This past weeks sad story on the 18 Sportsman that looks like something went wrong with her first soaking after a while is a cold reminder of how quick stuff can go wrong. Its not uncommon at lake Dora to see boats taking on water and bilges running batteries down over night. Back in the day before 5200 bottoms it was very common.
Are you storing your boat right? When you tuck away your boat over the winter, she drys out. An average 20 foot boat can take on close to 700 lbs of water when its soaked up. And over a cold dry winter it all goes away. We will add, that if you store her in a heated garage, its worse, and over concrete even worse. The old timers say to park them in a barn over gravel so the mosture stays in the boat as much as possible. One trick is to put down a plastic tarp under the boat above the concrete, and 5 gallon buckets of water under the boat.
Now some of this may be old news, but if your original bottom boat is fragile and loose. It takes time to soak up, and even more important. Try and avoid running it or trailering it in its dry state. The wood is looser and flexes and moves around. When the wood is soaked up, the boat is tighter and stronger. I know this is all subtle stuff. But its the best advice I have gotten over the years, and makes sense.