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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > lots little tiny blisters???
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Thread: lots little tiny blisters??? Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
08-30-2009 07:56 PM
Wiley1 My boat has tens of thousands of tiny blisters, all above the waterline. My blisters only extend as far as the veil coat, none I have found extend beyond the veil coat into the laminate itself. In my case I consider it a cosmetic problem.

Regarding my boat's bottom, years ago I addressed blistering which included four plus months drying out. Drying to the point that a taped on piece of polythene sheeting produced no condenstation. I used a Petit system both the putty and the barrier coats (5 coats). Next haulout all the "repaired blisters" were back. Petit claimed that the boat was not dried out sufficiently, yet it passed their test (condensation on plastic sheet). I reground the blisters and repaired using Zspar A-788 Splash Zone in the blisters and over coated with Glovit, again applying five coats. That was over a dozen years ago and no the only problem since is with adhesion of the bottom paint to the Gluvit. It seems I waited too long and coludn't get the whole boat overcoated with bottom paint while the Gluvit was still tacky. After about five years the bottom paint started looking adhered yet pulled off with a roller wet with bottom paint. My time in the yard was about two weeks.

Why do the people who make the epoxies insist on suggesting the use of resins that do not properly cure in conditions were moisture is present. Moisture is the problem! Both Splash Zone and Gluvit work in damp to wet conditions and have been around a long time. I notice Gluvit now advertises itself as a barrier product on their cans. They didn't when I made my repair.

If it were my boat I would check to see it your blisters go beyond the veil coat, if they don't I would vacuum sand the bottom paint off and simply apply several coats of Gluvit and call it good. Just be sure to apply a first coat of bottom paint before the last coat of Gluvit has cured. If they go beyond the veil coat then the Splash Zone and Gluvit repair. Far less expensive and time consuming than peeling the whole bottom.

Bests,
Wiley
08-30-2009 05:05 PM
wunderdog I have perhaps thousands of tiny pimple sized blister near the waterline - they only extend down maybe a couple of inches along the majority of the hull, and a couple of square feet at the bottom of the hull in the stern area. From the above postings, it sounds like my boat has a gel coat adhesion problem, at least in these areas.

There are also, perhaps 50 dime sized blisters on the bottom.

The surveyor tapped out the hull and said the bottom is sound throughout.

To remedy this, would it be best to get a yard to peel the gelcoat off, then do spot repairs on the dime sized blisters and then epoxy barrier coat? Ideally, I would have it peeled down to where there is no more evidence of hydrolysis (sp?), then lay on mat and finally barrier coat it, but I'm looking to see if there is an effective economical way of fixing the blisters.

One thing about the first method is that substantial drying out time would be involved I suppose. However, if you peel down past the hydrolyzed layers, would drying out still be required?

FYI, the boat is a Hotfoot 27, built in 1982 - if that is any help.
01-26-2003 08:07 AM
VIEXILE
lots little tiny blisters???

some say not to bother with minor blister repairs at all, and to just repaint. Thing is with gelcoat blisters, they could pretty much spread the gelcoat off the hull below the waterline. Ya. It''s gotta dry out, and six months seems to be the rule of thumb.
01-23-2003 05:38 AM
obiec
lots little tiny blisters???

also anouther yard told me to paint over it and dont worry it is a verry thick hull. Thay said I would loose around 6 seconts a mile. But she is a cruser not a racer any way.
01-23-2003 05:36 AM
obiec
lots little tiny blisters???

Thanks for all the info. One yard I talkted to said that it would have to dry out for 6 months after it is opend up or planed. dose that sound right.
01-23-2003 04:28 AM
VIEXILE
lots little tiny blisters???

I''ve done several boats, larger whalers and sail, with nastified hulls that, where repaired, seem to be holding up. Buy yourself a dremel tool and figure out what bits will best serve your purpose. You have gelcoat blisters, as discussed, which may or may not turn into laminate blisters. I believe saltwater blistering is more common, per unit floating, than freshwater. Osmotic migration of molecules is the reason, but osmosis requires a molecular level differential - which saltwater provides, hence, migration. Studies have shown that freshwater standing inside a hull in saltwater MAY, depending on hull quality, more readily cause blistering than any freshwater situation. Use the dremel tool to carefully grind out each and every gelcoat blister. I then take a small grinder and feather the GELCOAT back somewhat. It takes a touch. DON''T flush with acetone, contrary to some beliefs. Blow it clean with high pressure air. Acetone only piles up the waste and causes contamination problems. Once you wipe it with acetone, it''s tough to actually "clean" the surface. Let everything dry. Figure out which West System filler is best for your purposes. There are also considerably less expensive, yet just as good, epoxy alternatives. Think advertising. Make a peanut butter paste with no more than two squirts of West and hardener and filler, and, using plastic applicators, fill the depressions. When I mix it, if it doesn''t "drip" off the applicator when I hold it up, it''s close to what I want. Don''t mix up too much west, ''cause it''ll kick fast. The smoother the mix the better. Larger amounts of west filler is best spread out on a pallette (plywood or whatever) because it heats up when in thick masses and kicks faster. It will actually combust under certain conditions in a container. Putting it on a pallette will make it last longer and save on waste. Don''t use bondo-level west for the first fill, since you want to basically recreate the hull and gelcoat you''ve removed. Use the softer stuff for final coats. Fill the holes, sand it off, fill again with softer stuff, sand it off and then final fairing and sanding. Between layers of West be SURE to scrub with a scotch bright pad and warm water to "de-blush" the West and let dry before the next application. Also do this before painting. The blush, limiting oxygen to the surface, causes the West to kick off. Better yet, read a west manual before you start. Put a barrier coat on the bottom to mfg specs. and bottom paint, float. It''s actually pretty easy. You can do a better job than a yard can. Just watch who''s doing it for a living. I''d go easy with the chisel idea. At that point, you might as well pay for a planer to de-gelcoat the bottom. Skip re-gelcoating and apply a barrier coat. Gelcoat is porous no matter what, and won''t provide the protection some of the new barrier coatings.
01-23-2003 02:15 AM
amps
lots little tiny blisters???

I have encountered the same problem om my Hunter 34 only I have about 100 to 150 small blisters, most of them already split open. It was recomended to me that I grind out each blister, let every thing dry out then fill each cavity with thickened epoxy resin after filling each repair coat each area with unthickened epoxy resin to seal the repair. After the repairs are made I am going to apply a Barrier Coat over the entire bottom. Hopefully after all of this work I will not have any problems for many years. The recommendations were made by the folks at Tidewater Marina, Havre De Grace, MD. Hope this is helpful.

Dave
01-23-2003 02:14 AM
amps
lots little tiny blisters???

I have encountered the same problem om my Hunter 34 only I have about 100 to 150 small blisters, most of them already split open. It was recomended to me that I grind out each blister, let every thing dry out then fill each cavity with thickened epoxy resin after filling each repair coat each area with unthickened epoxy resin to seal the repair. After the repairs are made I am going to apply a Barrier Coat over the entire bottom. Hopefully after all of this work I will not have any problems for many years. The recommondations were made by the folks at Tidewater Marina, Havre De Grace, MD. Hope this is helpful.

Dave
01-21-2003 04:16 PM
Jeff_H
lots little tiny blisters???

Moisture works its way into the laminate causing deeper seated blistering and greatly weakening the hull in that area.

Jeff
01-21-2003 03:17 PM
thefantasea
lots little tiny blisters???

I''ve never encountered blisters but I have wondered -- considering the effort and expense of removing them, what''s the downside of doing nothing?
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