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  #1  
Old 11-12-2002
Bro Bro is offline
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Using Heat

I plan to strip the gelcoat off my 30 footer this winter due to 100 plus small blisters. My boatyard recommends a heat vaccum to dry the hull. Since I live in the southeast with plenty of humity, they say it is the only way to make sure it is completely dry. Anyone know of any down side to heat other than money.
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Old 11-13-2002
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Using Heat

There are a lot of ways to fooling the blister liquid into leaving. The easiest way to accomplish this is to raise the laminate temperature above the dewpoint and/or ambient temperature. And it only takes a couple of degrees of differential to make it work.

Tenting a 30'' boat is a pain but can be done. Next is the heat source. Direct fire heaters are not the answer, as they produce large amounts of water vapor, thus raising the dew point. Electric or indirect fired heaters (burning chamber vented outside the enclosure). Also, close up the hatches and throw in about 1500 Watts of electric heat (thermostatically controlled to 95 D) and raise the cabin temperature. This will work for the hull, but won''t get to the keel.

Does the yard really have equipment to vacuum bag a 30'' er???

Much will depend on the condition of the laminate after the gelcoat is removed. Wet laminate surrounding the blister locations will become visually apparent and to the extent it has traveled will determine the amount of effort required to dry it out.

On other types of structures, I have even air conditioned the tent to wring the moisture out of the air (expensive).

But dry is good, and it is such a nasty process, you don''t want to do it again in this lifetime.

Good Luck this winter,
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Old 11-13-2002
Bro Bro is offline
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Using Heat

John, Thanks for you help. Yes, the boatyard can vaccum 30" ers but it going to cost around $1200 just for the heat treatment. I was wondering how dry is dry enough. Is 5% less moisture worth the extra money. I may have to just let those old sails make do for a couple more years!
Thanks again,
Bro
Lippincott 30
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