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Old 22-06-2015, 18:26   #1
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Location: Nova Scotia
Boat: S&S Loki Yawl 38'
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Stevens 47

Hello all, I am currently looking quite seriously at this S&S design (including the Hylas 47) and am hoping to get some input. Here is a list of some of the questions I have but please feel free to add anything positive or negative in nature whether on the list or not.



1. Blisters? Do these boats suffer from them and if so how bad?

2. I have been told that the deck core is a poly vinyl foam by some and by others that it is balsa… has anyone drilled a hole through the deck of one of these boats that might know for sure?

3. I have heard that the fuel tanks are stainless by some and black iron by others…does anyone know for sure?

4. Any comments about how these boats handle/sail is appreciated. Most everything I have heard so far has been positive, any negatives?

Thanks,
James
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Old 22-06-2015, 18:36   #2
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Re: Stevens 47

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lokiyawl View Post
Hello all, I am currently looking quite seriously at this S&S design (including the Hylas 47) and am hoping to get some input. Here is a list of some of the questions I have but please feel free to add anything positive or negative in nature whether on the list or not.



1. Blisters? Do these boats suffer from them and if so how bad?

2. I have been told that the deck core is a poly vinyl foam by some and by others that it is balsa… has anyone drilled a hole through the deck of one of these boats that might know for sure?

3. I have heard that the fuel tanks are stainless by some and black iron by others…does anyone know for sure?

4. Any comments about how these boats handle/sail is appreciated. Most everything I have heard so far has been positive, any negatives?

Thanks,
James
You have seen this, right ?

Hylas 47 Review: The Original Hylas - Waves « Jordan Yacht Brokerage

Jordan's site has a link to an active blog owner of one-

http://www.sailingtotem.com/totem-our-floating-home


Are you looking at one in particular and the listing broker doesn't really know about them ? If so, you need to find a knowledgeable broker too and they will have to split the commission.
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Old 22-06-2015, 18:52   #3
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Boat: S&S Loki Yawl 38'
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Re: Stevens 47

Thanks for the input. I was already aware of the Hylas article and have been enjoying reading about Totems travels. It was the broker that revealed the information about the blisters and now is checking to see what he can find out. I have not seen the boat myself yet. Blisters in my experience usually come back despite coatings..you just slow them down it seems. Some boats of course never get them. Also I have seen everything from micro blisters that are just in the gel-coat to those that completely penetrate the laminate. Can anyone tell me if they know of any Stevens 47's with a severe blister problem?
Thanks, James
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Old 23-06-2015, 09:01   #4
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Re: Stevens 47

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lokiyawl View Post
Hello all, I am currently looking quite seriously at this S&S design (including the Hylas 47) and am hoping to get some input. Here is a list of some of the questions I have but please feel free to add anything positive or negative in nature whether on the list or not.







1. Blisters? Do these boats suffer from them and if so how bad?



2. I have been told that the deck core is a poly vinyl foam by some and by others that it is balsa… has anyone drilled a hole through the deck of one of these boats that might know for sure?



3. I have heard that the fuel tanks are stainless by some and black iron by others…does anyone know for sure?



4. Any comments about how these boats handle/sail is appreciated. Most everything I have heard so far has been positive, any negatives?



Thanks,

James

Hi James,

We have a 1986 Stevens 47. Our boat did have quite a few blisters. Probably could have repaired one at a time but I had the bottom peeled.

I have drilled into deck and core is airex, I have not heard of them using balsa.

Fuel tanks are stainless and still going strong. Original ss water tanks were replaced by a PO.

We've had the boat for 10 years now, still very happy with her.



Doug


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Old 23-06-2015, 10:04   #5
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Re: Stevens 47

Doug,

Thanks for this information, it is very helpful to me. The two boats that I have been researching apparently have blisters but I am not sure yet how serious they are.

Did the bottom peeling on Thea remove all of the blistering or were some of the blisters deeper than the peel? Have you had any additional blistering since you did this work?

Apparently the Hylas 47's after the early 90's were built using Vinylester resin. I am researching to find out if this was only the outer skin or if vinyl ester was used all of the way through the laminate. The Vinylester is much better at keeping the water out and has stronger physical properties..but is more expensive.

Thanks for the confirmation of the Airex in the deck core, that is a real plus.

Great to hear that the original SS tanks are working out fine for you. I have talked to some others that also have the original tanks without any problems as well.

I have heard that there are sometimes rot problems in the stringers of these boats. I wonder if the stringers are structural or if they just create something to fasten the interior to?

I have heard that Rod Stephens really liked this design a lot. I haven't talked to any of the Steven's owners so far that weren't happy with the boat. The fact that the Hylas 49 is essentially the same hull and is currently still in production 34 years after the 47 was designed speaks volumes by itself.

James

Quote:
Originally Posted by s/v Thea View Post
Hi James,

We have a 1986 Stevens 47. Our boat did have quite a few blisters. Probably could have repaired one at a time but I had the bottom peeled.

I have drilled into deck and core is airex, I have not heard of them using balsa.

Fuel tanks are stainless and still going strong. Original ss water tanks were replaced by a PO.

We've had the boat for 10 years now, still very happy with her.



Doug




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Old 24-06-2015, 08:02   #6
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Re: Stevens 47

Hi James,


As far as I can remember the peel removed all the blisters, there was some poor bonding in the mat layer and they were able to manually peel off large sheets of mat. They ended up peeling most of the mat then replacing mat using vinylester resin, then epoxy over top. After 4-1/2 years no signs of any more blisters.

Doug


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Old 24-06-2015, 17:33   #7
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Re: Stevens 47

Doug,

Thanks, this is very helpful to me. It sounds like you did the blister repair in the best possible manner by building up glass and vinyl ester followed by the epoxy. I have since found examples where this same system of repair has lasted 20+ years which is a huge improvement over the epoxy only coatings.

The type of delamination you described is also somewhat reassuring to me. Once the gelcoat sprayed into the mold has cured, a single layer of 1.5 ounce matt is normally laminated to the gel coat and allowed to cure. It is quite easy to see and to remove air bubbles in this thin layer of glass so that you don't have air bubbles right under the gelcoat where they can easily break open and this layer protects the gel coat from damage during the heavy layup. Then the heavy structural laminations are applied, normally in stages to reduce heat build up and shrinkage. In your case, it sounds like the initial skin out layer of glass was either not sanded, or perhaps was too cured to bond well with the succeeding laminations so it was easy for osmosis to break the bond. Since the
blisters apparently were only in the gelcoat and the initial skin out layer, the structure was fine and now you have glassed over the hull with a superior resin which mimics the construction method of a number of other high quality builders like Hallberg Rassy which don't seem to have a blister problem. While I have not used vinyl ester to date for blister repairs, I have reconstructed a number of decks with core issues using this resin and it really seems to bond well to the original fiberglass laminate. I made up a number of samples where I scarfed vinyl ester/ glass layup to the original layup and after a full cure did some destructive testing. The samples never broke on the scarf, it was always in the original layup which told me that the repair was better than the original material.

James

PS, I am short time right now but I am anxious to read more of your posts on CF about using the Lithium, Iron Phosphate batteries on your boat!

Quote:
Originally Posted by s/v Thea View Post
Hi James,


As far as I can remember the peel removed all the blisters, there was some poor bonding in the mat layer and they were able to manually peel off large sheets of mat. They ended up peeling most of the mat then replacing mat using vinylester resin, then epoxy over top. After 4-1/2 years no signs of any more blisters.

Doug


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