The boat is 14 years old and minor blistering should not be a source of great distress
IMO. Most sailboats of that age will have some degree of osmosis
. If 10 owners of older sailboats (more than ten years old) tell you their boats have no blistering, about 5 or 6 of them will be wrong. I have done a fair amount of blister repair and have seen blisters on virtually every make and age of fiberglass
boat. A careful inspection
in any boatyard will bear this out. One of the worst cases I've ever seen was on a Swan 38 that was about 10-12 years old. The blisters had been left unchecked for a few years and were very large and deep. The hull had to be grinded down and repaired at very high cost I'm sure. Every spring a couple of boats in my local boatyard require that level of blister repair. In almost every case the owner had neglected the problem and done no regular blister repair.
I have a slip neighbor whose Beneteau
36 has suffered from what appears to be serious osmosis
for more than six years. While I'm sweating and repairing dime-sized and smaller blisters, he simply reapplies bottom paint
every other year over blisters the size of silver dollars and some much larger, and back in the water
she goes! Each time his boat gets hauled I expect the hull to appear as one large blister, but it hasn't happened yet. I'm not sure of the point at which blisters become serious enough to threaten the boat.
Although I consider my blistering problem to be minor, I repair the largest ones each time I haul the boat, but otherwise I don't worry too much about it. My biggest problem is that at the start of each repair cycle I tell myself to only repair blisters the size of a dime or larger - I always end up repairing many that are much smaller than a dime.
My boat is a 25 year old Catalina 30
. She has very minor blistering on the port side and significantly more (yet still minor) blistering on the starboard side. I have lots of blisters, but the vast majority are very, very small. I've heard all types of theories for the difference in the two sides of my hull, the way the two sides were laid up or the side that gets more direct sunlight through the water etc. has the most blisters. Regardless of the reasons for the blistering, it is fairly minor and fairly easy to stay ahead of by doing work on the hull at each haulout. I have also helped others with blister repair who adopt the same general approach of staying ahead of the worst blistering. I've owned my boat for ten years and this spring will be my sixth haulout. The hull looks better now than it did five years ago.
Unless it really is serious I would suggest you negotiate the repair into the purchase
price and then do the repair yourself.