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Old 18-04-2016, 09:43   #1
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New bottom paint falling off in patches

This past week someone was diving my neighbor's boat in our marina in the SF Bay Area and he did a courtesy check under our boat and reported big chunks of bottom paint falling off. I was pretty shocked to hear this given that we had the bottom paint done when we bought the boat six months ago up in Washington (boat was sailed down, not delivered).

I jumped in the water and captured video of the missing paint patches:https://www.dropbox.com/sh/5frv5oxth...KlI9k-AZa?dl=0

There are a dozen or more patches of paint missing, ranging from the diameter of a mug to larger than a dinner plate. None on the keel or rudder that I could see easily, but it was hard to get a good look everywhere. The paint didn't rub off per say, but I was able to chip it off with my finger nail in some places. When I chipped it away, the area underneath had a blue stain/tint.

The owner of the shop that did the bottom paint job is telling me that this isn't something that they did wrong. He says that all they did was a bottom paint job, and what is happening here is that the epoxy barrier, which he says is under the bottom paint, is separating from the hull. He says this can happen to fiberglass hulls after 20-30 years, and that addressing the barrier wasn't part of the service they performed except in a few select places close to the water line where there was evidence of it needing done. This boat is from '92. He said that long periods out of the water can also cause this separation of the barrier from the hull, which has not occurred given that the boat sat for six years unused prior to my purchase. He then went on to say that sitting for so long could have been the issue, as new anti-fouling paint was not applied in the appropriate interval during that time. That being said, the paint was not in bad condition when the boat came out of the water.

I'm flumoxed, having just spent 1500+ on having them paint the bottom, only now to find out I may have to either have that entirely redone (costing 2k+ here) or perhaps that it is a much bigger job to have both bottom paint and barrier stripped everywhere and have all of it redone (5-6k?!).

If this is something that happens to boats around this age I wonder why did they not bring that up or counsel me that it was appropriate to do that full job initially, especially if they found evidence of barrier needing to be redone in a few places which they did address. I am struggling to understand what is actually happening to the boat/paint based on the evidence shown in the footage.

Two decisions I have to make in short order. First being what is the correct job that needs to be done to address the issue, the second being the extend to hold this shop accountable to their work which is now falling apart. It seems that either way I need to get this boat out of the water and into a yard asap so as to minimize risk of damage to the fiberglass and blistering.

Any advice would be immensely helpful.
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Old 18-04-2016, 10:26   #2
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Re: New bottom paint falling off in patches

Best guess is the antifoul has failed due to the previous surface not being prepared properly. I doubt its the epoxy that is failing off. If the yacht was ashore for a long time the previous coat of antifoul may well be the problem and all the shop has done is coat over the top. Not a great idea.

So what to do about it? you have a choice, patch paint it every so often or take the lot off down to but not including the epoxy coat either with a scraper, chemicals or sand/slurry/dry ice blasting by a professional. None of these options are quick or cheap.

Is the shop owner liable? it depends, you asked him to paint antifoul on the hull then that is what he has done. However, he should have checked the condition and told you before hand that there was a problem and more preparation was required.

When you bought the boat you did have a survey done didn't you, what did the survey say?

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Old 18-04-2016, 10:31   #3
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Re: New bottom paint falling off in patches

The shop owner has already told you that the problem is not his. Now it's your word against his.


You don't need to be in a big rush to get your boat out of the water. A few weeks won't hurt anything.


You will find a new shop or painter and they will look at it and decide how best to deal with it. They will give you their opinion on how it happened. Then you'll have three opinions.
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Old 18-04-2016, 10:43   #4
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Re: New bottom paint falling off in patches

Ron's right and much of the information given to you by the guy in Washington was correct, too. If you're using hard paint, it builds up and spots can flake off as you've described.

If you're still here in the SF Bay Area, try either Svendsons in the Estuary or KKMI in Richmond or Sausalito. Do NOT, ever, use the Boatyard at Grand Marina (check my review of them on Yelp - you might have to click on the ones that don't show up right away - these guys really suck, big time). You could also go up the Napa River to the Napa Valley Marina. Those are the only three in the Bay Area I'd trust, and I've been sailing here for 35 years.

Good luck.
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Old 18-04-2016, 13:45   #5
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Re: New bottom paint falling off in patches

Between 20 and 40 seconds in the slow-motion video, it seems that patches of off-white paint remain in places under the blue antifouling. It's not clear whether this is an older coat of antifouling paint or epoxy.

This is work for a surveyor and maybe a lawyer...

Anyway, provided there is a gel coat under the epoxy, osmosis is a slow process. No real damage should result in a few weeks.

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Old 18-04-2016, 14:15   #6
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Re: New bottom paint falling off in patches

Can't see any epoxy issues in the vid. Looks much like a plain case of new AF paint flaking off, alone or with an earlier AF coat.

There is a product called a tie coat. Someone forgot to use it.

b.
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Old 18-04-2016, 14:18   #7
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Re: New bottom paint falling off in patches

I had a similar problem where the paint had not been adhering to the hull, but not as bad as yours. When I went to sand it, I could pull off whole strips of bottom paint (probably 8 or 9 different layers) from the keel. It was essentially bare metal below the keel to hull joint. It became obvious the more I worked on the rest of the hull, that a full stripping job was needed. I don't know that a boat yard would have advised me to do this, if I had gone to them requesting a paint job. This is why I like to do work myself. I can determine exactly what seems necessary or not. I'm also learning as I go, but it's the best of learnings!! I used Berkeley Marine Center and was super happy with everything. If you need a name of someone who can do work there and could help you out, let me know.
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Old 18-04-2016, 14:22   #8
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Re: New bottom paint falling off in patches

From the feedback on this forum and from others I've spoken to, it is sounding more and more likely that the epoxy barrier is separating from the gel coat. As seen here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/ohsq1hb6nk...pture.png?dl=0

If this is the case, my options appear to be:

1) Address the specific areas where separation/patching has occurred only. Conduct appropriate prep on the area, reapply barrier, and reapply bottom paint. Monitor periodically and continue to address issues as they come up.

2) Assume that if separation/patching is occurring now, it means that the barrier was applied without proper prep, and that this will continue to plague me with new patches constantly forming and having to be addressed. Pursue option of having entire barrier removed, having gel coat properly prepped, reapply barrier everywhere, reapply bottom paint everywhere. All at a substantial price tag.

One thing that I'm not very clear on his what the severity is of the issue in terms of the likelihood of damage to the hull. Is this normal, and can be left untended for many months without concern? Can I simply wait until next year and do annual or every 2 year haul out / touch ups to the areas that this is occurring on specifically? Or is this type of exposed gelcoat putting the fiberglass at risk of blistering and potential severe long term damage? How urgently should I be working to address this problem?

Thank you all for your input.
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Old 18-04-2016, 15:05   #9
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Re: New bottom paint falling off in patches

I am not convinced the epoxy coat is breaking down as Barnakiel has already stated. This is probably two layers of antifoul not adhering. No need to take the epoxy off and yes it will wait until the next haul out,providing you are willing to regularly clean the bits that don't have antifoul, like fortnightly.

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Old 18-04-2016, 15:08   #10
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Re: New bottom paint falling off in patches

A few thoughts, in no particular order :

Bottom paint tends to be in bright or dark colours - black, bright blue, red, and so on. So the white patches are almost certainly gelcoat, or primer, not an underlying layer of antifouling.

If the paint failed down to either the gelcoat, or the primer, then it is not the yard's fault. The job they did is a light sand on the existing antifouling, then new antifouling.

So, so far, we have established that any fix is going to be on your dime.

People keep talking about epoxy coats like every boat has them. They don't. It is quite unusual for a boat to get an epoxy barrier coat from new. I would be very surprised if Hunter did it, given their cost sensitivity. Can any Hunter owners help here?

You are NOT going to get blisters soon, even if the boat did have an epoxy barrier coat, and it is now falling off. Blisters are caused by problems in the fibreglass layup, together with water penetration. If you don't have blisters now, you won't have them in a year or two, unless Hunter's layup is particularly faulty, and the only thing keeping it going was epoxy barrier.

The only permanent fix is to take the whole bottom down to a good substrate, be that epoxy, gelcoat, or whatever. This is going to cost a lot. A strip followed by barrier followed by new paint will cost about $6k or more on your boat.
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Old 18-04-2016, 15:11   #11
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Re: New bottom paint falling off in patches

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stu Jackson View Post
Ron's right and much of the information given to you by the guy in Washington was correct, too. If you're using hard paint, it builds up and spots can flake off as you've described.

If you're still here in the SF Bay Area, try either Svendsons in the Estuary or KKMI in Richmond or Sausalito. Do NOT, ever, use the Boatyard at Grand Marina (check my review of them on Yelp - you might have to click on the ones that don't show up right away - these guys really suck, big time). You could also go up the Napa River to the Napa Valley Marina. Those are the only three in the Bay Area I'd trust, and I've been sailing here for 35 years.

Good luck.
Interesting. Svendsens took the previous owner of my boat to the cleaners with a major repair, while Grand Marina have always done an excellent job for me. I avoid Svendsens like the plague now. You should see the 5 page invoice I have from the PO, detailing every nut, bolt, brush, cloth, tissue, tyvek suit, glove, dust mask, you name it. My only theory is that he said something that really ****ed them off.
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Old 18-04-2016, 15:44   #12
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Re: New bottom paint falling off in patches

MarkSF - If this is you boat, would you strip everything down to gelcoat and then prep, barrier, and apply antifouling? Or would you address the areas of patchiness as they come up given that they don't pose any serious risk to the boat?

Regarding keeping these areas "clean" as others have mentioned. I assume some googling would yield plenty of info on this, but anything in particular that anyone here recommends regarding keeping these areas clean until they are addressed?
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Old 18-04-2016, 15:47   #13
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Re: New bottom paint falling off in patches

The topcoat of bottom paint reacted chemically with the undercoat and then caused the undercoat to peel from the hull. I'm not sure who's fault it is, but how was the yard supposed to know what type of paint was previously applied? But then again.... they are in the business of applying bottom paint, so they should know better and take precautions or make recommendations.

$1500 always seems so ridiculously much to pay for bottom paint, but having had it done by a reputable yard in the San Francisco Bay Area myself with all the environmental crap and fees, I paid $1800 for one coat on our 45ft boat six years ago.

California is a nice place to leave.
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Old 18-04-2016, 16:19   #14
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Re: New bottom paint falling off in patches

There's no hurry. The parts without antifouling paint will show more growth. Your diver will complain. As already said, nothing will blister or be damaged. I agree with others that there probably is no barrier coat. I think you're looking at white gelcoat.

In the video there's one spot where you can see a small bit of lighter color blue/green paint. Was that the color of the boat before you painted it? If so, it's likely tit was that anti fouling paint that failed. Maybe the selling owner put a quick coat of paint on to dress the boat for sale?

Or, your new coat may simply have been the "last straw". Hard bottom paints build up. Enough layers and even the best prepped first layer will lose its grip after 15 or 20 layers.

When you next haul you have a choice - (1) feather the edges of the remaining paint and prep the bare areas before painting. Each time you haul there will be new bare spots. (2) Or strip all the old antifouling paint and start fresh.

There's probably no one to blame here. Welcome to boat owning
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Old 18-04-2016, 16:21   #15
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Re: New bottom paint falling off in patches

Quote:
Originally Posted by Liefo View Post
MarkSF - If this is you boat, would you strip everything down to gelcoat and then prep, barrier, and apply antifouling? Or would you address the areas of patchiness as they come up given that they don't pose any serious risk to the boat?

Regarding keeping these areas "clean" as others have mentioned. I assume some googling would yield plenty of info on this, but anything in particular that anyone here recommends regarding keeping these areas clean until they are addressed?
I think if I found this problem when I was about to get paint, I would bite the bullet and get the bottom stripped. No need to speak hypthetically, I was in that position and did get the strip done.

If I found this with a recent bottom job, I'd be tempted to at least try and get a year or two out of it first.
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