Westsail Owners Alliance - Thread: "Hull Blisters"
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Thread: "Hull Blisters"

12,268 posts on 2,444 threads   •   From Mar 07, 2004 - Jan 08, 2012

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Hull Blisters


Mike McDiarmid (Guest)

Bud - I am looking at a boat ('74 vintage in warm water) that is reported to have 20 - 30 hull blisters which are 3" - 6" in in diameter. Would you consider this type of damage a candidate for individual blister repair? Or does it sound as though it is at the point where more drastic measures such as gel coat removal are in order? Obviously the hull needs a year or so to dry and ultimately a barrier coating after the blisters are repaired. Have others had good results? What have your past experiences been?


Bud Taplin
(Member)

Mike,

A given is that all fiberglass boats will eventually get some blisters, unless the hull was laminated with, or covered with, epoxy or vinylester resin. The blistering occurs in the outer 1/8" to 3/16" of material, and since the Westsail hull is a solid 1/2" to 3/4" thick laminate, the blistering is not really a structural problem. My recommendation is to leave the blisters alone, until such time as the boat can be hauled and stored for a long enough time to thoroughly dry the laminate. At that time, the bottom paint and any loose gelcoat should be removed, and the hull permitted to dry out. Then dig out any loose laminate, and roll on a coat of epoxy resin. Fill any holes in the skin with epoxy putty, smooth the surface, then roll on 4 or 5 coats of epoxy resin. You may get other opinions as to the proper fix for the blisters, but remember, some some like redheads and some like blonds.

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