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Old 08-11-2010, 06:35   #1
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Osmosis: Don't Worry, Be Happy !

I'm getting ready to spend perhaps US$300,000 on a used catamaran of 5 to 10 years age and some of them have already been peeled to their core because of osmosis ??!!...What's going on here? Temperature, humidity and dust controlled factories turning out hulls that pox in just a few years !! My personal favorite is a Fountaine Pajot Lavezzi 2005 model the broker told was in "new condition" which spent 8 months per year on the hard; sounded perfect but when I eventually asked whether it had had any repairs I was told it had already required a full peel !! I love the FP designs, reasonable performance and accommodation, exactly what I want, but why do I have to be worried about structural integrity...motors, rig, sails, nav gear etc. can all be replaced or upgraded but the hulls and bulkheads, the essential structure can't be. We seem to know more and more about osmosis in fibreglass boats and doing less and less about it. Indeed many articles I read on the internet tell me all fibreglass hulls will pox and I should just get used to it !!...You spend $30,000 on a Toyota and if they stuff up they recall your vehicle and repair it at their expense...You spend $300,000 on a 5 year old yacht and take your chances !!
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Old 08-11-2010, 06:57   #2
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I think this should be in a different section

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Old 08-11-2010, 07:06   #3
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Properly constructing a FRG hull(s) to resist/prevent osmotic blisters is expensive. All manufacturers know how to do it, but some sell to a "price point" and cannot afford to do it properly. The easy key to know which manufacture is which on the subject is to look at the "blister guarantee" they give. Since it normally takes up to 10 years for "laminate" blisters to appear, anybody giving a 5 year guarantee is telling you the hull is going to get blisters. Anybody giving a 10 year guarantee has done the hull properly as to osmotic blister protection. The guarantee is transferable to the new owner.
- - Just my viewpoint, but any boat with a "cored" hull below the waterline is trouble waiting to happen. Year after year, super high tech racing sailboats play with totally cored hulls (to reduce weight) and time after time the hulls de-laminate and the boat has to be trashed. I suggest only looking at boats with solid FRG below the waterline.
- - Recently high price boats are using super thin (less than traditional thickness for boat size) hull laminates because they are using the new super-strong "glass". It looks good on paper and on the computer, but when the hull meets underwater rock, it fractures and tears apart like the shell on a hard boiled egg. Their answer is - well you aren't supposed to go around hitting rocks . . .
- - "Gelcoat" blisters are a whole different subject and they are not structural so don't affect the strength of the hull. They are very common in "price point" boats as the workers spray the mold just before lunch, then take an extra long lunch. The time between initial spraying and lay up of the first layer of laminates is critical - too long and the gelcoat sets and will not adhere to the substrate properly. Peeling is not the best way to repair them unless the peeling operator really knows what he is doing. Peel too deep and the first few layers of osmotic blister protecting laminate is removed and now you will get serious blisters later in the boat life. It is better and more expensive to remove and repair gel-coat blisters manually so as to not "mess" with the underlying laminate.
- - One super major problem in the "boat repair" business is the hiring of workers off the street, handing them a piece of machinery and then telling them to go to it. They have no idea of what they are doing or the engineering and chemistry of FRG boats. Finding an experienced craftsman with a long history of good FRG work is very difficult. But if you can find one you will never regret it as the job will be done correctly and it will last longer than you will have the boat.
- - All of this needs to be put into your calculations of whether you can afford to buy a particular boat. As in all things, each variable is shifted up or down according to your personal desires and perceptions.
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Old 08-11-2010, 07:11   #4
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Thread moved to Multihulls from Tech Support and Site Help.

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Old 08-11-2010, 20:38   #5
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Yes, it's also interesting how FP seem to have so much trouble where as Lagoon don't seem to have any issues.
I would have thought a good epoxy sealing coat should also be helpful and that surely FP would have started doing this when it started being an issue in 2003.
But maybe the cost was to high at the time.
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Old 08-11-2010, 23:22   #6
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I wish I liked Lagoons!

FP's are exactly the combination of performance, accommodation, bridgedeck clearance, price and beauty I want; if only this hull issue didn't exist. As wonderful as the internet is as a research tool it can be amazingly hard to ferret out info. sometimes; I'm still unable to find out whether the whole range of FP's were "infused" from 2002 or just the Lavezzi, perhaps your broker knows Dragon Lady? Certainly the surveying industry in the Caribbean must be all over this problem and perhaps I can find a "peeler" there who would communicate. Any cruisers listening there with a friend in the trade who'd know? Any repairs done to the hulls is now my first question to the brokers. Cheers
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Old 09-11-2010, 05:53   #7
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300 grand? and it's a boat with a bad rep? I'd look f'r a different boat...there is a reason i won't buy another toyota...screw me once shame on you.
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Old 09-11-2010, 10:43   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bludden View Post
FP's are exactly the combination of performance, accommodation, bridgedeck clearance, price and beauty I want; if only this hull issue didn't exist. As wonderful as the internet is as a research tool it can be amazingly hard to ferret out info. sometimes; I'm still unable to find out whether the whole range of FP's were "infused" from 2002 or just the Lavezzi, perhaps your broker knows Dragon Lady? Certainly the surveying industry in the Caribbean must be all over this problem and perhaps I can find a "peeler" there who would communicate. Any cruisers listening there with a friend in the trade who'd know? Any repairs done to the hulls is now my first question to the brokers. Cheers

We are doing a lot of osmose repair and statistically I can tell you that Lavezzi's are far more keen to osmose than any other FP catamaran. Over the last 2 years we had; 4 Lavezzi, 2 Cumberland (FP 44 ft motor catamaran), 1 Eleuthra. Obviously we should note that Lavezzi are bigger in number. We have 13 FP catamaran in our fleet and including the recently bought Orana, 2 years old and Lipari 1 year old, we never had an osmose problem.

FP is giving 10 years hull warranty and so far they paid for all of the expenses and for all of the boats.

The osmose issue on Lavezzi has been discussed in length on this forum and you can search it for further info.

Cheers

Yeloya
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Old 09-11-2010, 16:25   #9
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Hull Layup method for FP Bahia's

Thanks for your comments Yeloya, I was hoping someone in the trade would read my post. I have read with interest everything remotely related in the FP Forum and am almost through everything in the Multihull Forum and indeed it was posts by you and Dragon Lady that alerted me to the Lavezzi hull problems and caused me to shift my attention to a Belize or Bahia. Some people say resin chemistry, some that the vacuum infusion is the issue with the Lavezzi, I'd prefer to buy the newest boat I can afford but want to spend my retirement years sailing not drying peeled hulls out on shore. When you buy an FP into your fleet do you receive any info. on hull layup shedules and construction methods? I take heart from not reading about osmosis problems with the Bahia and Belize, may it long continue. cheers
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Old 10-11-2010, 03:38   #10
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5 or 10 year warranty on FP hulls?

Quote:
Originally Posted by yeloya View Post
We are doing a lot of osmose repair and statistically I can tell you that Lavezzi's are far more keen to osmose than any other FP catamaran. Over the last 2 years we had; 4 Lavezzi, 2 Cumberland (FP 44 ft motor catamaran), 1 Eleuthra. Obviously we should note that Lavezzi are bigger in number. We have 13 FP catamaran in our fleet and including the recently bought Orana, 2 years old and Lipari 1 year old, we never had an osmose problem.

FP is giving 10 years hull warranty and so far they paid for all of the expenses and for all of the boats.

The osmose issue on Lavezzi has been discussed in length on this forum and you can search it for further info.

Cheers

Yeloya


I emailed Fountaine Pajot directly and got an incredibly prompt and polite response from their Customer Service Rep. with their hull warranty in French, English, German and Spanish. Perhaps you commercial buyers get a different warranty but this one is 5 years, non transferable to second owners and voided by using a high pressure washer. I'd post it if I could figure out how to do it but I'm relatively computer illiterate. Cheers
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Old 10-11-2010, 06:22   #11
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This is on their new boats??? I would have assumed that they had corrected the problem, but 5 years, non-transferable and voided if you use a high pressure washer????? Sounds as if they put a warranty on new boats because they had to, but kept it short (5 years max with the knowledge that many will have been sold before then - especially after their first bout of osmosis), made it non-transferable (even if the boat is only one year old, no warranty) and made sure it is voided by a pressure wash of the bottom - a technique that is used after haul-out in most marinas around the world.

Frankly, I have always preferred the FP's over some of their competition because they tend to be sleeker, have better bridgedeck clearance and slightly better performance, but that would be enough to cause me to look elsewhere. The impractical (except for charter) galleys I could live with, but the lack of attention to osmosis in their hulls I could not.

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Old 10-11-2010, 09:20   #12
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!...You spend $30,000 on a Toyota... You spend $300,000 on a 5 year old yacht.... !!
Wow - you be the richest cruiser I know...
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Old 10-11-2010, 09:28   #13
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What?????????? Thats a huge red flag if the builder actually states the hull warranty is void with a pressure wash. They didn't really say that did they?

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I emailed Fountaine Pajot directly and got an incredibly prompt and polite response from their Customer Service Rep. with their hull warranty in French, English, German and Spanish. Perhaps you commercial buyers get a different warranty but this one is 5 years, non transferable to second owners and voided by using a high pressure washer. I'd post it if I could figure out how to do it but I'm relatively computer illiterate. Cheers
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Old 10-11-2010, 13:52   #14
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Fountaine Pajot Hull Warranty

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What?????????? Thats a huge red flag if the builder actually states the hull warranty is void with a pressure wash. They didn't really say that did they?
I'm hopeless with computers so I'll just type the relevant sections from the FP Warranty.
2) Moreover, the structural warranty is limited to 5 years, as is the warranty applying to the gel coat on the hull.
(Then they list exclusions like damage from running aground, tidal waves etc)
D) The 5 year warranty covering the gel coat below the waterline only applies if the careenings have been carried out without using equipment which is aggresive for the gel coat-without sandpapering, sanding down or a high pressure jet.
F) In any event, only the first owner of the boat shall be covered by the warranty, which is non transferable.

Whether FP really mean a grit blaster rather than a pressure washer I don't know. I also received an email from a Caribbean broker this morning saying that the factory authorized peels receive a 5 year warranty, transferable to a new owner, which since my inquiries with him were for 2004-2005 boats would indicate that FP are exceeding their stated warranty. (Or maybe he meant 5 years from manufacture) He also stated that the Lavezzi model 2004 to 2006 was the only one with osmosis problems, but Yeloya's and other's posts say otherwise. Clearly this Forum can play an important role in finding the truth by posting what's really happening. Has anyone had hull problems with Athena, Belize and Bahia models?...cheers
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Old 10-11-2010, 14:29   #15
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Every GRP boat will suffer from osmosis it's just a matter of when. The reason being that GRP is not 100% waterproof, it is only about 99% waterproof and therefore water migrates through the hull over a long period of time, the water then mixes with any uncured resin and forms glycol an acidic blister, therefore the quality of build and the building environment is important from the beginning to minimise uncured or un reacted resin.
The first GRP boats took up to ten years to show the first visible signs of osmosis the reason being as they did not know the structural properties of fibreglass back then and the boats were overbuilt. Nowadays with performance weight is high on the agenda and the properties of fibreglass boats well tested and proven, boats are built to the minimum strenght/weight ratio requirements, hence a modern boat will show the first signs of osmosis after five years.
Most builders now prevent early onset osmosis by giving the fresh hull a coat of epoxy prior to primacon and antifoul.
I have surveyed stripped and repaired many osmosis ridden boats and the process begins with high moisture readings to pinhead blisters as to how soon that happens depends on the quality of the build, the age, the environment and the time afloat, the fresher the water the faster the migration. Anything beyond pinhead blisters and it's time to get it treated.
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