Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Arlington, VA
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Yes, that's right. And, you probably saw that on one of my posts elsewhere :-))
The earliest Valiant 40s were fine, beginning with hull #1. I don't remember the exact hull number when the resin was switched, but it was about 1979-80 timeframe. All hulls built after the switch, and through hull #249, had the POTENTIAL to blister badly. And, with the V40s, we're not talking about normal blistering. These were humongous blisters, some on the decks and trunk cabin as well as the hull.
How do I know this? Because a close friend had a lovely V40...maybe the best one afloat the way he kept it...that developed bad blisters. He was part of a class-action suit which dragged on for years. It was heartbreaking to witness.
In early 1989 I was looking for a non-blister Valiant 40. I traveled to NC and looked at Blaine's lovely "Stormy Petrel", hull #249, which he'd protected by putting coal tar epoxy on the bottom. This was the last "blister boat" built by Uniflite. After agonizing over the potential for major blisters to develop, expecially as I planned to cruise to the Caribbean and keep the boat there for a decade or so, I passed on that Valiant.
The first boats built after hull #249 did, occasionally, develop some blistering of the type many boats experience. No serious problem. Later, a new process was adopted which, I believe, has all but eliminated even these blisters. The new Valiant 42 built in Texas (actually a V40 with a small bowsprit, built from the same mold) is arguably the best world cruising sailboat in its class.
If I remember correctly, John Krechmer (sp?) of Atlantic Yachts published a treatise on the V40s...no doubt a Google search would turn it up.