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Old 07-14-2014, 03:34 AM   #1
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Blisters?

At the risk of starting a war (anchors, anyone?), I'm wondering if the Californians around the 1980 vintage have blister problems. My Catalina 27 is a 1980 model and has only had a few (probably less than two dozen) in the 22 years I've owned her. So, are there problems? Or is talk about blisters considered taboo? If there are problems, what has been done to get rid of them?

Inquiring minds want to know, especially since I may be inspecting boat bottoms in the near future...
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Old 07-14-2014, 07:36 AM   #2
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Blisters are for beginners...let me know when you want to jump right into the big stuff like major hydrolysis....
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Old 07-14-2014, 08:18 AM   #3
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To echo yesterday's Times crossword puzzle, there are blisters and then there are blisters. An experienced, honest surveyor will know the difference. David Pascoe discusses the subject nicely on his blogs, and in more depth in his excellent book "Mid Sized Power Boats".
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Old 07-14-2014, 10:51 AM   #4
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Opu wrote;
"I may be inspecting boat bottoms in the near future...
-----
Could expand your "bottom viewing" a bit.

I have small ones. A nuisance. Every three years I grind them out about 1/8" to 3/32" deep and fill them w epoxy. I'm going to use the green 3-M marine filler this time. Boat/blisters have been drying for many months. So my blisters are a small problem. Some blisters are a huge problem, however many skippers throw tons of money at the problem unnecessarily.
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Old 07-14-2014, 01:20 PM   #5
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At the risk of starting a war (anchors, anyone?), I'm wondering if the Californians around the 1980 vintage have blister problems.
Inquiring minds want to know, especially since I may be inspecting boat bottoms in the near future...
Dick. . . . Keep in mind there were several different generations of Californians. Marshall boat company built the trawler style LRC's up into the early 80's and Carver was building them for a while after that as well. At some point they went away from the trawler under control of one of the other builders. Marshall eventually bought the name back and built them as a pilot house style boat as well as Navigator Yachts until recently.

Blisters are not common in the Marshal boats. I've heard of a couple of Californians whose owners reported they had developed a few bottom blisters, I don't know the year or boat builder, but they were moored in warm water areas. My 1976 37' (Same as a 38') Californian LRC has been moored in Puget Sound Saltwater since it was built and has never had a blister above or below the waterline.

It sounds like any fiberglass boat can develop blisters, some are build or material issues. But long term warm water mooring also seems to play a role!
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Old 07-14-2014, 08:23 PM   #6
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I have a 1981 Californian 34 and I saw pictures that the PO took when he had severe blisters repaired in 1994. So far no sign of blisters again. I think the boat was in the islands for most of it's early life. I try to keep it on the hard every winter or every other year.
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Old 07-14-2014, 09:37 PM   #7
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I have a 1984 34' Californian LRC, based on a brackish river near Baltimore. While I usually haul each winter for ice protection, we stayed in during 2009-2011. Just prior to that, I had the bottom sandblasted to remove layers of old paint. Close examination showed a number of veery small blisters/bumps. Bottom was sanded w/80grit and Interlux barrier coat applied. No evidence of any further blistering since. I have seen similar "bumps" on the upper surface of the bridge settee. Truthfully, I am not really sure that "blister" is an accurate term for what we had. Certainly would not have been worth the $$ in repair that the one yard wanted.
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Old 07-15-2014, 01:42 AM   #8
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I have a 1977 34 LRC, first production year, and no blister history that the PO or I am aware of.
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Old 08-07-2014, 05:55 PM   #9
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Our 34 was an 80 I think. In any case, it was an early wellcraft boat, which are not as good as the marshals. There was so much glass put into that boat, you could take a quarter inch divot out of the bottom and still have more laminate than most boats left over. I've never heard of a programmatic issue on those boats, but qc being what it is, nothing would stop someone from not quite fully mixing catalyst in a batch of resin. Each boat is going to have its own characteristics. As thick as the glass was, I certainly had no problem locating a void or two here and there. The point is that you get what you get. Watch them and if you see a blister or two, just fix it at haul time and forget it. It's a very very outside chance these boats suffer from any serious threats to the laminate.

I've never seen a solid glass layup that exceeded a Californian, and that statement includes my Tolly. They were ridiculously overbuilt boats and the only thing you should live in fear of is if the day ever comes when you have to cut one up. If that sad day ever does come, plan on investing in a lot of saw blades and a bit of c4, cause it's not going to be pretty.
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Old 09-03-2014, 01:21 AM   #10
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I just hauled my 1984 34 LRC and found only 4 blisters, about 1" . Sanded and filled, no big deal. Boat has been all her life in warm caibbean waters.
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Old 09-06-2014, 03:54 AM   #11
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Thanks for the replies on blisters

Thanks for your replies folks. I have heard that some brands in the late 70's and early 80's had problems with blisters due (supposedly) to the resin composition. I know Uniflite had problems for a few years when the government made them add a fire retardant for the Swift boats, and Islander sailboats were the poster children for serious problems (don't know why). Just being curious/cautious
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Old 09-19-2014, 08:16 PM   #12
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Hauled out today for some serious power washing and bottom paint. Intentionally blew off a lot of the old paints and inspected for the "dreaded blisters!!" This is the 38th year and every minute spent sitting in saltwater and not a blister in sight!! I guess Jules Marshal knew how to lay up a hull. . .
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Old 09-19-2014, 08:50 PM   #13
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I think so, too. I had a diver dive on my hull last week after only 37 years. A youngen' compared to yours!

No blisters and the bottom's in good shape. It had been a year since we moved the boat from the freshwater CA Delta to the brackish waters of Vallejo and 2 years since the last dive. I needed a few zincs replaced, but nothing more. Life is good!!

When I take the boat east from my slip, I enter the fresh water of the Delta. When I head west, I enter the salt water of San Pablo and San Francisco Bays. The combination seems to keep the bottom growth down to a minimum. What lives in salt water, dies off in the fresh water...and vice versa.

When I had the opportunity to speak with Gil Marshall, with Jule listening on the speaker phone, he told me that in that era of the late 70's they were still feeling their way through the proper mix and thickness of fiberglass. It was so new that they were erring on the conservative side with the result being that the boats back then were severely overbuilt. I'm sure not complaining now!

They seemed to have gotten the chemistry right with respect to blisters as it's not been a chronic problem with the Californians.
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Old 09-19-2014, 11:43 PM   #14
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No blisters and the bottom's in good shape. It had been a year since we moved the boat from the freshwater CA Delta to the brackish waters of Vallejo and 2 years since the last dive. I needed a few zincs replaced, but nothing more. Life is good!!
Ok, that hurts for those of us in South Florida. When home, diver every four weeks, but sometimes every three during the summer.
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Old 09-20-2014, 11:48 AM   #15
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I think so, too. I had a diver dive on my hull last week after only 37 years. A youngen' compared to yours!

No blisters and the bottom's in good shape. It had been a year since we moved the boat from the freshwater CA Delta to the brackish waters of Vallejo and 2 years since the last dive. I needed a few zincs replaced, but nothing more. Life is good!!

When I had the opportunity to speak with Gil Marshall, with Jule listening on the speaker phone, he told me that in that era of the late 70's they were still feeling their way through the proper mix and thickness of fiberglass. It was so new that they were erring on the conservative side with the result being that the boats back then were severely overbuilt. I'm sure not complaining now!

They seemed to have gotten the chemistry right with respect to blisters as it's not been a chronic problem with the Californians.
That they have . . . I haven't been gentle with this hull either. Lot's of heavy water, pounding through waves and it has performed flawlessly. This last halibut season was a real test with plenty of big seas and unpredictable Spring weather in the straits.

4 plus years on this paint with no hull scrubbing in between, this was a low copper ablative and not very good paint (Micron CSC). It was growing grass and slime after 6 months. Switching back to Pettit Ultra 60 again.
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