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Old 11-02-2011
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Originally Posted by MarkSF View Post
If a 70s or 80s boat doesn't have blisters now, it probably never will, unless the owner is persuaded to strip the gelcoat off.
That is not necessarily true as written. You are in part correct, in that if a 1970's or 80's boat never had blisters and has spent some of its life in fresh water, has spent some of its life in the water year round, and some of its life in the tropics, then it probably never will have blisters.

But, the cause of blisters within the resin formulations and fabrics used during the 1970's and early 1980's was such that you can properly repair the blisters and have the boat look perfect, especially if it is on the hard and dry, only to have them return again and again. There are also quick and dirty ways to repair blisters that are at best temporary but if done well, can be undetectible even to a knowlegable surveyor.

Also boats which never have had blisters in seasonal use, or were used in cool salt water can develop blisters when exposed to fresh water, warm tropical waters, or remains in the water year round.

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Curmudgeon at Large- and rhinestone in the rough, sailing my Farr 11.6 on the Chesapeake Bay
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Old 11-02-2011
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In addition to Jeffs posting on hydrolysis and 'blisters' and 'fatigue' Id also add that 10-15 years is the usual for a normally poor or inactively maintained boat to 'begin' to rot (wood core, bulkheads, sole/flooring etc. etc.) from caulking/sealing failures ... all failures that can cause extensive loss of value and the imposition of obvious and many times substandard 'repairs'.
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