Blisters! - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 7 Old 01-24-2008 Thread Starter
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I went and looked at a boat for sale today. A 1979 Rival. I really liked the boat and the way it was set-up. The only negative thing was that it had blisters below the water line. The largest were 2 inches in diameter. I read this from a survey 4 years ago. I know some say that blisters are mostly cosmetic and not much to worry about. Especially on a boat that old. What worries me is resale. This boat has been for sale for about a year. Other than that I really like the boat. It's prob the most boat for the money for a 34 footer that I've seen in awhile. What do you guys think about blisters? Thanks.
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post #2 of 7 Old 01-24-2008
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I'd say to read up on blisters, then if you are still interested hire a surveyor.

Blisters may or may not be a problem, depending on the reputation of the boat (hull and time), how many, how large, how extensive, and what was done or ignored about them in the last 4 years.

Resale? Well, apparently someone tried to buy or sell the boat 4 years ago, and now it has been up for at least another year without a buyer.

Read up, and if the price still seems right, get a survey.
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post #3 of 7 Old 01-24-2008
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In regards to resale value - if they never are fixed - then yes there will be an issue..

Blisters are not always bad, some are cosmetic however others can be catastrophic... The issues with blisters are:

1. Depending on the depth - can wick water into the structure. If all fiberglass - it weakens the hull and if it is a plywood cored - will rot the wood....

2. It takes quite a bit of work to properly get rid of blisters...drilling them out - heating them to get rid of the moisture and then repairing...

3. If you are not a DIY kinda person - can be expensive...

However, I have seen these issues addressed in the yard, where based on the value of the boat - recommendations of just sealing them up and live with it have been made...

If you do go for it - you definitely want a new survey and make sure that moisture reading are made...and get a prelim estimate on how much it would take to fix it and use that as a bargaining angle...

Just random thoughts on the subject - it may not be a disaster but then again could be...Alot of boats made during a certain time frame experienced blistering - it is alot more common actually

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post #4 of 7 Old 01-24-2008
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You are looking at 10k or more - or a lot of elbow grease to repair.
I did my buddies Catalina 30 with him 2 years ago - power planed off the gel coat - rebuilt, faired, and barrier coated took us about 5 days of work and cost about 1000 bucks in material. I already had the tools. Can't swear to the materials cost, I didn't buy them.

Other than that, personal choice and recommendations of the qualified surveyor etc. etc.

This being the one you were talking about earlier, knock some change off the price and do it if otherwise the boat looks good for the money and the survey says it's good.
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post #5 of 7 Old 01-24-2008
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Blisters are almost inevitable in older boats, are relatively easily (if not inexpensively) dealt with. Two inches across is indicative of a failry serious condition, but it's the depth of them as much as the size that's an issue.

Cored hulls are more problematic with large blisters due to the thinner FG outer skin.

If the price reflects or can be adjusted to reflect the cost of a proper peel/barrier coat job, you could well end up with an excellent (improved) boat where resale could be enhanced by the fact that a proper blister repair job has already been done.

Worth checking, though, is whether these large blisters are indeed in the laminate, or are paint blisters (or in a poor attempt at a barrier coat). I've seen this occur before where blisters "came back" in a year, and it proved to be poor adhesion of a barrier coat after a blister repair.


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post #6 of 7 Old 01-24-2008
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A two inch blister is huge. I would get a glass guy to look and determine what kind they are just like Faster said. For the most part blisters are benign, just a negotiating point. With the exception of new or almost new boats, all boats have or have had blisters. The good news is you can't see them when you are sailing!


There is a tide in the affairs of men,
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
Shakespeare, Julius Caesar IV, iii, 217
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post #7 of 7 Old 01-24-2008
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Snider...I would ask a yard what a peel and new bottom would cost and how long it would take...and then make my offer taking that into account if you really love the boat. My concern is that the prior owner let it get this far when he knew 4 years ago he had a problem. What else is wrong with the boat due to neglect?? Get a good surveyor!!

No longer posting. Reach me by PM!
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