Moderated Discussion Areas
  ContinuousWave: Whaler Repairs/Mods
  new gel coat blistered

Post New Topic  Post Reply
search | FAQ | profile | register | author help

Author Topic:   new gel coat blistered
Eric posted 07-26-2000 04:38 PM ET (US)   Profile for Eric   Send Email to Eric  
I bought a 62 Nauset this spring, and took to to the boatyard for new gelcoat inside and out. Picked it up and after a couple of days of heavy Florida rain, the outer hull is full of hundreds of blisters. The yard claims it is my fault for having a "junky boat", and further work will have to be at my expense. He claimed that if the gel (something called duratek) was not compatible with the previous finish, then he would have expected it to crackle when applied, so he did the whole boat. Now he says the problem is the previous finish on the boat, and the entire boat will need to be resanded and painted. If I wanted paint, I would have let him awlgrip it in the first place.
What are the possible reasons that the gel bubbled?
If the gel applied ok, then why would the underlying finish make a difference? The gel wasn't buffed, except for the transom, where no blisters occured.
What should I expect for liability (mine and his)?
I left the boat at the yard, and he said he would sand a portion and call me when he has an idea what to do.
I was really excited to have a classic whaler, but I'm about ready to give up.
bigz posted 07-26-2000 05:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for bigz    

Blisters can be caused for the following reasons:1.Incomplete cure 2.Improper wetting of the back up fibers 3. Bad bond between the gel coat and the back up laminate. This is often caused by contamination. 4. Thin gel coat

Duratec is an additive used to thin gel coat for spray application --- my guess your yard didn't prep the hull properly period --- had nothing to do with the compatibility of Duratec they could very well have used Styrene for the thinning agent --- so don't let them pull that crap!

My suggestion is try to work it out --- it was their fault no doubt in my mind from what you have stated --- you brought the boat to them the "professionals" and it was their job to produce as agreed --- if you can't would contact a marine surveyor and pay to have him analysis your problem --- shouldn't cost much --- then if still no recourse from the yard after you present the marine surveyors opinion to handle the problem they caused at their expense ---- have your attorney send them a firm letter with the fact you have expert testimony to the fact the problem was directly related to poor workmanship on their part etc etc --- and you will pursue suing them for -- let your attorney figure out for what and how much in legalize ---

Just my thoughts on what your describing --- others might have theirs so be it -- Tom

Eric posted 07-26-2000 09:41 PM ET (US)     Profile for Eric  Send Email to Eric     
Thanks very much for the comprehensive reply. This is the first time I've felt like I have any options for dealing with this mess.
Scott Blunk posted 07-27-2000 07:28 AM ET (US)     Profile for Scott Blunk  Send Email to Scott Blunk     

I agree with Tom to the extent that neither of us know what was said, the verbal contract, between you and the boat yard. Hopefully you have something in writing, an estimate, work order or such. I also think you should have someone else look at it, maybe another repair facility and get their opinion. I'm not aware of any old surface that BW ever made that, if properly prepared, gelcoat, if properly mixed, will not stick to. Several years ago I spilled an ounce or two of mixed gelcoat on my shop floor, no special prep there, when I give the floor its annual, maybe, power washing the gelcoat cleans right up and has never blistered.

I think the experts will tell you that once the chemical process stops the gelcoat stops reacting to any outside elements.

Keep us informed, there is a lot of expert testimony out here.


Eric posted 07-27-2000 11:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for Eric  Send Email to Eric     
I spoke to someone who does gelcoat repair for the dealer I bought my motor from. He said that it sounded like my boat had been painted with cheap synthetic enamel. This stuff is like what you would get on a $99 car paint job. It's really hard to sand, gums up the paper. That was what made him suspect that's what it was. The only finish that could be applied over the top is more of the same. Now, the reason that I took the boat to the yard in the first place was the extent of the work involved. I knew the hull needed to be sanded. I had already prepped the transom, and funny thing, the transom didn't blister! So, it wasn't a whaler finish at all. The boatyard knew that there was a finish on the hull, but when it became too difficult to sand, he took a gamble and gelled it anyway. Today is Thursday, and he told me he would sand a small spot on the boat and call me today or Friday. I'm not expecting to hear from him, so I plan to pick up the boat next week, as soon as I can get there, and then take it to a surveyor, as suggested. Thanks again for the replies, some support really goes a long way at a time like this.
Eric posted 07-28-2000 10:23 PM ET (US)     Profile for Eric  Send Email to Eric     
Well, here's the latest, although the only one interested at this point might be me. Visited the yard today, and came home with a receipt for the boat, which says "repair gel coat, no charge". Dealt with the wife/girlfriend this time, and hope that things go better. I've done veterinary work for these people for two years, and really hoped that they wouldn't burn me. I'm not counting on anything until it's done, however, and who knows how long that might be. He has no incentive to finish it, except for being sick of seeing me.
Shadowcatcher posted 07-28-2000 11:46 PM ET (US)     Profile for Shadowcatcher  Send Email to Shadowcatcher     
Do you mean he screws up boats for free? That shouldn't absolve him of liability. I've had my car wrecked at no charge also!
bigz posted 07-29-2000 06:51 AM ET (US)     Profile for bigz    
Eric --"Shadowcatcher" makes a good point --- you now have a boat which is going to cost even more to refinish -- I suggest you try to get not only a "free" screwed up job (appears who have) but restitution for the added cost of having another shop fix the problem your yard caused in the first place (which will be mostly added labor)--- maybe time for a little hard ball just my thoughts Tom
Eric posted 07-30-2000 09:17 PM ET (US)     Profile for Eric  Send Email to Eric     
I don't mean to make it seem that the original job was free. I paid $2000 for the work, $200 of which was for a new console. The "no charge" applies to the current situation: repair of the botched gelcoat. If we do end up in litigation, I sure do intend to seek a settlement that will include the time lost using the boat, and my time, plus the usual court costs and legal fees. This will be on top of the cost of the repairs at another yard. I bought a new motor, and am making payments while it sits in the box at the dealer, so I think it might be fairly easy to make a claim for lost usage of the boat. I don't feel at this point that they would be foolish enough to let it go that far, and in fact they seem (since the last visit) to be willing to take responsibility. I won't rest easy until the boat is done, however. There's plenty of things that can go wrong, especially since the reason we got into this mess was because the job was more work than he counted on. Now the labor is greatly increased, and I doubt that they'll see it through to a technically correct finish. This could drag on for a long, long time.
Eric posted 08-11-2000 10:52 PM ET (US)     Profile for Eric  Send Email to Eric     
Big surprise today: they called and said to come pick up the boat. Claim to have sanded and and recoated the sides. Of course, the whole boat needs to be stripped, and that hasn't happened. He even said that was what needed to be done when I brought back the boat, and that was repeated more than once by them. I didn't pick it up; I still am working on my next move. I know that he just wants it off the yard, and will probably tell me to get lost when further problems occur, and of course they will. My lawyers first words were "you've got a great case". Stay tuned.
bigz posted 08-12-2000 03:18 PM ET (US)     Profile for bigz    
Hey Eric --- keep on them --- love lawyers though --- seems we always have a "great" case don't yeah know --- chuckle ---

Appears these folks don't really want to play ball --- one idea is to request a reasonable settlement covering your expenses, interest lost due to no use of the boat on the motor payments, and something to compensate you for the the additional labor to fix their screw up when you have another yard do her --- if that is not acceptable consult with your lawyer on how to get your boat back without absolving them of responsibility then sue the "H" out of the "b^&**^%&^*'s" would be my humble suggestion -- best of luck Tom

Eric posted 08-12-2000 09:41 PM ET (US)     Profile for Eric  Send Email to Eric     
Thanks for the feedback. I can't tell you how much it's helped to have some support from the forum. The lawyer was great, actually suggested that I go with small claims court to save overhead. I went to the library and on the net to do research on filing and litigating a case. I'm getting ready to go. After it's all over, the boat may be a lost cause. All of this started right after I bought it, I'm sure glad I got a single half hour ride in it, at least.
Eric posted 08-14-2000 09:50 PM ET (US)     Profile for Eric  Send Email to Eric     
Here's the latest: talked to a surveyor today. He's very interested in helping and feels that it's open and shut. He is a legally qualified expert witness, with extensive credentials. For once I got lucky. And I thought I used up all my good luck when I met my wife! I found out the gel coat the guy used, so I'll be able to contact the manufacturer tomorrow (a local company). I plan to have the boat surveyed, then send a demand letter. This is a requirement for filing for litigation. I'll also get estimates for the cost of repair of the boat. It's going to be a hassle, but a lot bigger one for the boatyard than me.
ladygullrock posted 05-21-2005 08:59 PM ET (US)     Profile for ladygullrock  Send Email to ladygullrock     

did you ever get an acceptable job on you gelcoat repair?


PeteB88 posted 05-22-2005 02:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for PeteB88  Send Email to PeteB88     
Rotten thing to have happen to anyone. The same exact thing happened to my buddy who had two 17's. Made a "deal" with an "expert" and got hosed. I think the charge was either two grand/boat or $1500/boat. He tried to get things worked out with the butcher but nothing ever happened. Two sweet Katamas, gelcoat or whatever peeling all over the boats especially interiors.

You gotta fight this and perhaps post warnings to others - BBB, call your Attorney General - - give this dude some major scar tissue - if he is legit his bonding or insurance should cover this.

We had similar situation with a brand new roof on our house. Contractor was highly recommended by a reputable contractor, the business has been around for 30 years and ours was a hatchet job for sure. We have significant water damage etc. The insurance adjuster told us that the same day she inspected our mess, she had nearly the exact complaint/damage from another homeowner who had the same contractor do their roof as we did! In any case, we contacted Attorney General for options, City building inspector and code enforcement, had a certfied roof inspector eval, took tons of photos and digital video, sent the letter which completely documented both bad roofs, referenced everything above including our Plan "B" to report the whole mess to our daily newspaper troubleshooter column.

The bottom line is evidence, experts willing to go on the record, past precident (if you do some research I bet there are other dissatisfied customers), Hx of his business, check BBB and AG for any other complaints and

Kick butt!!!!

pglein posted 05-22-2005 03:45 PM ET (US)     Profile for pglein  Send Email to pglein     
Flat out, totally their fault. They clearly have zero experience with gel coat to think that you can apply it over the top of paint of any kind. There is only one surface that gel coat will stick to: fiberglass. He clearly thought that he only had to rough up the paint and apply the gel coat over it. He thought gel coat was like paint. It's not. It's basically resin with coloring in it.

I wouldn't let them do the repair. It's pretty obvious they have zero credibility when it comes to fiberglass work. I would make them pay to have it redone somewhere that specializes in that.

And would you please punch him in the face on my behalf for calling your classic a "junky boat".

Post New Topic  Post Reply
Hop to:

Contact Us | RETURN to ContinuousWave Top Page

Powered by: Ultimate Bulletin Board, Freeware Version 2000
Purchase our Licensed Version- which adds many more features!
© Infopop Corporation (formerly Madrona Park, Inc.), 1998 - 2000.