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Old 07-07-2012, 00:53   #31
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Re: Gel Coat Blisters Above the Water Line

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Originally Posted by minaret View Post
This is the sort of thinking which leads to severe hydrolysis problems. The blisters are a symptom of a problem (osmosis), but that problem will eventually have other symptoms as well (hydrolysis). If the layup is wet enough to blister, it will eventually hydrolyze as well. This is a structural issue. Whoever peeled and dried your bottom really screwed up by not taking it above the waterline high enough to solve the issue. It doesn't cost that much extra if it's all done at the same time.
If you can point to a single instance of a boat sinking from osmosis we'd all love to read about it.
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Old 07-07-2012, 23:39   #32
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Re: Gel Coat Blisters Above the Water Line

Thanks for all the input everyone, a google search of Hydrolysis brought up some interesting papers on the subject which I will have to study.
Most interesting is that there appears to be a chemical reaction going on which is generating pressure, thus causing the blisters to form.
No wonder FP don't want to release any info, lest they incriminate themselves.

Gordon do you have any details of this court case?
Does anyone know any good lawyers in France?
Silly question I know.
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Old 08-07-2012, 21:21   #33
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Re: Gel Coat Blisters Above the Water Line

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Originally Posted by minaret View Post
This is the sort of thinking which leads to severe hydrolysis problems. The blisters are a symptom of a problem (osmosis), but that problem will eventually have other symptoms as well (hydrolysis). If the layup is wet enough to blister, it will eventually hydrolyze as well. This is a structural issue. Whoever peeled and dried your bottom really screwed up by not taking it above the waterline high enough to solve the issue. It doesn't cost that much extra if it's all done at the same time.
Thanks for the tip on hydrolysis, it brought up some interesting results on Goggle. I didn't realize that there is a chemical reaction going on inside the hull which makes sense.
It also calls into question FPs position that it is nothing to worry about.
Apparently the more effective the gel coat is at holding the water in the worse the blistering is.
According to one paper just because you don't have blisteres, it doesn't mean you don't have osmosis or hydrolysis.

Lot's more reading to do, but one thing is for sure and that is the pressure needs to be relieved from under the gelcoat.

What I want to know now is now that I have water trapped under the gel coat will it continue to react with the resin or will it reach a state of equilibrium and stop reacting after a period of time?
It seams my below water area is sealed so no more water should be entering the laminate.
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Old 08-07-2012, 22:16   #34
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Re: Gel Coat Blisters Above the Water Line

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Thanks for the tip on hydrolysis, it brought up some interesting results on Goggle. I didn't realize that there is a chemical reaction going on inside the hull which makes sense.

Correct. Glad you read more and are learning about the issue.

It also calls into question FPs position that it is nothing to worry about.
Apparently the more effective the gel coat is at holding the water in the worse the blistering is.
According to one paper just because you don't have blisteres, it doesn't mean you don't have osmosis or hydrolysis.

Exactly! I have seen this scenario before, with no blistering but severe hydrolysis resulting in delamination. A moisture meter is your best friend here.

Lot's more reading to do, but one thing is for sure and that is the pressure needs to be relieved from under the gelcoat.

What I want to know now is now that I have water trapped under the gel coat will it continue to react with the resin or will it reach a state of equilibrium and stop reacting after a period of time?

As long as you have salt water in your laminate it will continue to hydrolyze. This is what creates that characteristic vinegary smell from the water in your blisters.

It seams my below water area is sealed so no more water should be entering the laminate.
Yes, since you had the bottom dried and barrier coated you shouldn't have any more osmosis issues. And perhaps the moisture content above the waterline is low enough that it's not a serious problem, but I doubt it if it's blistering repeatedly. A good series of moisture meter readings would tell much. Keep reading and informing yourself, and never listen to a manufacterer who tells you "it's only cosmetic"!
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Old 08-07-2012, 23:56   #35
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Talking Re: Gel Coat Blisters Above the Water Line

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I dont understand whats going on with FP, maybe the resin, maybe the enviroment, maybe the quality of the materials, maybe the workers, but one thing is for sure , we have a Osmosis epidemic here in St Marteen with a bunch of Mahes and a Eleuthera, Mahes are just 4 or 5 years old , the Eleuthera is older, FP is screwed with this isue.....
I too have a problem above the water line and as others I have been told that this is not a warranty issue , based on the number of boats that appear to have this problem , FP have a " tunnel" vision , sure , they will save money on costly repairs that we will all have done at our expense so that we can sell the " dreaded " thing , and then as a repalcement cat , one thing for sure , I will NEVER go back to FP .A very good sailing friend of mine was looking at " converting" from a Bavaria 38 to a new Mahe , and yes , you guessed it , I have pointed him in another direction . Word of mouth recommendation should not be underestimated , and in the long run , the factory will learn this the hard way .
It is a shame as basically as a sailing catamaran , I was very happy with my Lavezzi , and for quite some time I did promote the brand as much as one could .
Life goes on , and I am now hunting for a leopard although the privilege is very tempting

Happy sailing to you all .
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Old 09-07-2012, 00:33   #36
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Re: Gel Coat Blisters Above the Water Line

found this write up , makes interesting reading
The Real Story of Osmosis Blistering
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Old 09-07-2012, 00:52   #37
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Re: Gel Coat Blisters Above the Water Line

Google has also brought up some interesting posts on another Multi hull forum regarding how some FP customers have been treated.
Try "Orana, found NOT fit to sail the seas"
It quotes the Latitude 38 magazine report which makes some very disturbing accusations against the company and it's leader.
I will not quote anything except the name of the post to avoid any legal issues.
Upon reading this article I realize that it is pointless pursuing any form of legal action against these people as they seem to be untouchable in the legal world.
Le Dome I wonder if some of the other Cat dealers would be interested in hosting us as guests at the Sydney boat show so we can share our experience with potential cat buyers?
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Old 09-07-2012, 02:23   #38
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Re: Gel Coat Blisters Above the Water Line

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragon Lady View Post
Google has also brought up some interesting posts on another Multi hull forum regarding how some FP customers have been treated.
Try "Orana, found NOT fit to sail the seas"
It quotes the Latitude 38 magazine report which makes some very disturbing accusations against the company and it's leader.
I will not quote anything except the name of the post to avoid any legal issues.
Upon reading this article I realize that it is pointless pursuing any form of legal action against these people as they seem to be untouchable in the legal world.
Le Dome I wonder if some of the other Cat dealers would be interested in hosting us as guests at the Sydney boat show so we can share our experience with potential cat buyers?
Sad story. I have seen similar a number of times, and have been hired to do structural retrofits on brand new cats being delivered to the US because the builders knew there was a design flaw and the boats would fail in rough conditions. I have mentioned this stuff here before and been ridiculed as a cat hater. No one wants to believe this, at least no one who has bought a cat from one of these manufacterers. Have been required to sign NDA's to work on some of these boats, I doubt that these owners will continue to rock the boat by posting info about their problems. Notice their website is already down. I wouldn't be surprised if they've already received a call from the legal department...


" It is clear that the bulkhead and supporting structures between the two hulls has been unable to take up forces acting on the boat at sea.
This has in turn led to scroll bias, gradual and growing cracks, delamination between the deck and bulkheads, ribs that pushes the hull skin, bulge in the tire, windows that leak, a front window nearly fell off so I will not go into all damage here, but unfortunately there is so bad that the boat has been declared non-seaworthy of professional / insurance, and insurance policy is revoked.
We were told to park your boat at the nearest port, and end the trip.
We have on our trip revealed that the problems with our boat is not unique, since we know of four ORAN 44, all produced in the same period of time, which turns out to have similar weaknesses and injuries, to a greater or lesser degree. "
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Old 09-07-2012, 05:17   #39
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Re: Gel Coat Blisters Above the Water Line

It sort of puts your own problems into perspective.
It's very frustrating that although you do a lot of research before buying and you think you are buying a brand from a reputable builder, you can still be caught out.
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Old 09-07-2012, 06:00   #40
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Re: Gel Coat Blisters Above the Water Line

We had our Lavezzi fixed under warranty and there was no NDA required by FP. We're the second owner and we dealt directly with the head office in La Rochelle. They were pretty slow in processing the claim but they came through with the money as promised. And, 5 years on we are happy with the remedial work.

That being said, I'll never buy a polyester boat again. The fact that FP fixed our boat still doesn't make up for the time invested, hassle and the obvious hit to the resale value.
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Old 09-07-2012, 06:09   #41
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Re: Gel Coat Blisters Above the Water Line

"Orana, found NOT fit to sail the seas"

I think stories like this are valueless until the matter has gone to court. The were a couple a few years ago who made similar claims about their Lavezzi - when it went to trial they lost and were fined 3000 euro's for damaging the manufacturers reputation.

Another case in the US awarded $3.25 million to a purchaser which was then overturned by the French courts. There appears to have been a legitimate claim but how can a judge award 3X the value of the boat? The lawyer representing the couple later said they would have been happy to get $20,000.

No doubt there are legitimate complaints out there, but I think they tend to be far less dramatic and involve much smaller sums of money. Anytime I hear someone screaming that their brand new boat is a write-off I'm skeptical.
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Old 09-07-2012, 08:12   #42
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Re: Gel Coat Blisters Above the Water Line

The way I understand blister formation is that water penetrates the gelkote and interacts with uncured resin in the chopped matt fiberglass. This forms a new compound with a molecule that can not penetrate back out of the gelkote into the water and merely increases the pressure thus forming the blister. The common method of treating is to grind out the blister including removing all fiberglass matt that is void of resin. My thought is to use an electric hand peeler to remove all the gel and let the hull dry over a sufficient period of time with ocassional warm soapy water wash down to help rid the fiberglass matt of any blister residue. I don't see the need to remove any deeper layers into the Chopped strand matt(CSM) even though there may be spots where resin is lacking. The CSM is not structual and peeling deeper beyound the gel does not seem to do anything. I think that using "neat" epoxy over the CSM would in fact penetrate the matt where the resin is lacking. After the CSM is penetrated, epoxy barrier coats can be applied. FWIW
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Old 09-07-2012, 08:28   #43
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Re: Gel Coat Blisters Above the Water Line

uniflite went thru this also long ago--is faulty or cheap layup--not enough resin to thoroughly wet the fabric of the hull layers. good luck.
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Old 09-07-2012, 16:09   #44
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Re: Gel Coat Blisters Above the Water Line

Thanks everyone,

there seems to agreement on what the cause is thankfully the reaction should stop if there is no new water molecules coming into the laminate.
The main area of contention seems to be whether to strip the gel coat off or just spot grind the blisters.
I can see in a commercial situation where you have a water logged area below the water line and a need to get the job done as quickly as possible. It would be advantageous to open the area up as much as possible to dry the area out quickly. Also refinishing is not so critical under the waterline so this is possibly the best method to use.
Above the waterline there are different considerations and conditions.
I think it's fair to say the longer the area is left to dry out the better, within reason of course.
I'm concerned about maintaining to original profile of the gel coat for aesthetic reasons. Whilst I'm sure a skilled shipwright can carryout a repair which is better than a new boat I think it would be better to keep the surrounding unaffected gel coat intact and just fill in the grind outs.
This is what FP recommends, though I am struggling to get a precise repair scheme out of them.
Any comments or suggestions appreciated as always.
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Old 09-07-2012, 16:34   #45
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Re: Gel Coat Blisters Above the Water Line

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Thanks everyone,

there seems to agreement on what the cause is thankfully the reaction should stop if there is no new water molecules coming into the laminate.
The main area of contention seems to be whether to strip the gel coat off or just spot grind the blisters.
I can see in a commercial situation where you have a water logged area below the water line and a need to get the job done as quickly as possible. It would be advantageous to open the area up as much as possible to dry the area out quickly. Also refinishing is not so critical under the waterline so this is possibly the best method to use.
Above the waterline there are different considerations and conditions.
I think it's fair to say the longer the area is left to dry out the better, within reason of course.
I'm concerned about maintaining to original profile of the gel coat for aesthetic reasons. Whilst I'm sure a skilled shipwright can carryout a repair which is better than a new boat I think it would be better to keep the surrounding unaffected gel coat intact and just fill in the grind outs.
This is what FP recommends, though I am struggling to get a precise repair scheme out of them.
Any comments or suggestions appreciated as always.
My boat is haul out last week, the next boatyard close to us have a FP venezia in the hard , looking at the topsides i see lots of voids filled with gelcoat close to the waterline and up , question is ? you try to open up any of this blister to see if is dry or vinegar fluid coming out? dry blister not a isue at all, blisters with fluid bad bussines , if i remember Fp have thin inner and outer Fb skins , so be carefull if you grind there because is easy to reach the core .
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