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Old 11-06-2009, 16:54   #1
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Blistering

While looking for a boat I have noticed that alot of write ups have mentioned that the hull has no blisters. This sounds like I should be concerned about something like this. What is blistering? How can I repair this problem if I already own a boat? What costs are involved?

Viking Blood
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Old 11-06-2009, 17:04   #2
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Hi Viking,

If you merely google "gelcoat blistering" or something to that effect, you will find huge amounts of information, descriptions, and photos of the problem. I'd offer you an explanation, but I'm probably as UNhandy as you are .
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Old 11-06-2009, 17:27   #3
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yeah, google it. In a nutshell: Water enters the gel coat or even the fibreglass causing little (or big) blisters full of liquid to bump up on the hull. Some consider it more of a cosmetic issue, some consider it a bigger problem. It could be either depending on your hull layup etc. It's a big job to fix properly and on some boats may only ever be a temporary fix. Other boats just have minor issues....
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Old 11-06-2009, 17:39   #4
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If the blisters cover most of the hull below the waterline, it's called "pox" and is a relatively big job to fix. At a minimum, the gel coat and possibly some of the layup has to be stripped off, using a special tool, and that's the easy part. Then the hull has to be dried out and the stripped area must be recovered either with new layup and/or gelcoat, or a barrier coat.

If there are relatively few blisters and they have to be repaired, it's not a difficult repair, just somewhat time consuming. But it can be easily do-it-yourself.

On edit: blisters are much more likely with boats that spend a lot of time in relatively warm water. Watch out for those Florida/Carib boats!!
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Old 11-06-2009, 19:16   #5
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Wow! An education in ten minutes reading!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maggie-K View Post
Before you do anything read the definitive article on blisters by Degroote one of the most respected suveyors on the west coast and an honest man.
There are two kinds of blister , gellcoat which you probably have and are very common and laminate which are as you would expect right in the fibreglass laminate these are very rare and not just below water line. Laminate blister are a problem gelcote blister are not . The two are not related and one does not lead to the other . Gelcote blisters are nothing more thatn a cosmetic concern , Spend your money on something more useful.

Here is Degroot's article

Blisters? No Problem!
Gelcoat Blisters
by
Jan de Groot
Copywritten, All Rights Reserved
I'm going to say this right here, right now......"
Great post!

Aside from the educational material that enhances ones understanding, I especially loved the statement, " The number of experts closely equal the number of boats. " lol
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Old 11-06-2009, 20:55   #6
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Thanks Big dreams it's nice to see an honest guy like DeGroote tell it like is . Unfortunately the moderator removed my post as I made a mistake and posted copyrighted material . I believe it is OK to provide a like to the article it is very educational to anyone wondering about blisters

http://www.sealakeyachts.com/service/blisters.html
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Old 11-06-2009, 21:57   #7
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For gelcoat blisters all over the hull, I wonder if or when they start using those robots to peel the gelcoat in the USA. These are all over Europe and take care of the nasty 80 of the job (for what, 15 years now or even more?)

cheers,
Nick.
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Old 11-06-2009, 22:12   #8
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I really agree with Jan. He is a well respected surveyor here in Vancouver. Generally (with the exceptions of Valiants with the fire retardent resin), the blisters only occur in the first layer of mat and are not a structural problem.

Ever hear about somebodies boat failing or sinking due to blisters...
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Old 11-06-2009, 22:14   #9
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Copyrighted Webpage? Simple : Ask permission to post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maggie-K View Post
Thanks Big dreams it's nice to see an honest guy like DeGroote tell it like is . Unfortunately the moderator removed my post as I made a mistake and posted copyrighted material . I believe it is OK to provide a like to the article it is very educational to anyone wondering about blisters

http://www.sealakeyachts.com/service/blisters.html
Hi Maggie,

In the future, all you have to do is request permission from the copyright owner to post that portion of the work that you wish to use and 9 times out of 10, they're happy to cooperate so long as you properly note the actual owner. They're mostly interested in prohibiting people from making money off of their work.

I snagged a copy for myself prior to you posting the link.

I was a little perturbed that sanding the gel coat wasn't recommended prior to painting. I had some work professionally done at a well known boatyard & I believe they did sanding. Oh, well. Water under the bridge
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Old 22-06-2009, 03:56   #10
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Thank for the article Maggie!


That was possibly the best information I have read on this site. What a wonderful explanation of how blistering forms and what is the big picture.

Note to self: Find a boat that someone devalues because they think it is ruined by a few blisters and get it for a song!
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