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Old 21-04-2014, 22:46   #1
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Hull blisters. Repair or leave alone?

I know I'm going to open up a can of worms here but I'd like some feedback. My boat has a number of hull blisters, ranging in size from 1/4" to 2". I'm on the fence at the moment about spending $2-$3k to fix all of them or saying; "screw it....no boat has ever sunk due to a few blisters" (as far as I know).

I'm going to sail the boat this summer then put her on the hard to paint the bottom next winter. At that time I'll have the option of having the hull sanded down and epoxy the blisters or leaving them be. I really don't see me spending hours upon hours hand grinding each blister. I appreciate you guys who enjoy that sort of thing but I don't have the patient for it.

This boat (73' C&C 30) is new to me and I've already dropped several grand getting her ready to sail. I've already spent nearly $3k just fixing and dealing with maintenance issues that the PO ignored, plus another $2k on upgrades. I'll spend another $5k on new standing and running rigging (and a few other things) before putting her back in the water. The boat has an almost new Perkins that runs great (after a through fuel system cleaning) and a completely new wiring job with three fresh batteries.

All of this is to say that while I don't mind spending money on the boat, I want to spend it on things that really matter. So back to my original question. How important is fixing blisters on the hull?
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Old 21-04-2014, 23:47   #2
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Re: Hull blisters. Repair or leave alone?

They will only get bigger but to sink a 30' boat, not likely, unless the hull is one thin layer.
For most of us who do the work ourselves. The cost would only be the time out of the water, epoxy resin and filler, and a barrier coat. I have a mate a couple boats down from me, he spent a couple months and around $600 to do a 27' Coronado.

But the biggest down fall would be the resale value if not repaired.
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Old 22-04-2014, 03:40   #3
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Re: Hull blisters. Repair or leave alone?

If its taken 30yrs to get to this stage chances are it aint going to sink in a hurry, just put it back in the water and watch them disappear, out of site out of mind, when you come to sell boat just knock a bit off price and move on
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Old 03-05-2014, 14:11   #4
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Re: Hull blisters. Repair or leave alone?

Only thing I would consider is the potential glass delam going on beneath the coating.
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Old 03-05-2014, 18:27   #5
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Re: Hull blisters. Repair or leave alone?

Best practice is to repair everything major at each haulout. It's not difficult. Even girls can do it.
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Old 03-05-2014, 18:36   #6
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Re: Hull blisters. Repair or leave alone?

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Originally Posted by Aloha_float View Post
Only thing I would consider is the potential glass delam going on beneath the coating.
Boy, that is a big leap.
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Old 03-05-2014, 18:45   #7
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Re: Hull blisters. Repair or leave alone?

I'd leave it until you feel like fixing it.

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Old 03-05-2014, 19:18   #8
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Re: Hull blisters. Repair or leave alone?

2" blisters on a 30 footer? Past time to fix that...
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Old 03-05-2014, 19:21   #9
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Re: Hull blisters. Repair or leave alone?

They are really easy to fix. Grind down to good glass then relaminate back to hull thickness using epoxy resin and glass and fair. For many blisters it's just the gel coat and no need to laminate in new material, just paint over with epoxy resin. If you have $3,000 to throw away, have it done by a yard. If you don't, take a long weekend and do it yourself.
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Old 03-05-2014, 19:34   #10
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Re: Hull blisters. Repair or leave alone?

It's not likely that they're going to sink your boat, but depending on how many you have it may take a lot less time to fix them than you think. My husband and I did a Newport 30 that was just covered with them in a week of full time work. It wasn't fun, that's for sure, but we would have been bugged knowing they were there if we hadn't taken care of them.
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Old 03-05-2014, 20:15   #11
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Re: Hull blisters. Repair or leave alone?

Guy, if the hull has not been redone in 30 years, delam from moisture penetration is possible...I've seen it uncovered a few times when a hull has been stripped here at a local yard
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Old 03-05-2014, 20:21   #12
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Re: Hull blisters. Repair or leave alone?

Its a c&c 30 from the 73,,, balsa cored from the keel sump to the deck if i remember well, i think you are screwed... no matter if you fix that local blisters, hate bad news ,, no is not going to sink but probably the bottom is saturated, make a test window in one side and check for moisture readings..
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Old 04-05-2014, 06:54   #13
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Re: Hull blisters. Repair or leave alone?

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Originally Posted by neilpride View Post
Its a c&c 30 from the 73,,, balsa cored from the keel sump to the deck if i remember well, i think you are screwed... no matter if you fix that local blisters, hate bad news ,, no is not going to sink but probably the bottom is saturated, make a test window in one side and check for moisture readings..
At the very least I would pick the biggest blister you have, open it up and see what you're dealing with. The delaminated portion will be easy to cut away with a razor knife so cut away until you get to solid glass and then you'll know how deep it goes, and you'll also know whether you're dealing with saturated balsa core.

If the biggest blister you have doesn't reveal anything that causes you concern (not very deep, no saturated core) then you have at least that much information to go on to make your decision and you only have one blister to repair if you decide you're going to let them go.
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Old 05-05-2014, 13:58   #14
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Re: Hull blisters. Repair or leave alone?

Quote:
Originally Posted by oldragbaggers View Post
At the very least I would pick the biggest blister you have, open it up and see what you're dealing with. The delaminated portion will be easy to cut away with a razor knife so cut away until you get to solid glass and then you'll know how deep it goes, and you'll also know whether you're dealing with saturated balsa core.

If the biggest blister you have doesn't reveal anything that causes you concern (not very deep, no saturated core) then you have at least that much information to go on to make your decision and you only have one blister to repair if you decide you're going to let them go.
The largest blisters are maybe 1/4" deep and there is nothing but smooth glass underneath. The yard owner took a look at my hull and said that "your boat isn't going to sink so no worries if you want to put it off until next haul out".

My problem is that the boat is now 4 hours from me. I plan on bringing it down to my home port in July and once there, it will be a lot closer to home. Whenever I have a couple spare days, I drive up and work on it but I don't have a week to spare to sand the hull.

I may take my dremel tool and sand down a few of the larger blisters and fill them next week just to get a feel for the job.

When I bought the boat last December, I did a short haul and the surveyor did a tap test on the hull, pronouncing it "solid".
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Old 05-05-2014, 14:02   #15
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Re: Hull blisters. Repair or leave alone?

Quote:
Originally Posted by neilpride View Post
Its a c&c 30 from the 73,,, balsa cored from the keel sump to the deck if i remember well, i think you are screwed... no matter if you fix that local blisters, hate bad news ,, no is not going to sink but probably the bottom is saturated, make a test window in one side and check for moisture readings..
My boat has a solid hull. Not cored. Here is an excerpt from an article about the C&C 30'

"Construction

As the construction of the hull is a single moulded, uncored fibreglass unit, repairs are much simpler and cost effective in comparison to those hulls having a balsa core. Obviously, the possibility of damage due to water penetration/absorption and migration within a cored hull is nonexistent. Later versions, however, eventually acquired a 2 mm feret foam core in the bow, a material resistant to water damage. The deck construction includes a 1/2 in. balsa core for added strength and insulation with minimum weight gain."
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