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Old 02-10-2013
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Blister Repair services in Chesapeake bay area

Hi, I have a Catalina 34 sailboat in the Chesapeake Bay with many blisters. I don't know how to repair blisters. The quotes that I got from some professional marine services are outrageous. So I am looking for somebody who knows how to do this at reasonable prices. Any recommendations in the Chesapeake area?.

Thanks in advance!

Juan
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Old 02-10-2013
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Re: Blister Repair services in Chesapeake bay area

Juan,

Having someone else do this kind of work for you is going to cost plenty.
Depending on where you are on the Chesapeake the prices may vary a bit too; Annapolis area being expensive, eastern shore and south near Deltaville being more affordable.

The cheapest option is to do it yourself, of course. It is not that difficult, it is just a lot of work. Here is a high level outline of the work you need done:
Step 1 is to have the boat hauled out if it is not out of the water already.
Step 2 is to grind out the blisters and allowing them to thoroughly dry for about a month.
Step 3 is to fill the blisters with new epoxy and filler
Step 4 is to sand the repairs smooth, or fair
Step 5 is to re-paint.

Good luck.
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Old 02-10-2013
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Re: Blister Repair services in Chesapeake bay area

The Chesapeake is a big bay. Tell us where you are and we might give you some good suggestions. There are many marinas in the low traffic areas that are much more reasonable than the high rent districts like Annapolis.

One suggestion, join the Catalina 34 owners website. Lots of great people and a fantastic source of info on your boat. I have a 34 as well.
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Re: Blister Repair services in Chesapeake bay area

Reference step 2. I will be the first to admit, I have no experience with blisters but I have read quite a bit. One article (which I can't locate at the moment) suggested that letting the blisters sit for a month to "dry out" isn't as effective as to use hot water to rinse out the residue. (Even after sitting, there is a residue remaining).

Sorry I can't locate the documentation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CalebD View Post
Juan,

Having someone else do this kind of work for you is going to cost plenty.
Depending on where you are on the Chesapeake the prices may vary a bit too; Annapolis area being expensive, eastern shore and south near Deltaville being more affordable.

The cheapest option is to do it yourself, of course. It is not that difficult, it is just a lot of work. Here is a high level outline of the work you need done:
Step 1 is to have the boat hauled out if it is not out of the water already.
Step 2 is to grind out the blisters and allowing them to thoroughly dry for about a month.
Step 3 is to fill the blisters with new epoxy and filler
Step 4 is to sand the repairs smooth, or fair
Step 5 is to re-paint.

Good luck.
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Old 02-11-2013
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Re: Blister Repair services in Chesapeake bay area

Osprey marine atHerrington Harbor.
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Re: Blister Repair services in Chesapeake bay area

That part of the bay, Solomon's, Deale , Annapolis, is not cheap. You can save money elsewhere, but it wouldn't be convenient and probably not worth going to to save a couple hundred bucks.
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Old 02-11-2013
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Re: Blister Repair services in Chesapeake bay area

I did a peel on a friends Catalina 30, took a couple days of grinding with a belt sander and a hand planer. It was not a first rate job, but it got the blisters gone.

Professionals use special planers to remove the gel.

If you are looking a spot job I'd say do it yourself, a couple at a time or what ever. If it's a total peel then you are looking at 10k or so, that's just what it is.

Osprey's Marine in HHS did my boat 8 years ago (previous owner). They offer a 10 year warranty. I can't recommend them, haven't seen the bottom of the boat yet.
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Old 02-11-2013
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Re: Blister Repair services in Chesapeake bay area

Hartge's in Galesville, used to have a sterling rep for blister repair. You may check with them as to details.

Pretty much peel the whole hull and then redo. Again, they used to have a warranty. Been out of the area for a while.
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Old 02-11-2013
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Re: Blister Repair services in Chesapeake bay area

Quote:
Originally Posted by jblyde View Post
Hi, I have a Catalina 34 sailboat in the Chesapeake Bay with many blisters. I don't know how to repair blisters. The quotes that I got from some professional marine services are outrageous. So I am looking for somebody who knows how to do this at reasonable prices. Any recommendations in the Chesapeake area?.

Thanks in advance!

Juan
Before you go off the deep end consider a few things first...

How bad are these blisters? Can you post some pictures of them? They may not be as bad as you think. Yes, to do a complete peel, fill, fair, and barrier coat is going to cost $$$$, but you may not need to do so.

First thing I would have done is to have the hull soda blasted or something similar. Don't waste your time with anything else. Probably going to cost somewhere between $500 - $1000 for the soda blasting.

This should expose just how bad your blisters are. The rest of my thoughts on what you need to do are in the link provided below, PM me if you would like to discuss it more.

No signs of any blisters since I completed the job several years ago...

Bottom Repairs
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Last edited by T37Chef; 02-11-2013 at 07:18 PM.
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Old 02-11-2013
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Re: Blister Repair services in Chesapeake bay area

If you are planning on keeping this boat for a long time .... Only if the blister are large and penetrating into the structural 'roving' layers should you consider peeling, blasting, etc. Most 'blisters' will be found only penetrating into the 'cosmetic' fiberglass layers.

You'll find most 'blister stuff' is mostly 'hype' ... unless youre planning to soon sell the boat! The 'hype' is that most 'blisters' are only into the 'cosmetic' layers (gelcoat or fiberglass matting layers) and rarely into the more important structural 'roving' layers.

Be VERY careful with DIY repairs, as most eventually fail or the DIY job is sooooo bad that most 'knowledgeable' future buyers will simply walk away from a boat with previous DIY blister repair unless that DIY job was 'perfect'. A buyer with a critical eye will usually pass up a boat with a half arsed DIY 'blister job' but will still consider one with blisters that werent 'screwed around with'.

Can you do a DIY blister job thats only into the cosmetic gelcoat or its cosmetic matting??? ... sure you can; but, you have to be damn sure youre not making the entire situation worse. Many 'boat yards' can do a $#itty overpriced job that will cost you a 'major bundle' .... and still fail again in the future.

Here's a good starting point on reference articles to help make your 'decisions': Hull Blisters on Boats and Yachts - by David Pascoe, Marine Surveyor

If you hire ANYONE to do a complete 'blister job' you should get a written guarantee that subsequent blisters will not reoccur within a defined time limit ... and that will usually drive the price beyond the gross national product of many small countries.

Do diligent research beforehand for any 'blister job' .... or simply do minor surface blister repairs and sail the boat until it sinks.

Good luck. ;-)
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