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Old 18-10-2013, 13:27   #1
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Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Slidell, LA
Boat: Laguna 33
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My minor boatyard plan shaping up... weigh in if you are bored.

This is not a unique puzzle, pretty routine work, I have searched some of these issues and seen different approaches.

I have a 1987 Laguna 33 sailboat I purchased last year, and I have deferred needed bottom maintenance to enjoy it and work at it dockside, but the time has definitely come. No work will be done by me personally, I've done my last bottom job.

As observed at survey a year ago, old Antifouling paint is on thick and has come off like shingles in a couple spots. There are maybe 11 small shallow blisters, none bigger than a silver dollar, and all but a few on one side of the keel (which was part of the hull mold).

Surveyor surprised me and said, "you can tend to that next time you haul to do the bottom... or maybe put it off to the one after that." That started me Googling up quite a few people making an interesting case for blisters being cosmetic and interventions often causing more harm than good. I've never seen a few blisters as the end of the world but would not have thought to just roll paint and launch without tending to them.

But if I need to take the bottom paint down to the gel coat anyway... one thinks... might as well roll epoxy... might as well fix blisters. But then I read folks saying no, you don't have to take it all off, if it stands up to 2000psi power washing and surface sanding it should hold for a few years more. Smooth it over and roll antifoul!

I spoke by phone to a guy at a boat yard I was thinking of trying this time and he seemed to egg me on in this kind of talk, against his own self interest. Of course reeling me in is first priority.

I have a couple of dead datamarine transducers under the v berth. I was thinking of having one replumbed as a thru hull for a possible future air conditioner. What to do about the other one? Leave it be? Glass it over to eliminate potential leak? Replace it? My chartplotter gets depth from an inside the hull puck under the quarter berth (I'd prefer it in front of the keel) and speed currently only from GPS. But it would support an Airmar DST 800 Depth/Speed/Temp for about $300.

I have some gel coat damage/decay around the edge of the reverse transom. I'm afraid fixing it will involve screwing up some original graphics on the boat that I'd not like to ruin. (It's one of few made and I think of it like an endangered species). The boat yard recommended airbrushing; but he hasn't seen it. I didn't get the feeling he was a gel coat artist.

Finally, Prop. Looked like a fine prop to me. Surveyor tapped it with something metallic and frowned, saying it didn't "ring like a bell, which it should." Also needs cutlass bearing. I called a prop shop and they said bring in the prop and strut and they will replace bearing with a press, sandblast prop and check it out, that a dull sound while it's on the shaft is pretty normal. I am betting it will prove that I should have just had the boatyard replace the cutlass bearing and not worried about the prop, but I guess this won't be too painful if the prop is ok.

Need some sort of antifouling on prop and shaft.

While nobody admires half measures, I can't help but think I'm glad I have a boat with just few blisters and no epoxy bottom yet that could be testament to a long prior battle against the pox, and in fact the mold release seems to be causing the antifoul not to stick so nobody has sanded on it much. Which leads me to... maybe if I can still kick the can down the road... I should.
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Old 18-10-2013, 13:48   #2
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Location: Skagit City, WA
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Re: My minor boatyard plan shaping up... weigh in if you are bored.

As you note, alot of opinions on blisters. What is the likely hood of sinking from blisters? about zero I imagine.
If you are stripping all paint, i would definitely dry out a bit and roll on West or similar epoxy resin. JMHO
Funds tight? pressure wash and roll over what's there. Some people have to have things neat and tidy... some dont.
I'm assuming the boat is fiberglass, not glass over ply right?
"I spent most of my money on Booze, Broads and Boats. The rest I wasted" - Elmore Leonard

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Old 18-10-2013, 14:28   #3
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Location: Seattle WA
Boat: Roughwater, pilot house, 58 ft
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Re: My minor boatyard plan shaping up... weigh in if you are bored.

In the PNW there are a few yards that allow DIY. The per day demurrage is not much, $30 to $60 per day. Itís the hauling, pressure washing and the blocking/setting and re splashing that costs a lot. So I have found it best to sit on the hard and get the stuff done, than to have to pull the boat again. So you might want to get a break down of the costs?

The blisters appear for be surface, multi layers of bottom paint. A good 2300 psi power wash should take off most of the bottom paint that is not sticking and come off. I have the hulls power sprayed a second time as when the hull starts o dry you can see the areas missed. I would at least scrape/sand the areas that are flaking off, pop and fill in the blister larger than a quarter, and sand the hull using 40-60 grit.

Then have the hull surveyed as to what other stuff should be done. the surveyor will rap tap the hull, check thru fitting, cutlass, shaft, and give you an idea what should be done concerning the blisters. Every time we pull I have the hull surveyed for insurance purposes. I also have all the blister popped/filled in and sand the entire hull to rough up so the bottom paint sticks, and replace all the zincs weather they need it or not to have a good starting point as to future wear.
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