33 Morgan OI moist to wet bow readings - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 04-13-2010
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Thumbs up 33 Morgan OI moist to wet bow readings

I have been reading everyones posts quite avidly in this forum thread (How long will my fiberglass hull last?) after i just found out the above about my boat i am working on. Sadly, it is my first boat, i paid too much and i am learning alot of hard lessons. I am still having fun, but this latest one has me a bit depressed.
I hope Jeff is still posting as his answers seemed to be very informative. My question bascially relates to the orginal poster who asked how long his boat will last, or is the thing going to break up mid ocean?

In the bow, above the waterline i have moist to wet readings. My brand new paint job with has been properly done with high-build and 545 primer and 2 coats of awlgrip is blistering only in the bow, which prompted the moisture meter.

Anyway, the painter says i have three options.
#1. Drill 3/4" holes all over the bow and leave it for 6 months to dry out, fill with West System 107 (i think) and patch/paint.
#2. Plane down the gel coat and take as much of the delaminating fiberglass wove out as necessary to get it all out and rebuild the bow (this sounds like it is out of budget - it is only a Morgan, not a Swan)
#3. Leave it as is, painter says, once i get it back in the water the blisters will subside. reason being is that in the dry heat on the hard is drying it out.

I am concerned about my safety then, as a second priority the cost of repairations balanced with the actual cost of the boat.
I won't get into how much i have in the boat already, lets just say by the time i am done, and i cannot turn around now, it will cost double the initial price. Maybe this is normal, but not what i was expecting. The cost of education is expensive, and i am learning quickly.
So my question for the group is, what is the best thing to do now?
Do i have a serious problem that needs to be repaired? With these type of readings and blistering, is my bow about to delaminate and break up?
Which repair is the best considering the current situation?
Or will i be ok out there on the water and for how much longer if i ignore this issue? Is there any other repair that can be done other than the above options.
One guy mentions putting a giant Dehu inside and drying out the interior. Will it suck out all the humidity from the inside?
Your help is very much appreciated.
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Old 04-13-2010
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Never heard of this condition. It's hard to understand how you can get moisture only in the bow laminate. I would expect this moisture to rise from the bottom (where there is water and related wetness), is there no moisture in the bottom, ie. the classic blisters?

Before you consider repairs you need to figure out the source of the problem. Is there a large anchor locker which may have standing water in it...where's the moisture coming from? Solve this question and the moisture may dis-appear. Moisture in bow laminate seems an un-natural condition...
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I would be quick, maybe too quick, to suggest that your only risk is location. If you're putting the vessel up on the hard in the frozen north, then I see great risks with the water freezing, expanding and damaging. I kept a 1973Morgan OI 33 in Florida that had a significant water content in the hull from 1973 until 1985 and the vessel is still doing well with no attention given the moisture. My current 1973 Morgan OI 41 may have a moisture issue, but I have no signifivant blisters and no concerns since I'm not freezing the boat. Not unlike what they say about the importance in real estate,- "location, location, location!" -so, what's yours? take care and joy, Aythya crew
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Thanks for the replies so far

Maybe something that can shed a little light on the subject.
Apparently, the first thing to repair on the Morgans at this age is the rub rail. I am not sure what the old one looked like, because mine was changed before. The previous owner did it himself and i think that may be the problem. He did a terrible job of the 5200. I had it all cut out with the paint job and it is all going to be redone. I am assuming that a leaking seal on the rub rail would be a very good way for the water to get into the hull.
So in answering Sailingfool, i suppose this could be the problem.
I did notice when i bought the boat, i took apart the anchor locker and repainted, resealed the interior. Before, any water that entered the anchor locker leaked through that anchor compartment (which had a drain to the bilge) and was filling up the next compartment which did not have a drain. I found that compartment nearly full when i bought it. Who knows how long that was like that and ignored by the previous owner.
The painter told me that the fiberglass was bare on the nose. That may have added to the issue in the bow. Also, the bottom was blistered pretty bad when i lifted her out, so, yes the water may have come from below the water line as well and migrated north.
to answer Captain Force, the boat is in Honduras currently. It's home is in Cayman. I do not ever plan to go north with her. Frankly, Florida is even too cold for me now after the winter you had. So no danger of freezing. Good point though. I read that the water turns the fiberglass to acid, and that is how it delaminates. So wondering when that takes place, at what extent, and what is the best way to repair, or will it go away if i fix the problem which may have allowed it in the hull in the first place? How exactly does that work? I now have a new paint job on it, so makes me wonder how it will expel the moisture? Obviously the blisters show that is sweating the humidity now. But will that be enough over time? Thanks again for the quick replies!
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IMHO keep the inside of the bow area comlpetely dry and over a year or two the moisture in the topsides will just dis-appear. Laminate can easily absorb moisture from the inside if its left wet, a reason to keep a dry bilge. With a bottom you may need a barrier coat to pervent water absorption, but not an issue with the topsides.
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Old 04-14-2010
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Your 1974 original rubrail was the same as my 1973 black rubber extrusion:



The original was adhered with epoxy, but 5200 was the manufacturer's recommendation for replacements. Few remain with the original and their have been many successful alternatives, most with a metal strake at the outer edge. 'take care and joy, Aythya crew
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