Author Topic: Blisters and Peeling WalkAbout  (Read 403 times)

jpendoley

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Blisters and Peeling WalkAbout
« on: December 09, 2020, 12:35:47 PM »
If you are feeling blue about the pandemic imposed restrictions, cheer up-you could be peeling the bottom of your 365 like me!  Here's my story in case it helps other owners.

I paid a lot (like $5000) to have the boat hauled, blocked and the bottom blasted. This was just to remove the many layers of peeling bottom paint. I really want a smooth bottom to help sailing performance in low winds.  After completion, it was apparent the barrier coat (applied before my ownership) was failing miserably and new blisters were occuring in sufficeint quantity to warrant removal of the failing barrier coat. The blasting removed all the bottom paint and some of the barrier coat but that just left an even worse surface for the application of paint. Left alone it would encourage further blistering. The $5000 included the purchase of jack stands so I could block it in my backyard. At least I won't have to rent jack stands anymore.

After hauling her home, I decided to purchase a Gel Peel from the same company that makes the Marineshaver Pro.  I found a used one for $1000-they retail for $1500.  The tool itself is fantastic. It peels the barrier coat and the gel coat in one pass leaving a surface that needs very little fairing. Its quick too-I am working in two hour increments and estimate the hull will be completely peeled in about 16 hours. If I were younger, I'd get it done in a weekend, but am taking my time because I'm not twenty anymore.... The tool attaches to my two stage shop vac and collects 99.9% of the debris- there is absolutely nothing visible on the ground. While I do wear hearing protection and googles, the vac retrieval is so complete I feel that a respirator is not really critical. I don't need a tyvek suit either.  There is no dust on my clothing at the end of a work session. This is my second time peeling a boat and I can attest'this tool is a game changer.  I think the first experience probably took a few years off my life! The only competitor is the Gel Plane made in the UK that cost 2.5X and weighs 2x as much as the Gel Peel. The low weight is a major factor-at eight pounds I can operate it easily over head without fatigue. I have no relationship with the company, but know bottom peeling is a dreaded project for all of us so thought I would share my review of the tool.
Had I known the barrier coat was failing before I paid to blast, I could have saved the thousands I paid for blasting and peeled the bottom paint , barrier coat and gel coat in one pass with the gel peeler-it's that good.  Because the blisters are shallow, I am peeling to clean substrate - leaving a thin layer of mat-occasionally just reaching the surface of the first layer of roven. I will pressure wash a few times this winter while it dries out and hope to fair and recoat coat with either Interprotect 2000 or Seahawk products this spring. I used Interprotect on my last hull twenty years ago and its still perfect.
Hope this finds you all well and blister free!
Jim

Dale Tanski

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Re: Blisters and Peeling WalkAbout
« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2020, 07:49:39 AM »
Wow...  A job for the ages.  I love to hear about projects and how ambitious people like yourself go about them.  We have on average two customers a year tackle a bottom job.  Nothing as extensive as you are doing, but at least the removal of decades of bottom paint and then install a barrier coat system with a repaint.  Each and every time the customer will say it was more than worth it as a smooth bottom is a great selling and performance item. 

We coach them by stressing it is a 20 minute a day project.  They always look at us confused and we explain that every day on your way home from work, you stop for a 20 minute scrape session.  We caution that if you do an all dayer, you wonít be back for days and the project will take longer in the big scheme of time. It is a huge project for sure but by the inch it is a cinch. 

I would recommend the Interlux 2000E.  The product is so very consistent almost to the point of constant predictability.  Thatís a good thing because you don't want to do it again if something goes wrong.  I just finished a bottom late last week.  The temperature never got above 45 to 50 degrees and probably averaged in the mid 30ís.  I could apply coat after coat every hour or so even in that temperature.  That being said in 80 degrees one must be careful not to mix too much product at a time.  As you may be aware it comes in white and gray. This allows you to alternate the colors to assure complete coverage each and every time like they do when priming highway bridges.  I have been known to tint the white with gelcoat pigments for the same reason on a small job where I only need small amounts and having both the gray and white would be impractical.

I would also recommend the use of West Epoxy Systems roller covers.  They are the thin green/yellow foam that resists bubbling very well.  I have applied full gallons of 2000E with one roller cover.  Late this summer we had an issue getting West System covers due to the Covid debacle.  I read online that Redtree foam covers were highly recommended for 2 part paints and epoxy applications.  Our distributors were out of them as well, so I purchased the last 3 from our local West Marine.  Neither of those covers lasted more than 15 minutes before they developed a tumor or started removing themselves from the tube.  I rate them as poor, perhaps not much better than the black foam ones from a big box store.

Take your time and enjoy the journey.  You are correct a gelcoat peeler is a gift from God.  I donít use ours very often but when we do it is a godsend.  When you are done with it you can sell it for what you paid for it.  Be safe...

Dale
"Maruska"
Pearson 365 Cutter Ketch
1976 Hull #40
Buffalo, N.Y.

jpendoley

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Re: Blisters and Peeling WalkAbout
« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2020, 10:17:23 AM »
Thanks Dale-will take a few pictures at some point to share with the group. Thanks for your input on colors and temperature. I did not know it came in white and gray-will definitely leverage. And the temp range info will let me proceed earlier than I planned. Will preorder everything so I have it come springtime after the winter dry out.
Best to you and you stay safe as well.
Jim

jpendoley

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Re: Blisters and Peeling WalkAbout
« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2021, 07:48:45 PM »
Long overdue update. what with heat waves, covid, a monsoon like June and the other boat projects, I am just finishing up the peel, barrier coat and topsides painting. I can say this much for sure ...NEVER AGAIN! This was an absolutely brutal job-even with the help of a gel plane.  Fairing the bottom was just so difficult. I went with SeaHAwk barrier coat and bottom paint and Epiphanes two part polyurethane for the topsides. Just put on the first coat of the boot today. Of course, now it all feels worth it.  Thats the seductive part of boat ownership.  All in, the sand blast, peel and paint probably cost all of $7000. I could have saved the dsandblasting cost had I known the underlying condition of the existing barrier coat, but thats all hindsight.
The Epiphanes is tough topsides paint and unforgiving of sloppy prep work. Atmosperic conditions need to be just right when appying to. That cost a lot of time in the rainy month of June. Still it looks really good. I have used Interlux Perfection in the past and really like it-the epiphanes seems even better. Most of the shine you see was accomplished with just a roller-no tipping required. last coat goes on as soon as we have the perfect weather window-which looks like saturday. Then I and the admiral are off to Maone for a month.

Dale Tanski

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Re: Blisters and Peeling WalkAbout
« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2021, 08:52:15 AM »
Wow! The boat looks GREAT!

We just splashed a J-105 yesterday after many of the same trials and tribulations you mentioned painting the topsides outside this spring.  As you mentioned, any topside paint that gives you a beautiful shine is indeed non-forgiving when it comes to surface prep.  If there is even the slightest flaw it will be magnified tenfold with a high gloss topside paint.  Weather of course is the most unforgiving and uncontrollable nemesis one faces even if you have an indoor space to paint. 

Modern two-part polyurethanes have very narrow humidity and temperature parameters that need to be kept during application and initial cure.  Then there are the bugs.  UGH!  I paint enough that I have reached the point in life where bugs are just to be expected. I have also learned that when a bug declares your last coat home, just walk away.  Unless they are upright and you can pluck them out with a tweezers, you will probably do more harm than good trying to get them out.  This year we had an early bout with 80 plus degree temps. This did two things.  Accelerate the arrival of the waterfront bug population and yet another plague known as cottonwood.  Cottonwood are the seed pods released from the cottonwood tree and in season they resemble snow on the ground.  Because of the early high temps, instead of July 1st for the mass release the bugs and cottonwood, it began a month early.
 
I also applied two coats of high build epoxy primer in high 70 degree temps and the temperature plummeted into the upper 30ís by the next morning.  In my 50 years of painting I have never reached out for help but that occurrence prompted me to contact Awlgrip to sort through the damage.  You will learn something new with every paint jobÖ EVERY PAINT JOB!  What a boat looks like when I get finished with it is just a culmination of the number of mistakes that I made on prior boats.   Unfortunately there is always something new to learn.

It is also so great to see someone as ambitious as you.  Youíre damn straight it is/was brutal job.  Fairing a bottom is an art form and a half, measured in the number of applications of filler, sheets of sand paper and hour upon hours of using up that paper.  If you have ever finished drywall, that is a walk in the park compared to fairing a boat.  If itís a racing bottom, a long board is the final answer and an aching back and arms is only one of the final results. 

The cost is also a problem as you mentioned.  The cost of materials are no longer incidental. Masking tape on a project like yours (good quality not the blue paper based tape crap) can add up to hundreds of dollars alone.  Sand paper, tack clothes, reducer, fillers and even dust masks all add up.  Then there is the cost of labor.  How much would you charge to do that job again for somebody else?  Keep in mind they will ask you every day ďis it done yet?Ē.  The time and money does not come out of the customers pocket when all goes bad and you have to back up and redo.  When I quote such jobs the typical reply is ďthe whole boat isnít worth that!Ē sadly most often they are correct.  $7000 for the job is more than reasonable for what it did to the value of the boat.  For those of you that are reading this thinking we are insane, a top quality topsides paint job is right around $1000 per foot.  Today there are two types of boats.  Boats that are properly maintained and those that are simply not.  When you start to look very few will be maintained. 

I have never used Epifanes poly but all of their other products are excellent so one can assume you are right on.  I am also an Interlux dealer and their Perfection product is very good, but in my opinion it is very thin during application thus requiring many coats.  Thatís Ok, but each coat is just another opportunity for more problems to occur.  I will pass your positive experience along to my customers regarding no tipping roll on Epifanes poly.  Ninety percent of my application is by spray gun (another host of self induced problems) but there are times when roll & tip is a better way to go.  The requirement to mask and cover the entire boat at times is the often times the biggest consideration while spraying.  Among the other weather and bug woes is the wind factor while spraying.  Losing $250 a quart paint into the wind is a major consideration and the windier it gets the worse it becomes.  I recently painted a two color waterline stripe on a boat and when I started the wind was dead calm.  One hour latter it was over ten knots and the final coats were all but impossible.  Spraying ultimately provides the best overall finish but once again the slightest flaw in preparation is amplified even to a higher level.

I am very proud of the customers of ours that have painted their own boats.  The difference in before and after is outstanding and at the end of the day if on a DYI application the cost is minimal.  One thing almost all will say is, never apply a lesser final product, as the real time and cost is in the hours and hours of prep.

Congrats on a job well done, the boat looks magnificent and you can sayÖ I did it myself. You know where all the demons are but that simply doesnít matter.  I looks great!

One last thing regarding the perfect paint job.  I have learned along the way on all types of projects, there is an old saying, never offend the eye of GOD.  There is a bug embedded in the paint job because it was meant to be a bug in the paint job.

Dale
Obersheimers
"Maruska"
Pearson 365 Cutter Ketch
1976 Hull #40
Buffalo, N.Y.