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ImASonOfaSailor 11-18-2011 07:25 AM

Repair Bottom?
Here is a video of the bottom of my boat are these blisters and is this normal? I was lookin g a west systems and it looks like a pain. A money raquet ! Is there anything already mixed up, and easier to deal with?

hull | PA | By jp sonof (swan54)


kd3pc 11-18-2011 07:46 AM

blisters, yes
normal on boats with poor quality materials in the glasswork.

West is actually easy, as are some of the other epoxies (interlux)...but as you note, none of which are already mixed up ready to go. The prep work is the real work and on a boat such as yours, it may not be cost effective, especially if you have to pay to have it done.

Two ways to deal with it...pop each blister and let them dry out, may take months depending on the environment, once dry cut them down and refinish....else shave the top/gelcoat off, down to the glass and redo the finish (backwards from how the boat was laid up at the factory)Neither is easy or inexpensive.

Results are not guaranteed....some blister boats have the blisters reappear.

They are NOT structural, and will not prevent you from sailing...

Minnewaska 11-18-2011 07:57 AM

Easier to answer the meaning of life.

Yes, your hull has osmosis trouble, but some will overstate it's significance if you're not sailing offshore. You might consider just patch repairing the worst of it. To do it right will require grinding the entire hull and getting her indoors to dry out, then rebuilding the outer layer of the hull. Don't bother just layering epoxy over it all, it will likely just come back anyway.

emoney 11-18-2011 08:56 AM

Son, that looks pretty much like a blister. You said there were "several" many and are they on both hulls?

ImASonOfaSailor 11-18-2011 10:04 AM

Were you able to watch the video? Yes they are on Both hulls! well i know i might have to wait untill it warms up i do not have a place to pull it inside
that part sucks! SO i will have to wait until it warms up, but do you think i can pop them let them sorta dry out then when it becomes warm then i can sand both hulls!? But i do remember watching my dad do this to his 33 foot boat! WOW it was so big and what a JOB!

celenoglu 11-18-2011 10:49 AM

Osmosis is passage of water from the gell coat. Hydrolisis is the result. Drying the hull is not the solution. You should pop and wash inside with preferably hot water an later dry. You better wash twice or thrice weekly to clean the chemicals then apply 4-5 coats of epoxy. You better apply the paste afer appliyng the epoxy.

kindsail 11-18-2011 10:56 AM

I just renovated our 30' boat. I have recently done everything you need to now do. I used a great product for filler, DO NOT USE WEST! It is expensive and a pain. I will go out and find my stuff and post the brand on here. It's a two part epoxy filler that works great and goes a long way.

I dried the blisters on ours out w/ a heat lamp and some days of time. I had four large blisters to deal with.

Use Interlux 2000 epoxy barrier coat and I will post the brand of the filler shortly. Any questions just PM me here.

emoney 11-18-2011 11:02 AM

If you're going to fix them, then yes, pop them. The reason I asked about how many is if there's only a couple, I for one might just ignore them. If you're not going to do the repair until the Spring, popping them now is kinda up to you. It's hard for me to tell from the video, but they don't seem bad. You'll definitely want a 2 part Epoxy resin and hardener. I'd use a filler to get it kinda like silly putty, as the gravitation will be pulling downward. The key, I think, is to create a "bowl" around the blister, deeper in the center to gradually meeting the original hull. That will make for a smoother, less noticeable fix. If you've ever done drywall work, it's very similar to filling a nail hole with putty. The shallower you can get the outside ring, the smoother the finish and less sanding at the end. Probably need to use a grinder to get the bad out before starting the fix. I'd imagine it's not something you can hand sand for sure.

By the way, I've seen some of those blisters really "burst" open when popped so act accordingly. Safety goggles are cheap (a lot less that a trip to the ER) and that stuff coming out is ugly.

jameswilson29 11-18-2011 11:14 AM

Why do anything?

patrscoe 11-18-2011 12:12 PM

If you attempt this repair, you will need to wear proper safety glasses with side shields while opening up the blisters. Due to the osmotic nature of hull blisters, they are under great pressure and the water within the blister is acid (due to the chemical reaction).
If you keep your sailboat in the water for long periods of time and have not repaired the blisters, they will eventually penetrate into the fiberglass and cause glass and perhaps even structural damage. Most of the time blisters are due to poor fiberglass practice during manufacturing.

I have repaired a few blisters on a Ranger 22 (our very first racing sailboat). Like any fiberglass work, it was hard work but not very difficult. One of the problems is removing the paint. If you sand, you need to be careful not to remove the gelcoat within the surrounding areas. It is fairly expensive to sodablast but if you have several blisters, that will be the way to go.
Good luck.

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