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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Blisters
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Topic Review (Newest First)
10-09-2006 08:27 PM
T37Chef I love GoLikeafish's comment!

The fact is (talk to any surveyor) that a lot of boats older than 15 years have some blistering; no matter where they are kept, if they were pulled for the winter, etc. And after you spend all that money (probably $25,000+ or more for a 42') to have someone do it for you, there is no guarantee that it won’t happen again in a few years, even if they say 5 years (read the fine print!) I have seen several that have been done professionally and they look great. For a 26 year old boat worth about $60,00I couldn’t see spending 1/3 of the value on a bottom job.

Here how I did mine and I’m sure several people will comment on what is wrong...but I'm sailing and loving life:

- had the hull sodablast by a professional
- let it dry for several months, pressure washing it every couple of weeks.
- sanded ALL the remaining bottom paint off
- ground out the large blisters
- filled and faired everything with West System- added filler
- 6 applications of epoxy barrier coat
- 2 black bottom paint and 1 blue

I spent about $2000.00 total and involved about 60 hours (not including lunch breaks) Its been in the water since July 06, I'll pull it in the spring, we'll see.
10-02-2006 11:52 PM
btrayfors hellosailor,

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.

Bill
10-01-2006 05:56 PM
cardiacpaul I've posted the link so many times, I'm not going to do it again
10-01-2006 03:56 PM
hellosailor "What Bill was trying to explain was that boats built prior to Hull #249 were having severe blister problems due to the bad resin;"
I've read something more specific on this last week, don't recall where. But it was not "hulls prior to 249" as such, there was a particular SERIES of hulls, something like hulls up to 125(??) were OK and at that point the resin was changed--which led to a series of blister problems. So it is not 'hulls prior to" that are bad, but rather a definite and known series of the hulls. I'd guess any Valiant owners group or a really sharp surveyor or broker could give you the correct specifics on that.
10-01-2006 05:56 AM
KeelHaulin
Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog
Some blisters are merely cosmetic..but most are an indication of more serious problems ahead... If they're just the gelcoat, then it isn't as serious as if it involves layers of laminate, which affects the structural integrity of the hull.
Could you elaborate on this? What do you mean by "most are an indication of serious problems ahead"?

There are three (maybe more) types of blistering IMHO; first is gelcoat which is non-structural, second is strand-mat (common due to fiber wetting and air voids), third would be into the structural laminate (and this would be the only case where the blistering -could- cause structrual problems). Would you agree with this? Would you also agree that the severity of a blistering problem depends on the construction of the hull (solid vs. cored) and the thickness of the structural FRP relative to the depth/size of any blister(s) that are penetrating the the structural laminate?

Tom-

The question you are asking is relative to Hull # on the Valiant 40. What Bill was trying to explain was that boats built prior to Hull #249 were having severe blister problems due to the bad resin; while boats built after #249 were built with a resin that does not promote the formation of blisters. The pre-Hull #249 boats were built with a fire-retardant resin that sailingdog mentions. From what I have read the pre #249 boats had problems with structural laminate blisters in addition to any other form of blistering (an uncommon thing for most FRP hulls). The post #249 boats could still have gelcoat or strand-mat blistering; but I have no idea if there have been ongoing problems with Valiants in this regard.

Hans-Christians have also been notoriously bad for gelcoat/strand-mat blistering; but are still considered a high quality construction boat that is well suited for offshore cruising. I met a man a few months back that owns a Valiant 40 and he had been to the Red Sea twice with the boat and was in the process of refitting the powerplant for more offshore cruising. The only drawback to the boat for him was the engine size relative to the boat displacement; so he was upgrading the Perkins 50HP to a larger Yanmar.

HTH...
09-30-2006 11:37 PM
teshannon
Valiant 40 Blisters

Does anyone have experience with blistering on a 1981 Valiant 40? Thanks.
Tom Shannon
09-30-2006 08:31 PM
sailingdog Some blisters are merely cosmetic..but most are an indication of more serious problems ahead... If they're just the gelcoat, then it isn't as serious as if it involves layers of laminate, which affects the structural integrity of the hull. All blisters should be repaired... and any hulls that have had blisters should be barrier coated in some manner.

BTW, there were some boats made in the 1970s that had a fire-retardant resin that was more prone to blistering problems IIRC.
09-30-2006 06:31 PM
btrayfors teshannon,

The last Valiant 40 "blister boat" was hull #249 owned by Dr. Blaine Nashold in NC. It was a wonderful boat, won several ocean races, and I believe never had blisters because Blaine did a full coal-tar epoxy job on it before they could develop.

Hull #s beginning with 250 and up are OK, as are all those built after Valiant Yachts moved to Gordonville, TX.

Bill
09-30-2006 06:27 PM
teshannon
Valiant 40 Blisters

Does anyone have experience with blisters on a 1981 Valiant 40? I understand this was a problem with some Valiants but am not sure if it applies to this year. Thanks.
Tom
09-26-2006 11:33 PM
Fstbttms I have spent 12 years servicing thousands of fiberglass boats in the Bay Area. I have never, ever heard of any boat that was lost or even suffered significant structural problems due to blisters. Not saying it doesn't happen, but it sure ain't common.
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