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  #1  
Old 01-03-2012
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Another blister thread-what sould I do?

Regards the bottom......*** What I see is:
Bottom paint over an epoxy barrier coat, over gelkote.
Many blisters, most 3/8" to 1/2".** You know I am against individual pop and filling of blisters, but even if one were so inclined, there are way too many to deal with that way.
Many of the blisters are between the barrier coat and the gelkote, but at least some are sited below the gelkote.* Not practical to determine exactly the ratio, but I would say roughly 50-50 barrier coat blisters vs. laminate blisters. *
Bottom paint is adhering reasonably well.***
Here are the options:
A full proper repair which would include a peel of the bottom paint, barrier coat, gelkote and the first layer of laminate.** Lay up new glass and finish with a new barrier coat.*** Highly reliable, but expensive.*** We would want to perform a "PROFILE" on the bottom where we grind in the laminate, aka a WINDOW and have a look at the laminate and exactly how deep the problem goes, but rough guess is $16,000.** I know you have already mentioned a full repair is probably out of the budget this year.**
Remove the bottom paint and barrier coat and apply new.** Sounds easy enough, but the laminate blisters present a problem in that the will end up getting thinned or broken open during the process and we will have a lot of filling to do.* Frankly it will be a mess and not particularly reliable.*** Given this added difficulty, I would expect removing and renewing the barrier coat to run $6,000 and I don't think you are getting much value for the expense.**
Leave it as is. * The existing barrier coat while blistering is still doing significant working keeping the quantity of moisture reaching the laminate down. * Clearly some moisture is getting in, but the amount that gets in matters a great deal and it is somewhat ironic that a relatively small amount of moisture will blow lots of blisters in a barrier coat, as opposed to a laminate. ** Even though blistering, I think the current barrier coat will maintain the status quo pretty well for the next couple years at least. * I don't see any indications there is a structural problem going on here. * Though the bottom would be lumpy from the blisters, you could leave it as is while you budget for a proper repair later.**
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Old 01-03-2012
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When we did it on my boat we just ground them all with 50 grit. the ones that opened (not maany) were dry, so later I just filled them all with epoxy putty then had the whole bottom sanded again.then the barrier coat and then bottom paint. it's going on 3 yrs now. no blisters showing.
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Old 01-04-2012
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Is the bottom solid glass or cored? If cored, you need to first determine if the core is wet...and go from there.

Otherwise, if you plan to keep the boat for the future, hire a surveyor for advice about the bottom peel, which sounds like what the boat needs. You will get part of the outrageous cost back for the work when you eventually sell the boat.

Otherwise, offer the boat for sale now at $6000 under general market value, you are likely for find eager buyers who will think they are getting a deal.
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Old 01-04-2012
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Why are you so opposed to popping and filling blisters? So there are hundreds, most of mine were at the water line and it wasn't all that terrible to deal with.

Not sure I understand all the ***s you have in your post. are you quoting?

Note: I've never heard of a boat sinking because of blisters
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Old 01-05-2012
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Denise yes I cut and pasted an email from the Boatyard manager. Right now planning on going your route.

Sell the boat? Just bought it, out of the question.
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Old 01-05-2012
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Did the Boatyard manager explain why he was opposed to the individual pop and fill method, recommended by knowledgeable, expert DIYs like Don Casey, other than it does not enrich his bank account sufficiently?

I feel your pain. These osmotic blisters are distressing to many of us. It seems to be an issue that some marine professionals exploit to scare owners into forking over their money for drastic unnecessary "repairs".

Is it just a coincidence that a "full proper repair" puts $16K in his bank account?

After having looked at a number of old boats this past summer, I gained some sympathy for old boat owners who are not willing to DIY and end up trusting some unscrupulous marine professionals. One guy in particular had a beautiful old classic plastic with an A-4 that was being continually "serviced" by a marine professional, who appeared to be doing nothing more than draining the owner of his cash. The owner was at his wit's end and was selling the boat to get rid of his problems.

This is not a slam against all marine professionals - obviously, there are some good ones on this listserv who are honest and ethical and help us all with their useful advice.

As a boat owner, you have 4 choices: (1) buy a newer boat that does not require repairs and sell it before it does, (2) become a DIYer, (3) find one of the few ethical, competent marine professionals, or (4) prepare to be reamed.

BTW, you might consider moving your boat to a different marina.

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Old 01-05-2012
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Live with it, Brokesailor.
Or use the $16 k to do it, and more, yourself.

I am blessed with very cold water here. I had a few blisters in Clear Lake, Houston, one quite large, but here cold water seems to supress them and it's very welcome.

Hey, perhaps it's another reason for you Americans to visit Loch Ness : your boat won't blister.
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Old 01-05-2012
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More opinion, but that seems to be what you are asking for. I would either do the least expensive cosmetic touch up, or go all in and strip the hull to redo it.

As you've noticed, the problem with touch up is there seems to be no way to know if yours will last. Some get years without new blisters, others reappear that season. With this solution, I would limit the cost as much as possible, to even include ignoring some or all of the blisters.

If you are one of those guys that cant stand seeing the flaw (I sympathize with them), then get it done right. Otherwise, you risk paying twice.

There you go. More for your pile.
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Old 01-05-2012
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Since the yard guy says that the barrier coat is still working to keep moisture out of the laminate, sail her this year while you sock away cash to repair the boat.

Next winter, haul out at a DIY yard, and do the work yourself. Either pop and fill individual blisters or clear the entire hull and start from scratch. Either way, it won't take you $16k to do it yourself, if you can afford to invest the time and sweat.
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Old 01-05-2012
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Broke

I am hesitant to reply here as I am no expert but am in a similar situation to yours. Multiple blisters, many between an epoxy barrier coat and several thru to the gelkote.
To others reading this if I am off base in my comments please correct me.

The blisters between the barrier coat and the gelkote are a non issue in that they are not penetrating the hull. 3 approaches can be taken with these, assuming you are doing the work your self.
1) Pop the blister, allow the water to drain and leave be.
2) Pop the blister sand around it and fill with epoxy putty
3) Remove the barrier coat completely, dry the boat and reapply.
I have chosen #2 Why? The reading I have done suggests these blisters are not a problem(yet) as they are there thru osmosis only and have not penetrated the gelkote.

The real problem starts when you have hydrolysis. This occurs when the blisters are not removed, the water penetrates the gelkote and chemically reacts to the polyester resin, breaking it down.
Basically these blisters are just water sitting between the two layers and if removed as they appear they should not be of major concern. If your situation is like mine it will be an on going job in that my epoxy barrier coat is slowly separating from the gelkote allowing the water to "pool". The proper approach would be to remove the epoxy barrier coat completely but that will have to wait. For now removing and filling each blister as they appear will prevent any real damage to the hull.

The blisters that have penetrated the gelkote.
As mentioned above this can become more of a problem because if left to sit hydrolysis can set in.
I have several of these, I have concluded that hydrolysis has started because when the blisters are popped red fluid comes out.
For these blisters I have sanded aggressively around the blister and when required removed a layer of cloth from the hull. Basically sand down deep and wide enough to removed the damaged area. They have been left to dry and will be filled next spring. It is important to note that all of the infected areas must be removed, if not you make the situation worse when applying the epoxy putty, trapping fluid into the a section of the hull where hydrolysis has already began.
It is worth noting that hydrolysis takes time to set in, which is why popping blisters to remove the water helps to prevent any or further damage. If blisters in the epoxy barrier coat or into the hull are flushed on a regular basis they are for the most part more of a cosmetic problem than a structural one.

As to doing the work yourself verses paying, only you can say which is the best route. For me, I do the work myself. It is not hard and requires a min amount of tools. A good orbiting sander with a vacuum attachment. A shop vac and plenty of sand paper. West system has all of the documentation you need on their website and all that is left is time and a boat yard that will allow you to do the work.


Again I am no expert so if I have written in error I hope someone will correct me.
John

Last edited by johnnyandjebus; 01-05-2012 at 08:56 AM.
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