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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 09-12-2006
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Awlgrip blisters

Ten years ago I had my gelcoated sailboat painted with Imron. Over the 10 years it began to develop small blisters on the hull and deck. No moisture could be dected with a meter. This year I had the paint removed by chemicals and grinding and re-painted with Awlcraft 2000. Within two months the finish began getting small blisters again. The refinisher has agreed to re-do the job but we need to figure out what is causing the blisters. The original gel coat did not have any blisters when it was painted with imron. Any idea what's going on here?
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Old 09-12-2006
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If the refinisher is any kind of pro...they should know that Awlgrip will stand behind the product, check it to see if there was a defect, and provide free technical suport to both of you to find out what went wrong.

I'd suspect some kind of contamination or application issue but I'm sure ten minutes on the phone to Awlgrip can get you a professional answer, or the information on how to make the diagnosis. Odds are they will ask you to send in some of the blisters for testing.
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Old 09-12-2006
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If you're using certain paints, like the two-part linear polyureathane paints, they can get small blisters if the painted surface is shrink-wrapped IIRC.
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Old 09-13-2006
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I painted aircraft with Alumagrip (the aluminum version of Awlgrip) for years. Blisters are usually caused by surface contamination. The trick for painting over a different product is to use a sealing epoxy primer. Typically, blisters occur when ya put poly over Enamel because Enamel outgasses forever and the Poly paints don't breath. I've never seen an issue between Imron and Alumagrip because Alumagrip is a true Polyester Urethane and is compatible with Imron. I can't be certain about Awlgrip but would assume it's the same.
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Chemical stripping on fiberglass? We never chemically stripped glass because it's porous and will soak up the stripper. Stripper also softens the glass. What exactly did you strip the Imron with?
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Just an odd thought--was this boat anywhere under an airport flight path, or in an industrial area?

The soot from unburned aviation fuel often falls out around airports, if the painter was working outdoors near an airport or heavy truck traffic...it is possible the boat was being contaminated even while it was being painted. (There's a reason for those expensive indoor paint spray rooms.)
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