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post #11 of 12 Old 08-30-2009
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I have perhaps thousands of tiny pimple sized blister near the waterline - they only extend down maybe a couple of inches along the majority of the hull, and a couple of square feet at the bottom of the hull in the stern area. From the above postings, it sounds like my boat has a gel coat adhesion problem, at least in these areas.

There are also, perhaps 50 dime sized blisters on the bottom.

The surveyor tapped out the hull and said the bottom is sound throughout.

To remedy this, would it be best to get a yard to peel the gelcoat off, then do spot repairs on the dime sized blisters and then epoxy barrier coat? Ideally, I would have it peeled down to where there is no more evidence of hydrolysis (sp?), then lay on mat and finally barrier coat it, but I'm looking to see if there is an effective economical way of fixing the blisters.

One thing about the first method is that substantial drying out time would be involved I suppose. However, if you peel down past the hydrolyzed layers, would drying out still be required?

FYI, the boat is a Hotfoot 27, built in 1982 - if that is any help.

Last edited by wunderdog; 08-30-2009 at 04:24 PM.
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post #12 of 12 Old 08-30-2009
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My boat has tens of thousands of tiny blisters, all above the waterline. My blisters only extend as far as the veil coat, none I have found extend beyond the veil coat into the laminate itself. In my case I consider it a cosmetic problem.

Regarding my boat's bottom, years ago I addressed blistering which included four plus months drying out. Drying to the point that a taped on piece of polythene sheeting produced no condenstation. I used a Petit system both the putty and the barrier coats (5 coats). Next haulout all the "repaired blisters" were back. Petit claimed that the boat was not dried out sufficiently, yet it passed their test (condensation on plastic sheet). I reground the blisters and repaired using Zspar A-788 Splash Zone in the blisters and over coated with Glovit, again applying five coats. That was over a dozen years ago and no the only problem since is with adhesion of the bottom paint to the Gluvit. It seems I waited too long and coludn't get the whole boat overcoated with bottom paint while the Gluvit was still tacky. After about five years the bottom paint started looking adhered yet pulled off with a roller wet with bottom paint. My time in the yard was about two weeks.

Why do the people who make the epoxies insist on suggesting the use of resins that do not properly cure in conditions were moisture is present. Moisture is the problem! Both Splash Zone and Gluvit work in damp to wet conditions and have been around a long time. I notice Gluvit now advertises itself as a barrier product on their cans. They didn't when I made my repair.

If it were my boat I would check to see it your blisters go beyond the veil coat, if they don't I would vacuum sand the bottom paint off and simply apply several coats of Gluvit and call it good. Just be sure to apply a first coat of bottom paint before the last coat of Gluvit has cured. If they go beyond the veil coat then the Splash Zone and Gluvit repair. Far less expensive and time consuming than peeling the whole bottom.

Bests,
Wiley
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