a few days you'll either see mold/mildew growth or you won't.  I'm a nerd.

You are doing the right thing by going back to the dealer and Chaparral.  Unlike most mechanical and electrical issues that are successfully diagnosed and resolved on this forum, this one is hard/near impossible without seeing pictures and a physical sample.

P.S. Not all marine seating surfaces are vinyl.

    

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Thanks for all the good information. However, I don't believe this is a mold/mildew issue. I have tried a couple different ways to upload a picture to this forum, but I had no luck. These spots/areas our on the top of both front seats. These area our not very big, maybe a pen cap to a dime size. It appears that the vinyle was almost a tan/pink color that was dyed white, and now the tan/pink color is showing through. Also this weekend we notice that the cooler lid which is the rear center seat cushion is just starting to change color in the same manner. Everything in the bow area ,engine cover/sun deck, and side panels seem to be ok so far. I am crossing my fingers that I here back from dealer and this is something Chaparral will cover.

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A good dose of sunshine will take care of a lot of the "pinking" issues.

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There have been several issues posted on this site since the H2O line came out about pink spots on the seating areas.  One or two folks posted pics.

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How to post pictures can be found in this link.  I've never done it though.  http://forum.chaparralboats.com/index.php?/topic/18993-uploading-pics/

Photo's should allow an educated opinion as to whether it's mold/mildew or something else.

Unfortunately, pink spots are generally mold/mildew when seen on plastics.  Unlike textiles, plastics, including vinyl, are not dyed.  To achieve the desired color, pigments are mixed into the compound via either liquid, solid or paste concentrate and absorbed into the resin molecule.  White plastics are pigmented using titanium dioxide (TIO2), just like paint, and a lesser amount of calcium carbonate and one or two other colors in very minute amounts.  When pinking occurs, as described within the link, there are four reasons:  (1) a good quality vinyl wasn't used, and UV stabilizers and/or mold/mildew inhibitors were purposely omitted due to price point, (2) there was a manufacturing error, and the UV stabilizers and/or mold/mildew inhibitors were omitted or an ineffective quantity, (3) something else in the construction (i.e. seat) was specified incorrectly and/or there was a manufacturing error, and/or (4) an inappropriate cleaner or "treatment" was used that chemically altered the vinyl. 

FWIW #1.  I've seen toenail polish "stains" match your description.  It does rub off from time to time and when it does, tends to be smaller size lines and/or rub type marks (dime size or so) when sitting on your feet. 

FWIW #2.  I enjoyed the link to the article.  Pinking that bad is due to an awful quality vinyl that was improperly selected and never intended for a marine application.  I hate to say this, but sometimes things are sold/bought on the lowest cost, and when this happens, something must give.  UV stabilizers and mold/mildew inhibitors are very expensive.   

Your circumstance is very unfortunate on a nearly new boat.  Please take comfort that even if Chaparral declines warranty, in most areas with a decent size lake(s) and large number of boaters, there are usually one or two upholstery shops that can redo these articles for a modest price.  If you remove and install, modest means substantially less than the common acronym of BOAT (bust out another thousand).   

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