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Old 21-04-2012, 12:28   #1
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Older glass boats

New to the forum, but not to sailing. I've recently completed building and launching a Herreshoff Coquina (1889 cat ketch daysailer). My wife and I are talking about a cruising sailboat @ 35' or so. Lots of used boats out there that I like with traditional looks.
After reading about blisters and hydrolysis I'm a bit concerned and want to learn more. Are some years or manufactures more or less prone to this? Are the "cures" really effective?
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Old 21-04-2012, 12:32   #2
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Re: Older glass boats

'60 and '70 era hulls are generally thicker and less prone to problems. The manufacturers hadn't figured out how thin to make them or other short cuts.
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Old 21-04-2012, 13:07   #3
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Re: Older glass boats

We have a 1965/66 designed, 1980 built hull. Not as thick as many could assume but yes thicker than many modern hulls (then again many modern hulls are cored and then any comparisons are not valid). In our boat stiffness was built by stringers and bulkheads rather than by building a thick and heavy hull. The design and lay-up were up to Lloyds standards of that era.

Back around 2000 someone applied some form of epoxy to the underwater part.

I cannot see any osmosis anywhere in this boat. Last ten years the boat was sailed / in the water continuously.

I did read about some specific 'years' of Valiant hulls that had issues - a specific kind of resin was used by Valiant in those years and there was extensive osmosis as a result. I did see a V40 of this kind in RSA - the pox was everywhere - not just on the underbody (I guess) but the boat had inch dia pox everywhere on her topsides.

So I guess there is either evident and bad osmosis or otherwise not too much of it - probably something related to a specific yard and the quality measures applied there

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Old 21-04-2012, 13:11   #4
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Re: Older glass boats

Aloha,
I'll bet your Coquina is beautiful.

The answer to your question is yes there are certain years and manufacturers where blistering is more of a problem. From my personal experience years mid 70s to mid 80s for a few manufacturers have found some hulls prone to blistering. The one I'm most familiar with is Newport but there might be others and you could ask the forum members here if you find a certain boat you like to report what they know about it.

kind regards,
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Old 21-04-2012, 15:10   #5
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Re: Older glass boats

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Aloha,
I'll bet your Coquina is beautiful.

The answer to your question is yes there are certain years and manufacturers where blistering is more of a problem. From my personal experience years mid 70s to mid 80s for a few manufacturers have found some hulls prone to blistering. The one I'm most familiar with is Newport but there might be others and you could ask the forum members here if you find a certain boat you like to report what they know about it.

kind regards,
Thanks for the reply. The Coquina is a lot of fun, and she turned out nice.

http://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w...8/5b3cf901.jpg


Bristol is one of the boats we are thinking of. Couple of them at our marina.
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Old 22-04-2012, 02:35   #6
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Re: Older glass boats

Nice photo. Is the mizzen mast offset or is it the angle of the photo?

There was a fellow here that was redoing a Bristol and I can't remember the problems he found. If you find a certain Bristol then go to the forum titled monohull and type in "Bristol 33 Owner's Comments?" or whatever boat you choose and see if you can solicit some information about the specific boat you are interested in.

Good luck in your search.
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Old 22-04-2012, 02:44   #7
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Re: Older glass boats

Here's the fellow that did a rebuild on a B29. You might send him a message and ask about hull blistering on Bristols.

Bristol 29 A restoration site for owners and admirers of Bristol Yachts
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Old 24-04-2012, 20:54   #8
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Re: Older glass boats

Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiprJohn View Post
Here's the fellow that did a rebuild on a B29. You might send him a message and ask about hull blistering on Bristols.

Bristol 29 A restoration site for owners and admirers of Bristol Yachts
I've only had a few blisters the size of a quarter over the past 25 years of owning my B29. I think at least first gen Bristols built in the 60's and early 70's before the oil embargo do not generally suffer from blisters. Ultimately, I don't think blisters are something to lose any sleep over--the bottom may not be quite as slippery as without them, but they won't sink your boat, and probably won't slow you down. I certainly wouldn't do anything drastic such as planing off the gelcoat unless you especially want to contribute money to your local boatyard.

Cheers!
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Old 25-04-2012, 06:45   #9
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Re: Older glass boats

One of affected boatyards was Lafite or Lafitte - making boats for (or by) Valiant. If you search the net you will find info there.

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Old 25-04-2012, 22:44   #10
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Re: Older glass boats

I do a lot of buying old sailboats, fixing them up and selling. Don't make a profit but I love working on boats.
I really have found that the late 60s to mid 70s, say about 1966 to 1977 are the most trouble free hull wise.
I am restoring a Westerly Cirrus 22 from 1968 I bought for 600 bucks right now....everything above the waterline except inside the cabin was in really good shape, so I thought things were too good to be true, when we hauled her out, I was expecting a disaster....iron keel too....little rust, no blisters at all. Some gel coat chipped off when the guy scraped the barnacles off, but an easy fix.
I think this is general knowledge though, that period of overbuilding things in the late sixties and early seventies means something, but I think a lot of companies still overbuilt things well into the mid seventies.
Brand reputation means a lot. People speak up when they have problems, and research into a given boat helps you out a lot...every builder is different.
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Old 26-04-2012, 02:21   #11
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Re: Older glass boats

Quote:
Originally Posted by benajah View Post
I do a lot of buying old sailboats, fixing them up and selling. Don't make a profit but I love working on boats.
I really have found that the late 60s to mid 70s, say about 1966 to 1977 are the most trouble free hull wise.
I am restoring a Westerly Cirrus 22 from 1968 I bought for 600 bucks right now....everything above the waterline except inside the cabin was in really good shape, so I thought things were too good to be true, when we hauled her out, I was expecting a disaster....iron keel too....little rust, no blisters at all. Some gel coat chipped off when the guy scraped the barnacles off, but an easy fix.
I think this is general knowledge though, that period of overbuilding things in the late sixties and early seventies means something, but I think a lot of companies still overbuilt things well into the mid seventies.
Brand reputation means a lot. People speak up when they have problems, and research into a given boat helps you out a lot...every builder is different.
Welcome to CF, Benajah.
Wish you lived close to wherever I end up buying a boat!
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Old 26-04-2012, 03:38   #12
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Re: Older glass boats

Quote:
Originally Posted by Coquina17 View Post
After reading about blisters and hydrolysis I'm a bit concerned and want to learn more. Are some years or manufactures more or less prone to this? Are the "cures" really effective?
Not only will it vary between manufacturers and models with time but also how the boat has been used during the last couple of decades. Warm water or fresh may be worse than cold salt water for osmosis.

The good news is as Floridawriter says "don't loose any sleep over it". 20 years ago when it first became prevalent there was hysteria. Two decades on people now know its not the end of the world and even bad cases can be treated in the short term although it can come back even after treatment.

Whilst recently painting my hull with antifoul an old guy next door was doing his. He had probably 2 dozen small shallow 1/2" blisters on the rudder and the same on the hull. However, the boat was probably 30 years old and at that rate was certainly going to outlast him and probably the next owner too.

Its unsightly when out of the water and has an impact on the value of the boat for both buying and selling, but I wouldn't remove the gelcoat unless it really was severe.

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Old 26-04-2012, 04:40   #13
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Re: Older glass boats

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete7 View Post
Not only will it vary between manufacturers and models with time but also how the boat has been used during the last couple of decades. Warm water or fresh may be worse than cold salt water for osmosis.

The good news is as Floridawriter says "don't loose any sleep over it". 20 years ago when it first became prevalent there was hysteria. Two decades on people now know its not the end of the world and even bad cases can be treated in the short term although it can come back even after treatment.

Whilst recently painting my hull with antifoul an old guy next door was doing his. He had probably 2 dozen small shallow 1/2" blisters on the rudder and the same on the hull. However, the boat was probably 30 years old and at that rate was certainly going to outlast him and probably the next owner too.

Its unsightly when out of the water and has an impact on the value of the boat for both buying and selling, but I wouldn't remove the gelcoat unless it really was severe.

Pete
It's no big deal till it's the boat you buy.

I just spent five months of grinding off the entire bottom and peeling large laminate sections down 3-5 layers deep in places. Having ordered $2000 in epoxy and glass and pissing off every boat owner around me and the marina for all the dust...it can be a big deal. A yard would have charged over $20,000 to do the job.

I will say that most boats show little damage because they are in and out of the water every year. But pre-vinylester glass boats that are in warm salt continuously year after year can expect hydrolysis problems sooner or later if they have never been barrier coated.

Boats from the 80's seem to have the most problems and as far as gel coat goes...it's just there to sell the boat...it does little to stop the migration of water into the hull. Once water is in the hull, it's the death sentence as it seems to slow any drying out period.

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Old 26-04-2012, 04:57   #14
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Even new boats can have fibreglass issues.
I sail on a 6 month old Jennau 409 and the deck in spots is popping like bubble wrap,not happy.
Repairs under warranty are happening,but for me you pay the big bucks to use not watch it getting fixed.
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Old 26-04-2012, 06:27   #15
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Re: Older glass boats

Ouch, that looks nasty, but surely that is layers of GRP that haven't bonded properly when initially laid up?

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