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Old 20-03-2013, 10:14   #1
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Catalina 36 mkii '99 - osmosis - help!!!

Hi All

I am looking for advice on a Catalina 36

Basically I am trying to buy a Catalina 36 mkii 1999, and today the surveyor came back with bad news.....(see below)

Lower Hull . An area around the hull below the waterline on both sides of the vessel is suffering from minor osmotic blistering.
The size of these blisters is fairly uniform being between 20 - 25 mm. in diameter and spread from bow to stern with gaps between blisters.
We opened one such blister up and removed the top layers of paint to reveal bare gel coating. We then punctured the blister and noted the acidic liquid
to have a Ph. content of 4, medium acid. as found from our test paper.
This is indicative that these blisters have had time to form and mature.
They will continue to increase in size and stature, as the internal pressure increases.

The Lead Keel.
The lead keel is overlaid with primers and fillers which have broken down over time and absorbed moisture. Unsightly more than damaging, the moisture
has ‘’bubbled’ and lifted these protective coatings away from the lead surfaces of the keel.
Not a difficult job, but all defective material to be removed from the keel
completely to bare polished lead.
Laid up with new primers and fillers as required and over-painted with quality antifouling paint.


So the question is for those with experience on this issue and hopefully Catalina owners

What do you advice??
This boat fits perfectly the needs of my family, but is this a deal breaker?

Regards
Andres
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Old 20-03-2013, 10:18   #2
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Re: Catalina 36 mkii '99 - osmosis - help!!!

Why not just get a repair estimate, and negotiate it into your deal?
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Old 20-03-2013, 10:27   #3
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Re: Catalina 36 mkii '99 - osmosis - help!!!

Many older boats have blisters so if it was your boat I'd just say relax its not a big deal BUT your wanting to buy it so thats different. Anyone looking at the boat will find the same thing. You can either keep shopping or you can negotiate a price reduction or a complete "blister job" as part of the deal. Blister repairs can be anything from a do it yourself job with a grinder and epoxy repairs to a proper one where the gelcoat is removed with a special planer and the hull is allowed to dry and a complete repair is done followed by epoxy or vinylester finish. It sounds like its not a case of a few blisters here and there so it might be a case to hold out for a complete renewal of the bottom done by a shop....not cheap by the way but might be worth the hassel if someone else is picking up the tab and you love everything else about the boat.
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Old 20-03-2013, 10:29   #4
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Re: Catalina 36 mkii '99 - osmosis - help!!!

What Robert said.

Fixing the problem yourself isn't hard, just takes time.
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Old 20-03-2013, 11:06   #5
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Hi guys


Yes, I have a guy coming tomorrow to give me a quotation.
My main concern is that I am not sure whether the hull is composite or pure GRP, thus until I get tomorrow's report I am just freaking out and looking for options...
I have been negotiating the price with the seller for 3 months now, and now that everything seemed sorted I get this blow

Regards
Andres
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Old 20-03-2013, 11:18   #6
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Re: Catalina 36 mkii '99 - osmosis - help!!!

Hey Andres, it only feels like a blow, its the owner that is in hot water. Your the guy writing the check and your the guy that has all the options. There are thousands of boats out there for sale don't be in too much of a hurry even though summer is on its way.
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Old 20-03-2013, 11:19   #7
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Re: Catalina 36 mkii '99 - osmosis - help!!!

Don't know your model of Cat but its almost surely solid glass
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Old 20-03-2013, 11:55   #8
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Re: Catalina 36 mkii '99 - osmosis - help!!!

Don't know if the surveyor knows, the Catalina 36, and 42 and I believe one other model Catalina has had a serious problem with the Forespar 93 seacocks. They have a warning out about the handle. It appears the bolt holding the handle strips out of the ball/nylon nut.

This does not appear to be an isolated incident, but a design flaw.

Here's one of the sites:

Catastrophic seacock failure! - Catalina 36 International Association Forums
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Old 20-03-2013, 12:03   #9
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Re: Catalina 36 mkii '99 - osmosis - help!!!

Regarding the blisters, if the boat is in otherwise good shape, as several others have commented get an estimate and negotiate a price that you're happy with then buy the boat if you're of a mind. Sometimes you're better off with a boat you know has a few problems and get the price right than a boat that looks pristine, but is ripe for problems and you don't find out until after the purchase.

You should be able to do the work yourself.
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Old 20-03-2013, 12:26   #10
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Re: Catalina 36 mkii '99 - osmosis - help!!!

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.
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Old 21-03-2013, 08:03   #11
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Re: Catalina 36 mkii '99 - osmosis - help!!!

Let us know what you do, but this is a very typical situation.
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Old 21-03-2013, 08:22   #12
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Re: Catalina 36 mkii '99 - osmosis - help!!!

All you guys who are saying this is an easy DIY fix are dead wrong. Grinding out some individual blisters and filling them is not a fix. Only peeling, properly drying, and barrier coating will fix this, the rest is just a band-aid. It'll keep coming back and getting worse until its properly repaired or until hydrolysis sets in. Budget about 20k for a proper repair, and have it done right.
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Old 21-03-2013, 08:26   #13
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pirate Re: Catalina 36 mkii '99 - osmosis - help!!!

No biggy... grind back the blisters to good surface and a little beyond the edges... when all done give the hull a good FW blasting with a pressure washer and leave her to dry... give it a week then run a moisture meter over the hull and note the readings..
If you want to hurry things along hang tarps along the toe-rails to shroud the hull then shove a couple of dehumidifiers under there and a couple of heat lamps.. imagine you have commercial tool rentals there..
Once you've an acceptable reading fill with a epoxy/silica putty then fair with epoxy/microballons.. dye'd the colour you want... takes a while but cheaper than hiring out
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Old 21-03-2013, 08:26   #14
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Re: Catalina 36 mkii '99 - osmosis - help!!!

Hi guys

I dont have much choice, I live in Hong Kong, and believe it or not but there are no much sailing boats here for sale. Mostly because for most here sailors are poor people.... and there are gozillions of huge motor yachts.
there is also a serious shortage of moorings

so, I am determined to make this work, the owner back in December wanted 900K (a bloody rip-off) and now we are on 700K (this is HKD!!) what is a much reasonable price, but this was before the osmosis,
I'll try to see if he agrees to cover the repairs(at a good standard), if he does I dont mind paying the asking price. When we saw the boat it looked like new everywhere, so I think the price is in the right place.

I am meeting the sellers with my surveyor on Saturday, let's hope that the sellers are reasonable....

today a friend (naval engineer) went to see the severity and agreed with your comments, the hull is solid, the blisters are small (although all around) but overall he thinks that the boat is worth it.

Therefore, taking into account all your feedback I can say that I am feeling very positive again!!!

Thank you guys, mission accomplished!!

I'll let you know how it goes.

regards
Andres
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Old 21-03-2013, 08:40   #15
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Re: Catalina 36 mkii '99 - osmosis - help!!!

watercolor
sorry, I didnt mean to neglect your comment on the seacocks

I have read the posts and I will make sure to bring special attention on Saturday with the surveyor

thanks mate
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