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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 11-17-2007
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dry pox daydream

Is this just me trying to rationalize myself out of a LOT of work?:

My new-to-me boat has a pretty decent case of boat-pox. I'm currently taking off the existing bottom paint to expose the full extent of my problems. I've cracked open several of the little buggers in different locations around the hull and they are all dry (24-48 hours after she was hauled) and they are all underneath the gel coat - not into the laminates.

This is a 1983 hull that spends 5 months in the cold water of Maine. So my question is: If these are all dry, do I need to take the undesirable and drastic measures of taking off the gel coat and starting over or can I just apply a barrier coat and paint to keep water off the hull? She's gone 24 years and there doesn't seem to be any water in there and there doesn't seem to be any compromising of the structural lay-up of the hull... But I'm sure I'm missing something here...

Am I a bad owner to even think this way - or can I really get away with this?

Give it to me straight, doc.

Thanks in advance! I love this forum!!!
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Old 11-17-2007
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I had a problem where the boat was barrier coated by the PO, and he did a lousy job. I developed blisters between the barrier coat and the gel coat (some went a little deeper). I ground them out each winter and coated and filled with epoxy. Eventually I had the bottom blasted (because of bottom paint buildup) and had them take off the barrier coat as well. Then had the yard barrier coat the hull the right way. Three years into the new job and no pox have shown up yet. The boat is kept on Long Island and hauled for the winter.
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Old 11-17-2007
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sand it to the gel, further in places where needed, fill with epoxy filler, then bottom paint it.but eventually you'll probably need it totally done,, but where its on bottom gel-coating isnt that bad of a job, specially since you wont need to wet-sand it for that smooth look. we've done it both ways and both give good results.,,, where to in maine are ya?
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Old 11-18-2007
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I'm in Portland, the1much. Sorry to hear about you being exiled to TX. Although living in Maine in November gives me no right to pick on anyone in warmer climes...

Do you think that water is still infiltrating inside the gel coat? Is it possible for the pox to form and then become dry and a only a cosmetic issue? Right now I'm leaning towards fairing down the awful existing bottom paint (which is what I'm about to go do more of now) and then sealing her back up.

So, am I hearing that this is an okay thing to do?

Thanks again!
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Old 11-18-2007
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I have a 83 C&C 25' and sanded to the gel one year ago, barrier coated and then bottom painted. so far no problems. She stays in freshwater all year.
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Old 11-18-2007
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its an o.k thing,,its way better then nothing or just painting over it. i'm trying to figure out why they were dry. most times they fill with water. sounds like they just had a BUNCH of air pockets when they laid her up. 1 thing to do is after you think you've found them all(after you sand) take a small hammer( like screwdriver or any small metal thingy) and tap,tap,tap. you'll be able to hear the air pockets. tap easy, but you'll definitely be able to hear the "thud" of the pockets. doing all this is just fine as long as no water made it to ya glass and started delaminating. if any has,,then you in for a BUNCH of work.( i think its just that brown water in portland hehe)
i'm from the MDI area and it was worse then being exiled ,,, i followed some young southern belle down here,,now i cant find my way home,,,( i wouldnt come home till july anyways,,high here today is like 76 )
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Old 11-18-2007
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You have to figure what the boat is worth to you as to fix it for short term or long term.. Your lucky it one respect, in the 70s and early 80s, many boat builders did not know the life of fiberglass so the rule was to add more.. Ive seen power boats built in the same era that had a hull over 2 inches thick in glass.. with this overbuilt area in the glass department, you might be able to get by for another 24 years without a problem. if its really bugging you, the mental aspect of the problem might eat you up and its better to fix it right..
If it does'nt bug you, rough it up and put another coat of bottom paint on it and then check it again next year...............
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Old 11-18-2007
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My advice. Since you haul it every year, each year take a Dremel tool and clean out each pox, going as deep as necessary to get a firm, dry base. Put a coat of epoxy on it, then fill and fair with West epoxy with their barrier coat additive. Warning, that stuff makes the epoxy really hard, takes a lot of effort to sand it fair again.
Things will not go seriously wrong in only one season. If the blisters start to have fluid inside or if they are getting big (say quarter size) then it is time to reevaluate. Only the worst cases need gel coat peeling, many can get by with blasting the bottom paint and old barrier coat off, then re-barrier coating it after fairing.
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