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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest Forums > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 08-27-2007
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Hull Issue - Need Opinions

I'd love to get some more information or opinions on this if you please...

...Indigo's hull is blue and a little faded. I'd like to give it a clean/buff/protect job, but am hesitant to do so before looking after this:

http://www.sailnet.com/photogallery/showfull.php?photo=2456

For your reference, the "blister" (quotes, because I'm not sure that's what it is) is about 2 inches wide by 3/4 of an inch high. I haven't found anything else that looks like this on the hull.

Can anyone confirm that this is in fact a blister, and regardless, is it something that I should look after (and how) before I go ahead with shining up the hull?

Thanks in advance for any input.
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Old 08-27-2007
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Umm.. it would help if you took a photo of that from an angle in stronger light, so we can see if it is indeed a raised blister... but the cracking in the surface is not typical of an impact, which usually has a more star-shaped pattern, nor is it indicative of a stress fracture. Unfortunately, it really does look like its a blister... btw, how big is this... do you have a photo with a ruler for scale.
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Old 08-27-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
Umm.. it would help if you took a photo of that from an angle in stronger light, so we can see if it is indeed a raised blister... but the cracking in the surface is not typical of an impact, which usually has a more star-shaped pattern, nor is it indicative of a stress fracture. Unfortunately, it really does look like its a blister... btw, how big is this... do you have a photo with a ruler for scale.
Thanks SD. It's not raised now (would it have fallen down if it were a blister that "popped"?) and I've indicated the size of the offending bit in my original post. It's about 2 inches wide...

Any other ideas, or do you think that this is something that I need to have a pro look at?
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Old 08-27-2007
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This reminds me of Frist diagnosing Terri Schiavo but it looks to me like the gel coat grazing and separation from the laminate. Blisters usually look like pimples and if you puncture them they ooze some liquid. I have a few places on my coach roof where a similar lifting and cracking or crazing of the gelcoat exists. They are quite small... not more than an inch or two. WHy and how this occurs is a mystery to me, but something is causing the gelcoat to lift and and then crack.

I say it's not a blister.

What do I know?

jef
sv shiva
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If it was an osmosis blister and had popped, you'd know it. I think SanderO's right—that it is the gelcoat lifting off the underlying laminate. I had something similar happen to the fiberglass liner in the head compartment on my boat.

If you were to pop the "blister" you would probably find a dry void underneath, with just fiberglass, but no acidic liquid as would be the case in osmosis-related blisters. It may be due to the hull surface being contaminated in that spot when the boat was laid up.

If you pop an osmosis blister, you'll see that they're generally filled with an acidic liquid and are generally under fairly high pressure.
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Old 08-27-2007
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I'm guessing it is more of an impact damage which caused the gel coat to lift in an area where it wasn't bonded to the hull--more like the problems Sean Sullivan has had with his gelcoat popping in areas. The "alligatoring" pattern doesn't look like a blister to me, looks like plain old peeling paint, i.e. gelcoat that has lifted from a bond failure.

Either way...if you wanted to fix it, you'd lift/scrape it off, refill the void left with the proper epoxy fillers, and then either try to feather in the new paint on the patched area (a good painter CAN match almost anything) or else you are looking at painting at least that side of the hull, if you can't find something to put over it to hide it. (Decal, stripe, graphics?)

Of course if you've got gelcoat popping, you might want to let it be to make sure nothing else pops before you start expensive painting.
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HS-

Most impact cracks are radial to the point of impact. This is definitely not radial impact-type cracking.
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a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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sd-
I'd agree with you, except you can get a loose section of paint (gelcoat) to crack that way by "slapping" it with something that is not pointed. i.e., bump it against a piling or a fenderboard, and you can "flatten" the whole area that has lifted. Like alligatoring paint on a wall, if you slap something flap (rather than pointed) on it.

Still hard to tell from a picture, but just one blister? With that much alligatoring? Doesn't seem right either.
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Would this by chance be an epoxy hulled boat? If so or depending on how the laminate was applied over the gelcoat, it appears to me to be common delamination. Unfortunately, the only way to tell is to start pulling it off and hope you don't end up skinning the entire topsides. Some add'l info on what kind of boat this is might help determine the hull schedule
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HS-

It is pretty hard to tell, given the one photo. I think we'd need to see some wider-angle photos to help put the area into context. One thing I did notice is that the central area of the "blister" is a bit darker than the surrounding area...and that there are darker dots over the other parts of the photo. Could it be that the darker color was caused by some contamination beneath the paint and/or gelcoat. I'd also be interested to know what is beneath the "blister" and whether that is also the case with the spots down towards the left in the photo.

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sd-
I'd agree with you, except you can get a loose section of paint (gelcoat) to crack that way by "slapping" it with something that is not pointed. i.e., bump it against a piling or a fenderboard, and you can "flatten" the whole area that has lifted. Like alligatoring paint on a wall, if you slap something flap (rather than pointed) on it.

Still hard to tell from a picture, but just one blister? With that much alligatoring? Doesn't seem right either.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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