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Old 06-29-2022, 02:08 PM   #1
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Blisters

Hello all. 1981 GB 36. Hauled yesterday for survey. Multiple blisters ranging in size from 1" to 4". Surveyor believes that the larger ones are into the glass.
Thoughts.......Click image for larger version

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Old 06-29-2022, 02:41 PM   #2
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Most 40 year old Taiwan boats have at least a few. It wouldn't be a deal killer for me. Grind out the bigger blisters and fill, wouldn't worry so much about the smaller ones. Try and negotiate a discount from seller??
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Old 06-29-2022, 03:25 PM   #3
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Interlux has good information on repairing blisters.
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Old 06-29-2022, 03:56 PM   #4
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A couple of 1” blisters on a 40 year old boat wouldn’t bother me. 4” blisters do bother me. At this point you need to decide if this boat is special or if the price is special. If not then either require the seller to repair or walk. I am inclined to walk as the boat will develop more of these big blisters over time.

If the boat or the price is special then you can either ask that the seller repair or negotiate a better price. Blister repair is expensive, not the repair work but all the yard fees that add up while waiting for things to dry. Just remember, some day you will be the seller on this boat. You want to be in the boat so cheap that you won’t feel troubled if you practically give it away later.

It’s always hard to do a valuation from photos but that boat looks like it has a lot of 1” blisters.
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Old 06-29-2022, 04:12 PM   #5
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Blisters are the minor issue most of the time, it's hyrolysis of the laminates that can get complicated.

I ground halfway through my hull in a 6x6 foot area to build back hydrolysis damaged laminates...plus other areas much larger than the largest blisters to get to dry solid glass.

Did your boat spend a lot of time in southern waters?

It's always worth a look to see just how far the damage goes if you care. If like most people that think I am crazy, sure just patch'em up and keep trawlin".
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Old 06-29-2022, 06:31 PM   #6
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Looks like it`s been repaired previously, so well established in the hull. Repair it and it will likely recur. Grinding them out, ensuring they are dry, repairing with layers of glass mat, and finishing smooth, is a time consuming job. We did it, all over, lovely smooth hull for 6 years, then it came back. Disappointing when you think you nailed it.
We haul out and antifoul here every 12-18 months, making doing a few each time feasible but in USA there seems to be years between a/fs. If you buy it assume you`ll be living with it.
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Old 06-29-2022, 06:37 PM   #7
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I sold a 1982 boat in 1995. In 93, I saw that it had under 2 dozen 2" to 3" blisters. On my next haulout, I ground to dry laminate, filled with thickened epoxy and covered with bottom paint. Not a fancy fix, dirt cheap and quick enough to do between the end of power washing and the application of bottom paint on a 4 hour lift at the club. At that time I thought I would own that boat long enough to get fancier if necessary.

Before that happened, I bought a trawler and listed that boat. When I sold, the purchaser's surveyor complimented me on the fix, so there was no impact on the price I got.

YMMV
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Old 06-29-2022, 07:12 PM   #8
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A boat yard owner told me, "blisters never sunk a boat, put your money somewhere else".

It is a mostly cosmetic issue that buyers use to drive a deal down. Some say it occurs more in fresh water than salt.

Would not be an issue for me if everything else was good.
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Old 06-29-2022, 07:22 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Choices View Post
A boat yard owner told me, "blisters never sunk a boat, put your money somewhere else".
Agree, it's cosmetic issue.

If laminate was showing I did a proper repair. If it was just gel coat I sanded and faired with thickened resin. A very laborious job. I would not do it again.
Fortunately I don't have to, bottom still looks good after a few years.

If you are going to have a yard do the work, get a quote before agreeing on final price.
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Old 06-29-2022, 07:34 PM   #10
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if you think blisters are always just a cosmetic thing, you haven't done enough research.

Most often they are, but not always and I have posted pictures plenty of times proving that point.

Just thinking cosmetic can also be the ostrich approach to this matter.
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Old 06-29-2022, 07:47 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psneeld View Post
if you think blisters are always just a cosmetic thing, you haven't done enough research.

Most often they are, but not always and I have posted pictures plenty of times proving that point.

Just thinking cosmetic can also be the ostrich approach to this matter.
Iím going to agree with psneeld.

If I had a boat with 4Ē blisters I would certainly ground out the wet material and patch it. Maybe problem solved or maybe just kicking the can down the road, doesn't matter if I already own the boat I already own the problem.

Buying some one elseís problem is different. Iíd be much more cautious before I buy some one elseís problem.
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Old 06-29-2022, 08:05 PM   #12
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Maybe others can confirm, but I was told there are two types of blisters. The ones where water penetrates from the outside (outside in) and the second kind (inside out) where the blisters are formed from a chemical reaction in the laminates. If you pop the blister and it has a vinegar smell, it is the inside out type, and is more difficult to repair in the sense it is deeper and will be an ongoing problem. Whereas the water blister problem can be solved with a couple coats of a epoxy barrier coat.
I did a blister repair on my last boat (hardest job I ever did). The blisters were the vinegar smelling type. I ground them out and had to wait about 10 days for them to dry out. Hindsight I would have paid to have the bottom peeled. I see now where the cost of buying a peeler has really dropped. Just a couple things to consider when pricing in the cost of a fix.
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Old 06-29-2022, 08:27 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psneeld View Post
if you think blisters are always just a cosmetic thing, you haven't done enough research....
Agree. Guys who did mine said occasionally they have to repair from the inside to the outside of the hull, ie right through. That doesn`t sound cosmetic. Nor did the depth of some of mine. Or the width.
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Old 06-29-2022, 10:52 PM   #14
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FWIW, we bought Sarawana about 15 years ago, with existing osmosis damage. We negotiated a reduction to cover the estimated repair cost, which if memory serves was about $25K.

The boat still has the blisters, to about the same degree as when we bought the boat, we check her each time she is lifted.

Given the above we have no desire to lift, dry and glass the hull. We use her as is and when it comes time to sell I expect some potential buyer will do the same to me as I did to the PO.

One thing though, I will be quite upfront about the osmosis, not like our previous owner who tried every stupid thing in the book to disguise the issue. It was this behaviour that almost caused us to walk away, which in hindsight would have been a pity as Sarawana has been a terrific boat for us.
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Old 06-30-2022, 02:31 AM   #15
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Andy, unreliable memory is seeing the redoubtable Sarawana, lifted, resembling a reverse dalmatian. Lots of small widespread blisters I think treated with white filler. Fortunately it remained the same for 15 years of happy cruising, hopefully for many more.

Different though to the larger deeper ones affecting Doriana, which did need work.
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Old 06-30-2022, 04:33 AM   #16
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My Willard 36 had a decent crip of blisters when I purchased 25-years ago. Negotiated a fair credit with the PO and I figured I would pass it along when I sold. I have fixed most of them over the years so bottom is in decent shape.

4-inch blisters does sound extreme so I would definitely get an opinion whether it's more than cosmetic, which is very unlikely but I'd get a professional to weigh in and discuss.

Obviously, I wouldn't hesitate to buy a boat with blisters. But it doesn't mean I'm naive about effect on resale. Some folks get really nervous about blisters so market is skinnier.

Good luck.

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Old 06-30-2022, 05:37 AM   #17
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Blisters and hydrolysis need to be looked at 2 different ways... I have fixed boats with both.

When laminates a bad enough and you can strip of a trash can full by hand, and you still want to put that boat in more of a pond, you are very brave or very foolish.

Yes.... boats have been declared unseaworthy or uninsurable because of hydrolysis. They are far and few between but they do escape buyer's ad surveyor's inspections when they think "don't worry, blisters are cosmetic".

From a story and photos by Steve C. D’Antonio

https://stevedmarineconsulting.com/w...nd-Osmosis.pdf

"From this description, it is clear that the blister is the
final step in the hydrolysis/osmosis problem"
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Old 06-30-2022, 09:40 AM   #18
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Thank you all for your input. Just got the engine and generator report. It is as I feared. Little yearly maintenance and replacement of older items have stacked up. Waiting on general survey to see if I will proceed with this boat. If there were only one area to focus on..... not sure I want to tackle 2. Still hoping to loop next year, but time is ticking.
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Old 07-04-2022, 05:09 PM   #19
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Hello old sea dog. Pulled out my GB32 1978 and the Hull was full of blisters we call fiberglass osmosis. Had to dig them out and let them drain for a couple of weeks. Sanded down the hull completely removing all the layers of antifouling down to the gel coat. Filled up all popped blisters with fiberglass and applied two coats of epoxy based primary and then two coats of antifouling. Perfect result. See photos
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Old 07-04-2022, 10:33 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by koliver View Post
I sold a 1982 boat in 1995. In 93, I saw that it had under 2 dozen 2" to 3" blisters. On my next haulout, I ground to dry laminate, filled with thickened epoxy and covered with bottom paint. Not a fancy fix, dirt cheap and quick enough to do between the end of power washing and the application of bottom paint on a 4 hour lift at the club. At that time I thought I would own that boat long enough to get fancier if necessary.

Before that happened, I bought a trawler and listed that boat. When I sold, the purchaser's surveyor complimented me on the fix, so there was no impact on the price I got.

YMMV
so you basically filled the lost material and leveled out.
I am hearing others use of mat as a filler and the return of blisters. Wondering if that is related.
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