Blister repair Page 2

We know that every other year our annual haulout will involve a little more than just sanding and painting the bottom of Alianna, our 1983 Corbin 39. While some might call our problem osmosis, we like to say that we just have a few blisters. Simeon and I knew there might be blister problems when we bought the boat five years ago, but we didn’t have time to wait for the hull to dry out so we could
Author:
Publish date:

Repair

There are a number of ways to fix a blister. Many people apply an epoxy coating; we don’t do this because it’s expensive and requires using a different bottom-paint system. We make our repairs by first filling all the large voids with polyester resin and fiberglass mat and the smaller voids with vinylester filler.

For big blisters especially, preparation can pay big dividends. We have spent a day cutting disks of fiberglass mat in diameters that run from to 3 inches. When we are finished, we arrange the fiberglass disks in neat piles. Before applying our patches we first clean out the blister with acetone to remove any remaining surface moisture. Next, we fill the blister hole with the fiberglass disks that have been thoroughly wetted-out with polyester resin; the smallest circle goes in first, with the diameters increasing as the void is filled. We use a roller after applying each layer to make sure all the air bubbles have been pressed out from the glass and resin.

Once the resin has hardened, we use a rotary sander with an 80-grit disk to take care of any high spots. That leaves us with a pock-marked, but much healthier hull. If there are any depressions in the hull surface around a blister, we fill the pocket with vinylester filler. When it’s cured, we use an orbital sander and a 120-grit disk to fair the surface. We might go over the hull several times with the sander until the surface is smooth.

Before applying the new bottom paint, we carefully prime all the bare and repaired spots. When the bottom paint has been applied according the manufacturer’s instructions, we know the boat is ready to go back in the water, and we are ready to go sailing.

After sailing up the East Coast as far as Virginia, where they hauled out last fall, Rosie Burr and Simeon Hoggarth returned to the Caribbean for another year of cruising.

Related

IMG_0173

Electronic “Flares” for Cruisers

The United States Coast Guard requires that all boats operating in coastal waters or on the high seas carry a selection of visual distress signals. Almost invariably, such signals include the pyrotechnic type, either handheld or fired from a flare pistol, but surely there are ...read more

M2-HOOK-TOP-AND-CHAIN-1

Gear: M2 Chain Hook from Mantus

Stay Hooked Chain hooks on anchor snubber lines tend to fall off when you least want them to. Not so this latest example from Mantus. The M2 Chain Hook is secured to the chain by a simple elastic strap, so it won’t come off when the snubber loosens. Made from corrosion-resistant ...read more

shutterstock_349918991

Successful Surf Landings with Wheels

“Ready to take the dink ashore?” Never had those words invoked as much anxiety as when my husband, Jeff, and I first moved to the Pacific Coast. Why? Because we had exactly zero experience with dinghy surf landings, and the possibility of being flipped upside down along with our ...read more

Sail2010_597

How to: Find Good Values on Charter Vacations

So, you want to find a great deal on your next charter vacation? Sure, you can scour the internet, hope for Black Friday deals or ask friends. But an even better way to find good prices on charter boats is to go to a boat show. Not only do charter companies like The Moorings, ...read more

leadphoto

Know How: Dinghy Modification

The rigmarole of stretching a cover over a dinghy in choppy water prior to hoisting it on davits can become a very wet business if you’re not careful. Leaning right over either end, trying to stretch a cover over the bow and stern pods can quite easily result in a head-first dip ...read more

25980

Catnapped Aboard a Racing Multihull

It was after midnight when I realized my daysail with Tony Bullimore aboard his giant record-breaking catamaran, Team Legato, was not going to plan. The big cat was en route for a December dash from England across the Bay of Biscay to Barcelona and the start of a drag race ...read more