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Old 12-24-2012, 08:27 PM   #1
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Blister Advice

We just pulled our boat out for the first time. Told the yard to clean bottom & apply a coat of A/F paint. Yard called next day, said I needed to look at bottom. It had blisters about the size of a pencil eraser all over it. The guy said it looks like years of bottom jobs were applied on top of the previous coats. Also, the A/F paint was real caulky and flaking off. So, they sandblasted it off to the gelcoat taking the blister tops with it. Now, the yard guy said the boat will have to sit an dry out before they add 3 barrier coats and 1 awlfair coat. He will take moisture readings day 1, day 30, day 60. OK, but here is where I get confused. The boat is out in the open yard, it rains here once or twice a week. I was told that wouldn't hinder the drying time. Does all this sound right? Please see pics & advise. Thanks
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Old 12-24-2012, 09:17 PM   #2
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No pics, try again
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Old 12-24-2012, 09:43 PM   #3
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Old 12-24-2012, 10:03 PM   #4
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If you trust your yard guys, you have to keep trusting them to be giving you the right advice, and doing you right on the repair work.
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Old 12-24-2012, 10:08 PM   #5
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Here is the advice and arguments on the exact blister work we are in the middle of right now. PM me if you have any questions.

Thoughts on Blisters
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Old 12-24-2012, 10:10 PM   #6
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dhiggins,

I've got my boat out and intend soon to make a little skirt out of wide tape. I'll put something on one edge of the side of the tape (sticky side) and then put it on the hull about where the WL is w the attachment on the inside of the lower part of the tape so the lower part of the tape not only dosn't stick to the hull but turns out a little kinda like up side down flare. The idea of all this is to provide a means for the water running down the hull side (when it rains) to break away from the hull and fall straight down. This way it won't follow the curve of the hull and run all over the blisters. This is a lot of words to convey something quite simple and I don't know if anybody has ever done this but it would seem to me that it would keep the water off the blisters and couldn't help but assist getting the blisters dry. Is this all understandable?
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Old 12-24-2012, 10:53 PM   #7
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Interested to see pix, hope you mean the rubber on the end of a pencil. The opinions on the thread GonzoF1 raised are anything but unanimous.
I have seen a hull left to dry with plastic sheeting on a frame around it, I agree with trusting the yard, you need to think about what you are told, but they`ve seen the blisters and are well placed to advise what and how to do it. Some will happily second guess your yard.
July/August 2011 we went down the path of the yard grinding out each of many large blisters to dry, then filling with fiberglass mat and epoxy; it just came up, looking great. Your blisters sound smaller, more generalized, less deep, treatment may be different. Is there a blister history you know of/can discover.
Eric`s idea of a diversion drain should help if you can get it to work but won`t stop wind driven rain/spray. Logic suggests if you are trying to get moisture out from inside it will be good if the outside is not wet.
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Old 12-25-2012, 07:46 AM   #8
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Also, keep in mind that blisters are caused by excess MEK or similar stuff. The yard may be saying that your boat needs 2-3 months of drying IOT to allow for full drainage/evaporation of these chemicals. When we began our project boat we took the hull to bare fiberglass. We pressure washed the hull several times to help clean out the blisters. Sixty days sounds about right for the whole process. We also faired the deeper items before applying the barrier coats. After four years - there is no re-occurence of the problem. Worth the effort.
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Old 12-25-2012, 05:14 PM   #9
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Yes, it will dry. The rain just runs off and does not soak in. It will dry much faster if it is protected from the weather and heat or dehumidifier is applied. Place a skirt around the hull to the ground and under the boat, a dehumidifier will do the job.
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Old 12-25-2012, 08:03 PM   #10
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it will not dry with gel coat still there without heat pads.
not unless it's localized, light moisture...or you wait ,any months to years depending on many factors....
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Old 01-05-2013, 10:07 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RickB View Post
That seems to be a consistent pattern among the surveyors who publish online.

If you want to get some laughs, read the stuff by David Pascoe where he compares 2 and 4 stroke diesels.

The stuff is free but the old saw about stuff being worth what it costs certainly applies. I would suggest that new entrants in the hobby start out with manufacturer's literature and the large number of older texts and manuals produced by the Navy and commercial training schools before relying on a surveyor's blog.
As a surveyor who also publishes on line I don't disagree with you and state on my site that one should not take anything on the web at face value. Mr Hugenot is a good case in point as shown by some bizarre comments on his site like these ......

" 1. FIRST, water cannot migrate into solid fiberglass, which is why excellent yacht designers use solid resin fiberglass at the turn of the bilge keel and strut foundations and anywhere a through hull will penetrate the shell.
2. SECOND, Osmotic blisters require a cathode, that is an impurity within the laminate which draws the water in gives it an electron which changes its molecular structure and then because the water molecule is larger it canít migrate back out of the gel coat. As this cathodes potential lessens it draws less and less water. (see my article on fiberglass blistering under white papers on this website)
3. THIRD, no one has built hulls with balsa or synthetic foam cores since the early 1980ís, there are numerous synthetic materials that can be used instead which will not later rot out. Further while these delamination conditions have lead to astronomical repair bills in the past (in those years when the blister scare was at its height), these repairs are no longer overcharged, and no one reputable boat yard strips off the gell coat any longer. Now days they just repair the blisters, and often the small repair cost is far less than the price of a moisture meter."
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Old 01-06-2013, 06:00 AM   #12
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1. FIRST, water cannot migrate into solid fiberglass, which is why excellent yacht designers use solid resin fiberglass at the turn of the bilge keel and strut foundations and anywhere a through hull will penetrate the shell.

I think you should Google osmosic blisters , and read up .

ALL GRP is water permiable , its just a matter of rate. of flow.
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Old 01-06-2013, 07:03 AM   #13
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Quote:
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1. FIRST, water cannot migrate into solid fiberglass, which is why excellent yacht designers use solid resin fiberglass at the turn of the bilge keel and strut foundations and anywhere a through hull will penetrate the shell.

I think you should Google osmosic blisters , and read up .

ALL GRP is water permiable , its just a matter of rate. of flow.
I agree...

Plus more than a few reputable repair firms/marinas still peel/grind...and if the damage is severe enough (for whatever original cause)....removal of the gel/damaged laminates to speed the drying process without the use of heaters/vacuums is the only way I read of.
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Old 01-06-2013, 07:31 AM   #14
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http://www.zahnisers.com/repair/blister/blister1.htm

Everything you wanted to know about blisters.
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Old 01-07-2013, 08:41 AM   #15
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more on blisters

Hull Blister Repair Options - Fiberglass Boat Repair - Boat Pox
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Old 04-13-2013, 10:26 AM   #16
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Cost of blister repair

Wow, just read some of this and it would scare you to death. We dealt with blisters on our sailboat at a "do it yourself" boatyard, but they were small (though numerous) and did not require fiberglass repair. Now we have made an offer on a trawler and yesterday's haulout shows blisters that require "more indepth" repair. Should we just move on to another boat and be glad that the survey only cost 1K or will ALL 25 year old Taiwanese trawlers have the same problems? From what I've read, the repair could cost 10 - 20K on a 38 foot boat!!!
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Old 04-13-2013, 10:30 AM   #17
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Old 04-13-2013, 10:37 AM   #18
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Blister advise?
Don't touch your skin to hot things
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Old 04-13-2013, 10:40 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deidra View Post
Wow, just read some of this and it would scare you to death. We dealt with blisters on our sailboat at a "do it yourself" boatyard, but they were small (though numerous) and did not require fiberglass repair. Now we have made an offer on a trawler and yesterday's haulout shows blisters that require "more indepth" repair. Should we just move on to another boat and be glad that the survey only cost 1K or will ALL 25 year old Taiwanese trawlers have the same problems? From what I've read, the repair could cost 10 - 20K on a 38 foot boat!!!
No, don't walk away yet. Get a price. Depending on the yard and how fare you want the work it won't cost nearly that. How dare you try and buy a boat without me
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Old 04-13-2013, 12:02 PM   #20
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The answers you seek will not be found on a internet forum. There are as many opinions about blisters, how to repair them, and what causes them to develop, as there are posters.

Find some people in real life - pick their brains and decide if you can trust them. Remember this - there are as many different approaches to the problem (if it is a problem) as there are people willing to take your money.

I have never seen a boat sunk by blisters, but I have seen owners financially sunk by them.

Mike
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