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Old 07-05-2011, 05:45 PM
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Default Hull Blistering

I am looking to buy a 1978 28' Uniflite. Everything about the survey looks good except the hull has over sixty small blisters. This is a common problem with the late 70's uniflites. Anyone have a clue on the costs to repair this issue? This will determine whether I buy the boat. Thanks for any feedback!
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Old 07-05-2011, 05:48 PM
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This is what put Uniflite out of business. They built some solid hulls but when they had wide-spread blistering, that was the end. They aren't structural but there is a chance you could repair them and they could come back. IMO, not worth fixing but if you like the boat and can live with the blisters, go for it.

You could always try fixing them yourself by grinding them out and a small area around them and filling, fairing, sanding and painting but still, not worth it in my opinion.
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Old 07-05-2011, 06:27 PM
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My current boat a 1991 Skipjack 262, had blisters when the previous owner bought it. It was fixed by Hull Tech of San Diego, I contacted Hull Tech and talked to the owner, he assured me, he has been fixing blisters for 15 years and never had a repaired hull have an additional problem. I told the surveyor about the hull tech repair, he said it was a non issue, I bought the boat and am glad. Most blisters are cosmetic not structural, so just get them fixed. Remember Uniflite built the river boats for Vietnam, some tough boats.
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Old 07-05-2011, 08:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JAGSARE1 View Post
This is what put Uniflite out of business. They built some solid hulls but when they had wide-spread blistering, that was the end. They aren't structural but there is a chance you could repair them and they could come back. IMO, not worth fixing but if you like the boat and can live with the blisters, go for it.

You could always try fixing them yourself by grinding them out and a small area around them and filling, fairing, sanding and painting but still, not worth it in my opinion.
That's correct.
UNIFLITE thought they had mastered a fire retardent composition but the result was serious blistering issues which did put them under.
It's a shame too, a damn good boat.
I'm not sure there is a fix though.
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Old 07-06-2011, 04:43 AM
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If you really like the boat, get the blisters fixed, or fix them yourself and Barrier Coat the hull bottom. If you read the Warrenty on most boats sold today they recommend barrier coating...

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Old 07-06-2011, 04:46 AM
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I would gel peel the entire bottom. It will only blister more and more. If you remove the skin coat of fiberglass and that crap gel to give room for several coats of a premium epoxy barrier coat you wont have any further issues.
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Old 07-06-2011, 05:00 AM
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I would gel peel the entire bottom. It will only blister more and more. If you remove the skin coat of fiberglass and that crap gel to give room for several coats of a premium epoxy barrier coat you wont have any further issues.
I'm reaching way back in memory, and will stand corrected if wrong, however my memory tells me there was no fix.
At least none that was feasable.
It was quite an issue at the time and very unfortunate for all concerned.
It was a hell of a good hull.
Was it the resin or the gelcoat that was intended to be fire retardent?
Do you remember?
Whichever it was, was the culprit as to the blistering.

My memory also tells me that Mr. Genth had a relationship with UNIFLITE at that time, or thereabouts.
I think if there was any kind of reasonable fix as to the matter he would have found it.

However, my memory of the matter does' reach back some.
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Old 07-06-2011, 05:06 AM
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Default Boathaus

A thought just came to me.

I'll bet who will remember is Chuck at DONZI.
I know you talk to him often, and I have the greatest respect for him.

I'll bet he'll know.

I drive him nuts with questions.
If he cant answer it right away, give him just a little time, he will.
And the answer will be correct.
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Old 07-06-2011, 05:30 AM
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http://www.yachtsurvey.com/moreonblisters.html.htm
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Old 07-06-2011, 05:47 AM
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I believe that to be true about delamination but not about water out of a hull
unless he means water from the inside
Quote:
  • Examining the process that yards use to remove the blisters, it is found that most keep grinding away until they stop seeing any evidence of delamination. The problem that they often run into is that the delamination never stops. The nearby photos reveals some of the conditions I have found in the vast majority of all blisters that I have examined (thousands). That is that most blisters involve ply separations that seemingly never ends. They grind and grind and grind, but there's always separation around the circumference of the blister.
  • When ply separations or incomplete bonding exists, blistering is a problem that cannot be solved. That's because the void areas are going to fill up with water all over the bottom. Repair the blisters and they will reappear because its not possible to keep water out of a hull that's constantly immersed in water.
Paint on permaflex www.sanitred.com and you have a 100% water barrier
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Old 07-06-2011, 01:35 PM
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Default Attached Survey

Guys,
Thanks so much for the feedback. I have attached a copy of my survey if any of you have any other thoughts or feedback. I guess my big concerns are:

1. Learning the realistic cost for repairing this so that I can renegotiate?
2. What is the liklihood of the blisters coming back after a proper repair of hull?

survey pdf
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Old 07-06-2011, 02:01 PM
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I had a 30' sailboat in Marina Del Rey for many years. Every year I had Marina repair blisters. Every other year I tried a new blisterproofing concoction. Every year I had new ones. Mine were separation of gelcoat from hull. I was fortunate and none ever went any deeper than gelcoat.

I understand properly repaired, bottom of hul epoxied with 4 coats epoxy and Interlux bottom blister barrier it could last 5 yrs. The epoxy has to go at least 5 inches above waterline to prevent recurrence.

If it's just gelcoat blisters you can use blisters as a negotiation point by asking for a reduction on cost of repair and prevention. Get a quote from a good Marina that knows what the heck they are doing. Some Marina's only give it one coat of barrier and it gets blisters again next season. PITA

I understand You need to keep bilge perfectly dry to prevent recurrence. Why? nobody explained that one to me.
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Old 07-06-2011, 03:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BoatHaus View Post
I would gel peel the entire bottom. It will only blister more and more. If you remove the skin coat of fiberglass and that crap gel to give room for several coats of a premium epoxy barrier coat you wont have any further issues.
Did this to a 31 Shamrock. Its a lot of work to do it correctly. Get yourself a moisture meter, peel bottom, put boat outside and wash bottom alot with freshwater and soap let air dry (wind is good) Shamrock took 2 years to dry enough to sand and epoxy. Then sand and epoxy then sand and epoxy (4 times) then sand and fair, then sand and fair (3 times) then barrier coat (3-4 coats should do) dont let it dry to long or you will be sanding again!! Finally 3 coats of ablative bottom paint (1 coat of red first so that I could tell when i needed to paint bottom again) All in All it took 3 years for this project.
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Old 07-06-2011, 04:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JAGSARE1 View Post
This is what put Uniflite out of business. They built some solid hulls but when they had wide-spread blistering, that was the end. They aren't structural but there is a chance you could repair them and they could come back. IMO, not worth fixing but if you like the boat and can live with the blisters, go for it.

You could always try fixing them yourself by grinding them out and a small area around them and filling, fairing, sanding and painting but still, not worth it in my opinion.

I thought they went out of business because their factory burned down, not because of the blisters, which didnt show up until after they went out of business.

Here's the answer to the OP question, don't buy a Uniflite, it's not worth it.
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Old 07-06-2011, 05:28 PM
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Quote:
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I thought they went out of business because their factory burned down, not because of the blisters, which didnt show up until after they went out of business.

Here's the answer to the OP question, don't buy a Uniflite, it's not worth it.
The blistering issue was their demise.
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