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Old 02-07-2016, 12:17   #1
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The price of bad decisions aka 20/20 hindsight

First time poster, long time lurker.

10 years ago, I purchased a J/22. "It was the best day of my life." The boat is now 31 years old and the list of mistakes I made could fill a book here are some of the highlights:

1) Bought a boat far from home (inland east coast) with insufficient research and a questionable surveyor (no moisture meter)
2) Committed to the purchase sight unseen and was blinded by the prospect of ownership
3) Doubled the cost of the boat making repairs/changes
4) Used VC Performance Epoxy on a boat that would not be dry sailed (even though it's in fresh water)

So here we are after spending next to nothing since I brought the boat home with issues that can no longer be ignored. It's time to pay the piper.

1) Wet sailing a boat with the wrong bottom paint probably accelerated osmosis damage. The finish is literally peeling off the bottom down to the glass
2) Water intrusion over the years and REALLY cold inside winter storage has resulted in finish cracks and peeling the water that got in froze and popped the finish
3) Bottom paint used by a PO on the keel and not removed before application of VC made a mess of the keel the high build VC is coming off in chunks the size of my hand

So, the PO may have put some lipstick on a pig with a bottom job just before I bought it. The transom was wet, there was a 1+ square foot bump on the portside bow, the chainplates suffered from water intrusion, etc. That all got fixed before I brought the boat home but it was done in the winter, outside, at a mid-atlantic yard that was highly recommended and (of course) the low bidder. My instructions to the yard were "I want this boat to be competitive enough that if I don't win races, it's my problem, not the boats." They did what I asked.

I'm 1,000 miles from a real boatyard, can't even find someone local with a moisture meter. I'm jonesing because splashing the boat will only extend the drying time necessary to cure the osmosis, the bottom probably needs to be peeled and after lurking on this and other websites I find myself lacking the money, skills, tools and a space to fix it all.

The west and gulf coasts likely have the yards closest to me with the infrastructure and skills needed to cure my boats ills over the coming winter and significantly shrink my retirement account. I have no desire to replace it with another boat (better the devil you know) and am open to suggestions. Please note the black on the keel is not VC Tar but appears to be an older bottom paint that should have been removed prior to refinishing the keel long ago, it sands off easily and doesn't foul the paper. The green in the photos is VC Watertite. Thanks in advance for your input.
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Old 02-07-2016, 14:11   #2
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Re: The price of bad decisions aka 20/20 hindsight

On an old beat up J-22 it probably isn't worth fixing. It would probably be cheaper to buy another one. If you really want to get it fixed I would call Donnie Brennan in Mobile and ask if he would take it on.

But in all seriousness if the glass is popping off the hull it's probably a write off.
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Old 06-07-2016, 20:16   #3
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Re: The price of bad decisions aka 20/20 hindsight

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Originally Posted by Stumble View Post
On an old beat up J-22 it probably isn't worth fixing. It would probably be cheaper to buy another one. If you really want to get it fixed I would call Donnie Brennan in Mobile and ask if he would take it on.

But in all seriousness if the glass is popping off the hull it's probably a write off.
Thanks Greg, I'm happy with the devil I know rather than buying another boat and mirroring the layout I currently have. Along with whatever problems I'd find down the road would cost more than I'll spend if I do the work on my current boat myself. This ought to be fun

The underlying mat appears to be intact - glass is not popping off. It's the VC Performance Epoxy barrier coat that's popping off. The boats had no anti-foul since I had it worked on in '07 but there are underlying coats I'll have to sand off. Going to start sanding the bottom tomorrow to see how many blisters there really are. Got a moisture meter on order.

Stay tuned...
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Old 06-07-2016, 21:51   #4
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Re: The price of bad decisions aka 20/20 hindsight

If you have more time than money, you can certainly do the job yourself.

I have done lots of work on my boats that I could not afford to pay other people to do. Although much of the work has been difficult, I still enjoyed doing it myself.

Doing it yourself is a great way to really know your boat.
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Old 06-07-2016, 23:02   #5
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Re: The price of bad decisions aka 20/20 hindsight

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Originally Posted by maxingout View Post
If you have more time than money, you can certainly do the job yourself.

I have done lots of work on my boats that I could not afford to pay other people to do. Although much of the work has been difficult, I still enjoyed doing it myself.

Doing it yourself is a great way to really know your boat.
Not quite sure if I wanted to know my boat THIS well... and you know the old saying, if you have the time, you don't have the money and if you have the money, you don't have the time.

Right now, I seem to have the time and comparing the cost of having it done vs. doing it myself means I get to buy a couple of tools that I'll use later to finish the house remodel I started a couple years ago.

This project has higher priority though, with our weather, I have 2 months max to get it done while the temps are high enough for epoxy to cure.
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Old 08-07-2016, 18:48   #6
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Re: The price of bad decisions aka 20/20 hindsight

Fly a good surveyor in, and do some semi-destructive testing to see what you've got.

Sometimes things are all doom and gloom, and other times they only look that way.

Cheers,

Zach
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Old 08-07-2016, 19:19   #7
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Re: The price of bad decisions aka 20/20 hindsight

Reading your post made me really sad. I've been there, and it's cost me a lot of time and money. Sixteen years after starting construction on my dream retirement boat with no boat building experience and no guidance, I have to conclude that some jobs are best left to professionals, and paint adhesion is the primary one. You'd think it would simpler than learning to be welder and a diesel mechanic, but it isn't. It's going to cost another chunk, but in a few weeks the Santa Catalina goes into the yard, all my paint will be sandblasted off,the metal will be treated, and professional paint will go on. Then my job will be chasing spot rust for the rest of my life, not despair over a pealing boat. I guess I can only say, if you tackle it yourself, be sure that you know what the endpoint will be - you could put in a lot of time, substantial money, and still end up with a mess.
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Old 12-07-2016, 11:32   #8
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Re: The price of bad decisions aka 20/20 hindsight

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Originally Posted by Zach View Post
Fly a good surveyor in, and do some semi-destructive testing to see what you've got.

Sometimes things are all doom and gloom, and other times they only look that way.

Cheers,

Zach
Thanks Zach, but that isn't in the budget
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Old 12-07-2016, 11:39   #9
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Re: The price of bad decisions aka 20/20 hindsight

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Originally Posted by tkeithlu View Post
Reading your post made me really sad. I've been there, and it's cost me a lot of time and money. Sixteen years after starting construction on my dream retirement boat with no boat building experience and no guidance, I have to conclude that some jobs are best left to professionals, and paint adhesion is the primary one. You'd think it would simpler than learning to be welder and a diesel mechanic, but it isn't. It's going to cost another chunk, but in a few weeks the Santa Catalina goes into the yard, all my paint will be sandblasted off,the metal will be treated, and professional paint will go on. Then my job will be chasing spot rust for the rest of my life, not despair over a pealing boat. I guess I can only say, if you tackle it yourself, be sure that you know what the endpoint will be - you could put in a lot of time, substantial money, and still end up with a mess.
You aren't the only one... hull is getting drier and sanding upside down is quite the experience . Sure would be nice if I could figure out a way to flip the boat upside down but that requires infrastructure that isn't available. It would make the work so much easier.

Mostly done with the first pass at 40 grit to get the epoxy barrier coat off and see how the gelcoat looks. Going to 80 grit now so I don't get too deep too fast and create fairing issues down the road.

Stay tuned...
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Old 14-07-2016, 12:05   #10
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Re: The price of bad decisions aka 20/20 hindsight

So I've completed the first pass sanding on the bottom. A friend provided a cheap moisture meter that really didn't even give me an idea of comparative readings so we'll leave that alone for the moment.

I'd like to hear opinions on this article from Steve Smith written back in '03 The Real Story of Osmosis Blistering as it's a path I'm considering right now.

Here are some photos I shot yesterday for your viewing horror. The joint where the keel stub joins the hull is the worst but much of the finish below the waterline has cracked and there is evidence of a significant number of blisters.
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Old 14-07-2016, 15:38   #11
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Re: The price of bad decisions aka 20/20 hindsight

Moisture meters are overrated. Surface cracks etc are a giveaway for moisture. The real clue is some good tapping on the hull and listening for the dull thud. The meter just strengthens your suspicions, relatively speaking (there's a surprising amount of moisture in boats.) A small core sample then confirms it.
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