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Old 12-31-2006
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Way Too Long Since Haulout?


I've found a Bristol 24 that I am considering purchasing. It's in better than average condition in many ways, with new sails, rigging, sound decks, chainplates, clean interior, good running Yanmar inboard, etc.

The current owner did many of these upgrades, like replacing sails, winches, rebedding cleats, stanchions, etc., but for some reason he neglected hauling out and doing regular bottom jobs. He didn't use the boat much in 6 years of ownership, other than for short daysails, and he claimed he's kept the bottom clean by scrubbing it regularly in the water using a SCUBA tank, and that there are no blisters or other problems.

My question is, what kind of problems can occur when a fiberglass hull is left in the water this long (about 6 years in Florida waters) without renewing the bottom paint? Obviously, I know to check for blisters and signs of delamination. The zincs on the prop shaft may be completely disintegrated. But could this hull be okay after such a long period of neglect? Could it be waterlogged? The boat appears to be sitting properly on her lines. As long as major damage has not resulted, I would like to consider the boat, and of course I'll inspect it underwater myself by diving, and then haul it out for a second inspection if it passes the first one. Any opinions on whether this is a good idea, or should it be passed up because of this.

Thanks in advance
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Old 12-31-2006
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camaraderie is a jewel in the rough camaraderie is a jewel in the rough camaraderie is a jewel in the rough
jascal...assuming there are no blisters and you haven't lost the prop shaft to electrolysis, there is no reason that leaving the boat in the water itself should be of major concern. If on survey, the hull appears saturated with water it can be dried and barrier coats applied before bottom painting.
I suspect that your major headache will be the barnacles on the botom if the bottom paint has lost its' effectiveness. The removal of all remnants of them is labor intensive as you don't want to strip the gel goat along with the critters! Good luck!
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Old 12-31-2006
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A boat that stays in the water avoids problems like misplaced poppits or uneven supports along with the possible chafe of lifting straps on the topsides. Storing a boat on the hard can lead to hogging, though that's not likely noticeable in a boat like the Bristol 24. If the hull's been kept clean with scrubbings, and the shaft and prop are in ok shape, the concerns are those you've mentioned - saturation, blisters and possible delamination - which would be the same for any boat. The long immersion may call for an especially careful inspection below the waterline, sounding the hull thoroughly and going over it with a moisture meter for good measure. Be aware that it's also possible for PAINT to blister, and not just gelcoat. The former problem is practically to be expected, especially in a boat that's gone so long between haulouts. I've heard stories about how a scared seller lowered his price by $10k when the buyer pointed out blilsters and said that's what the yard quoted for a bottom strip & barriercoat job. After he'd bought the boat, the buyer took out a putty knife and in two hours had scraped off the blistered PAINT. You may find some gelcoat blisters as well. If there are just a dozen or so, epoxy filler can fix them in an hour or two. If there are more than that, get more information and another opinion from your surveyor. Good luck!
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Old 12-31-2006
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Thanks Camaraderie and Paulk,

I do have a moisture meter and will be sure and take it when I go to look at the boat again. Hopefully, there won't be any blisters, or at least if there are they won't be extensive. The owner says he's kept the barnacles scraped off, and that they were mostly around the waterline.

My understanding is that the Bristol 24 was heavily built, so hopefully the hull has survived this long period of neglected bottom maintenance.


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