Join Date: Jul 2010
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To Barrier Coat or Not to Barrier Coat
Esteemed sailing colleagues,
I'm buying a 1990 C&C 34+ (Balsa cored hull). The bottom paint, though applied 9 months ago, is flaking off down to the gelcoat. Large chunks came off when pressure sprayed for the survey. Thankfully, the hull appears to be blister free and dry (per surveyor per moisture meter)!
Because there appears to be poor adhesion of the paint to the gelcoat, I was thinking of having the bottom paint stripped, applying a barrier coat, then repainting.
I got the "you've reached the end of the internet" sign after googling this question ad infinitum, so I am asking you all for your thoughts on this issue.
Here are the facts:
-1990 boat, polyester resin with kevlar/glass mat used in construction process.
-Freshwater kept until 1-2 months ago, now in saltwater
-No previous barrier coat applied
-Currently dry core in the hull (if moisture meters are to be given more credence than a high-tech divining rod).
-No visible hull blisters (though the rudder is riddled with them)
-I do not intend to let the boat sit and dry out. I want to sail it, now.
Here are the questions:
1. Is it worth the expense to apply a barrier coat to theoretically keep the hull blister free and the core dry?
2. Would the barrier coat actually do anything if I don't provide any drying time (more than a day or two)?
3. Is the theoretical protection of the barrier coat worth the worry that the barrier coat would not adhere well to the gelcoat or that the bottom paint would not adhere well to the barrier coat and that it'd all need to be redone?
4. Is it possible that the boat actually did develop blisters while in fresh water, which have been "dried out" now that she's been in saltwater for a few months? I'm picturing the fresh water seeping into the glass, then being drawn back out by a higher osmotic gradient while sitting in saltwater for the past few months.
5. Do I need to start researching astrophysics so that I can stop thinking about osmosis, hydrolysis, and other issues obfuscated by an industry funded by blister removal and prevention?
Thank you in advance for your consideration and help.