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post #11 of 43 Old 09-25-2006
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Northern boats may develop blisters slower if they are hauled out for winter storage and therefore allowed to dry out. Southern boats that are in the water all year may get the pox quicker.

However blisters are very common everywhere and around the Great lakes where I sail it has become routine to strip off most of the original gel coat and apply about 5-6 layers of either the West system or something like Interlux 2000. Even if they do not have any blisters. Lots of labour but little cost.

Usually done on boats built with standard polyester resins, usually built before 1985 ?
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post #12 of 43 Old 09-25-2006
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Camaraderie,

One of the conclusions of the University of Rhode Island study:

"Deep-seated blistering and delamination of the hull cannot take place unless the polymer in the hull is saturated. Saturation can only occur if the inside of the hull is in contact with water or 100 percent relative humidity air, which results if free water is allowed to remain in the bilge."

http://www.dockwalk.com/issues/2003/...listers1.shtml

Again, my main concern is with blisters that threaten the structural integrity of the hull.
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post #13 of 43 Old 09-25-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoLikeaFish
"Deep-seated blistering and delamination of the hull cannot take place unless the polymer in the hull is saturated. Saturation can only occur if the inside of the hull is in contact with water or 100 percent relative humidity air, which results if free water is allowed to remain in the bilge."

Again, my main concern is with blisters that threaten the structural integrity of the hull.
I think it would be a rare boat that has a serious blister problem on the interior of the hull. I don't remember ever hearing about one. But I would assume that a knowledgable surveyor could determine the integrity of the hull in the area of the bilge.

Edit: Go, I just reread you initial post. The point your are making is that a wet bilge may contribute to blistering on the outside of the hull?

Last edited by Fstbttms; 09-25-2006 at 11:32 AM.
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post #14 of 43 Old 09-25-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary M
Northern boats may develop blisters slower if they are hauled out for winter storage and therefore allowed to dry out. Southern boats that are in the water all year may get the pox quicker.
Gary, just as an FYI, here on the west coast of the U.S. (the area in question) and B.C. Canada, boats are not hauled for the winter since freezing is not an issue.
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post #15 of 43 Old 09-25-2006
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With west coast boats being in the water almost year round, with only the occasional haul-out for a day or two for bottom paint, zincs, etc., what do most boat owners do to decrease the likelihood of blisters? I'm sure not everyone can afford to have the boatyards do regular blister repairs. And opinions are mixed on whether it's a good idea to add a barrier coat to older boats--the risk being that they trap any existing moisture and thereby create or aggravate blisters.
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post #16 of 43 Old 09-25-2006
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I'm no expert on blister prevention, but I think that a barrier coat is pretty much the only option. If there are other, common remedies or preventative measures, I'm unaware of them.
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post #17 of 43 Old 09-25-2006
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Frank you would have to let your boat sit out for a least a week or two and then you could test the bottom with a moisture meter. It will tell you if you have any significant moisture penetration.

And I thought everyone on the left coast went skiing all winter.

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Quote:
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And I thought everyone on the left coast went skiing all winter.
We do. Water skiing!
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If you consider that blisters are the result of water getting into the laminate, and that the laminate has two sides (inside out outside) it becomes obvious why a dry bilge is recommended.
The laminate doesn't care WHICH side admits the water, it can soak in from either. Since the inside may in fact has less protection and more neglect, more unfinished edges, etc, it is worth considering.

Whether blistering is a serious problem, depends on how extensive they are, as well as exactly what kind they are (paint lifting, or internal and full of chemical goo, etc.) If it looks like road rash...it probably is a problem.
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post #20 of 43 Old 09-25-2006
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Ah, Blisters. I've spent a year repairing this issue... part time (very part time). The most common cause of blistering is thru osmosis. Polyester resin is not 100% waterproof. As water reacts with the chemicals in the resin used in the fiberglass layup, a gas is created, and expands. Viola! A blister of the gelcoat is the result.
More often than not, blisters are a result of a "void" (or air pocket) in the original layup. Although not serious initially, it can become quite serious and result in delamination of the hull. Can you say "Catastrophic Failure"? It must be delt with immediately. A more serious condition is what is commonly called "boat pox". This usually shows just as it sounds; hundreds, maybe even thousands of blisters. This condition will likely show the hull to be saturated also. Now you have a very serious condition. The boat would need to be hauled and probably spend at least a summer out drying out. Additionally, the gelcoat will need to be stripped for the hull to properly dry. Only when the hull is sufficiently dry can repairs take place. It is a huge job and very expensive at a yard.
All that being said, I have done my own "blister repair". It is not difficult, nor complicated. However, it is extremely time consuming. One of the biggest jobs I had was getting 30 yr old bottom paint off. Strippers - nope (worked on the outer layers but would not do much of anything to the last layers). I ended up sanding the entire hull. Arghhh.
Yesterday, I spent the morning (had to sail in the afternoon) sanding down my initial fairing work. I was surprised how easy it was. I used the West System. I was expecting it to be much worse than the old bottom paint. I was wrong. I finished half of one side of the boat in just a couple hours.
One note regarding bottom barrier paint (I'm using Interlux 2000E). Everything I've read indicates that this goes over your repairs (like primer). It is not part of the repair. Additionally, it is paint, not epoxy. Use real epoxy for the repairs.
Hope this helps.
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