Drying Out Hull - SailNet Community

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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 10-31-2009
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Drying Out Hull

I've had my Catalina 30 in the water since I bought her in July of '08, and I know she was stored in the water at least the three years prior to my purchase. All this time was in salt water.

When she was hauled for the pre-purchase survey and some minor repairs I had the yard put on a fresh coat of bottom paint and all was well. The surveyor found no problems with her bottom.

I'm hauling out this winter and I've had several people tell me that I'm overdue; and that you need to haul every second or third year to let the hull dry out.

Is there any truth to this? and if so how much water can fiberglass really absorb? (my last boat was a C22 that was stored on her trailer in the winter)

Thanks
Jim
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Old 11-01-2009
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Hi Jim
If the boat is properly barrier coated below the waterline (Interlux Interprotect 2000 - 5 coats properly applied for example) drying out shouldn't be necessary. Out west we don't haul for the winter - always ready to go sailing. If it's not barrier coated the hull will absorb a small amount of moisture over time and if prone to blistering or osmosis these problems will eventually occur.
Brian
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Old 11-01-2009
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It really depends... if the hull is made of vinylester resin or certain polyester resins or has been barrier coated, then you really don't need to let the hull "dry out". Epoxy-resin hulls are not generally in need of "drying out" other.
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Old 11-01-2009
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At the risk of sounding completely irresponsible, this should make you feel better. I just had the bottom done on my Catalina 36. When the yard looked up my account, they found that it was last painted in 2002. Seven years...YIKES! My only excuse is that 5 of those years were a blur working the L.A. real estate market. Anyway, not 1 square inch of paint was missing and not ONE blister. (Thank you, Frank Butler). They attributed the good condition to my bottom diver who is apparently very careful and gentle when cleaning. Given my experience, you should be fine. From what I understand, drying out a hull is only necessary when you have blisters or other compromises of the hull's integrity.

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Old 11-01-2009
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Osmosis is a slow growing disease. Some boats have it even they are dried every year and some never get it even they stay in the water all the time. It is always a good idea to keep the boat out of water for the winter and use her in summer.
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Old 11-01-2009
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There are many places in this country with ( Ca., Fl., etc.) with lots and lots of boats, where they spend their entire lives in the water. Since I see many that are decades old and still floating, I can only assume that it is not absolutely necessary to keep your boat out of the water for half the year.
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Old 11-01-2009
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Here's an anecdote; it's not indicative of a trend but is the basis for why I haul in the fall.

Our last boat was a 1982 Sabre 28 that we bought in 1987. I kept it in the water during the third winter that we owned it. The next spring, when I had her hauled, there were a number of eraser sized blisters. I fixed then and hauled for the next 12 winters and never saw another blister. I attributed the absence of blisters in subsequent years to drying the hull. Since Sabre is very careful regarding their curing process, I can only attribute the blisters to the type of resin that they used at that time. We haul our current Sabre, each year. When we stripped the hull this spring, I noticed a couple dozen blisters that I repaired. We'll see if any more develop when we haul in 3 weeks.
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Old 11-01-2009
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Thanks everyone. She'll probably be hauled the second week of November so I'll get a good look at her bottom. But from what I've heard here I'll feel better if I decide to keep her in again next winter.

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Jim
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Old 11-01-2009
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My Etap 26 spent 25 years on a mooring year round. She was pulled for 1 week every 2 or 3 years for bottom paint. No blisters so far. I've now had her on the hard for a year working on the cast iron keel, rudder, etc. So now I'll probably have blisters up the wazoo!

Gary H. Lucas
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I think that if a boat is prone to blisters because of resin composition staying in the water will increase the possibly of blisters, or they will appear sooner than if the boat spends half the year on the hard. On the other hand if the boat is built with vinylester or epoxy resins or is properly barrier coated with Interprotect (epoxy formulation) staying in the water is not an issue. As posted by myself and others west coast boats mostly stay in the water year round. I don't think that blistering is specifically a west coast problem. East coast boats can and do blister and most spend the winter on the hard drying out. On the other hand there is very little damage on west coast boats from freezing, a possible eastern issue.
Brian
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