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Old 21-06-2012, 23:17   #1
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Gel Coat Blisters Above the Water Line

Just wondering how many Fountaine Pajots are experiencing gel coat blistering above the waterline?
I've been told by the FP local agent several other boats which have had their below waterline blisters fixed are now starting to blister above the waterline.
FP have stated that it is not a structural problem and it is merely cosmetic.
I would like to hear from anyone who has experienced this and what can be done about it?
My concern is that if the cause is not eliminated it will come back again after the area is repaired.
The blisters contain to tell tail acidic water associated with osmosis.
Also the underwater repaired areas are holding up fine.

I've asked FP in France for advice on this issue but I'm still waiting for a reply.
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Old 22-06-2012, 05:11   #2
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Re: gel coat blisters above the water line

I've seen this on several different brand boats. Get someone with a moisture meter to check that and other areas of your hull. The ones I have seen could be traced to a water intrusion problem at the hull to deck joint. This on both cored boats and boats with core mat used to prevent print through above the water line. The cure is not pretty. Phil Turner
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Old 22-06-2012, 16:52   #3
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Re: gel coat blisters above the water line

Thanks Phil, I know the cure will not be pretty.
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Old 22-06-2012, 18:07   #4
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Re: gel coat blisters above the water line

Could be styrene bubbles caused by improperly mixed polyester. If so, it is structural, but the cure is the same as for osmotic blisters.
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Old 22-06-2012, 20:34   #5
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Re: gel coat blisters above the water line

If this is close to DWL then maybe water is creeping up the glass fibers?

Have the same on our boat (which is not a FP).

b.
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Old 22-06-2012, 22:10   #6
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Re: gel coat blisters above the water line

Thanks guys, the blisters are a good 500mm above the waterline.
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Old 22-06-2012, 22:18   #7
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Re: gel coat blisters above the water line

It's rare that I do a blister job and the blisters DON'T go above the waterline to one degree or another. This is just another reason that proper moisture meter readings are important, they tell you how far above the waterline the saturation goes and thus how far to peel and dry when doing the repair. Often we get away with peeling up to the top of the bootstripe, so that we only have to paint a new bootstripe and/or accent stripe. But it is not so rare that we have to go a foot or more up onto the hull. Sometimes there are already blisters there, sometimes not, but if we get high moisture readings we peel it and dry it, otherwise it will blister eventually. Sometimes this obviously entails a hull paint job.
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Old 23-06-2012, 00:48   #8
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Re: gel coat blisters above the water line

I would think that if anything blisters to any extent, it could eventually allow water intrusion. I hope you get it sorted out.
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Old 23-06-2012, 01:10   #9
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Re: gel coat blisters above the water line

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragon Lady View Post
I've been told by the FP local agent several other boats which have had their below waterline blisters fixed are now starting to blister above the waterline.
DL does this mean that your Lavezzi has blisters above the waterline? Or are you just worried that this problem may occur?

Either way this model seems to be badly tainted by the spectre of the dreaded "pox". Hopefully with the benefit of timely repair and an epoxy barrier coat, your's will evade the scourge.
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Old 25-06-2012, 21:18   #10
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Re: gel coat blisters above the water line

Hi Tuskie,

I do have some blisters above the waterline and my boat has had a full bottom job which is holding up fine.
The Lavezzis have the reputation of being afflicted with the"pox" however I know other Lavezzi owners whom have no blisters on their boats.
I have also spoken to owners and repairers of other models such as the Mahe and the Salina who tell me they are even worse with blisters occurring when the boat is only 6 months old.
The problem is nobody wants to talk about it, especially those waiting and hopping for a warranty payout.
The factory have specially told me that my warranty is only applicable to the below water area. So I have no choice but to have the repairs done myself.
What I want is to make sure that the blisters don't come back again.
My plan is to grind out the blisters and leave them open for a while hopping the water will escape and the hull can dry out or at least relieve the pressure below the gelcoat.
Though I am seeking experienced advice before carrying out this work.
I was hopping FP would give me some advice as they have a lot of experience dealing with this issue.
There is a local guy in Pittwater whom I'm told is the guru on this subject so I'm seeking his council at the moment.
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Old 25-06-2012, 22:40   #11
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Re: gel coat blisters above the water line

Thanks for "talking about it", Dragon Lady. Glad to hear your repaired hull bottoms are holding up well.
It will be easier to repair above the waterline, may even be able to grind and dry without a haulout, depending exactly where on the boat of course. The gel coat colour match will be the tricky bit. Below the waterline the anti foul hides any gel coat colour differences, but topsides that have different shades of white in patches stands out like the proverbial.

Good luck
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Old 25-06-2012, 23:02   #12
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Re: gel coat blisters above the water line

Thanks tuskie, I'm resigned to having a paint job.
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Old 04-07-2012, 23:18   #13
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Re: Gel Coat Blisters Above the Water Line

We had our below the waterline blisters removed in 2007: This process involved a full strip, Hotvac heat treatment and barrier coat - we opted not to put on a couple of layers of glass to ensure we could see any reoccurrence. As of our last haul out there have been no new blisters below the waterline.

We've had a few small blisters above the waterline and these we've ground out, water & steam heated to remove the styrenes, and then re-glassed and gel coated. It seems to afflict two specific areas on the hull only. Personally, I think the best course of action is to simply spot treat them every couple of years.

I'd rather they weren't there but it's really not that big of a deal. It's a boat, there's always something that's a PITA to keep adding to the list!
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Old 05-07-2012, 18:12   #14
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Re: Gel Coat Blisters Above the Water Line

It's a boat, there's always something that's a PITA to keep adding to the list!


How true but we would miss not having a list !!!!!
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Old 05-07-2012, 19:14   #15
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Re: Gel Coat Blisters Above the Water Line

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.....
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