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Author Topic:   The boat is surveyed but has blisters, do I buy
Maine whaler posted 06-20-2002 06:40 AM ET (US)   Profile for Maine whaler   Send Email to Maine whaler  
The boat I was going to bring up from Florida checked out fine except it has about a dozen hull blisters on the bottom. Should I run away? The boat is a whaler like edgewater 24 dc 1997
bigz posted 06-20-2002 07:21 AM ET (US)     Profile for bigz    
Depends, if the seller is willing to discount it to reflect a complete bottom refinishing which would include grinding out all blisters and refilling, if it has bottom paint having that removed (sand blasting by an expert best method), and 2 to 3 coats of two part barrier paint applied then new bottom paint yes buy. If not pass.

Others may have their opinions but blisters aren't the end of the 'world'.


David Ratusnik posted 06-20-2002 08:28 AM ET (US)     Profile for David Ratusnik  Send Email to David Ratusnik     
I agree with Z -- get solid compensation for putting the bottom back to normal. Check around your area for what this would cost- I suspect $1500-2000 depending on extent of blisters. The seller will probably not want to go to trouble of having work done- you need the $'s.

Blisters happen with a boat being used (hopefully not just sitting in water). I contend that the "end of the world" is a boat sitting for years on a trailer or in dry and not being used. No blisters and REAL EXPENSIVE. .03 David

acseatsri posted 06-20-2002 09:06 AM ET (US)     Profile for acseatsri  Send Email to acseatsri     
Here are some articles to read to help with your decision.

tuna1 posted 06-20-2002 09:11 AM ET (US)     Profile for tuna1  Send Email to tuna1     
Given your distance from the boat,walk away. The presents of blisters shows the boat has a water problem,and most likely it has a water logged core. To do a proper evaluation you would need to be present,and the distance prevents that. Try again-there is a boat out there for you.
bigz posted 06-20-2002 09:37 AM ET (US)     Profile for bigz    
tuna1, sorry to disagree it means no such thing! It means that certain areas of gelcoat have failed allowing water infiltration in between that and the glass. This usually occurs in Whalers in Southern waters which spend most of there time in the water or for any boat for that matter it can occur if adequate protection hasn't been applied or maintained. Water logged core hogwash!

Maine Whaler, what does your surveyor recommend he is the one that should make the call since you paid for his advice as well as time!

Pascoe (sp), the 'surveyor' acseatsri has referenced, is correct so if the seller won't compensate for a bottom overall or at least negotiate to offset the expense then pass unless of course the price as stands already took in account a new bottom.


bigz posted 06-20-2002 09:39 AM ET (US)     Profile for bigz    
Should be overhaul not overall -- oops
Bigshot posted 06-20-2002 10:41 AM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
tuna1 posted 06-20-2002 12:25 PM ET (US)     Profile for tuna1  Send Email to tuna1     
Big Z- Your advice is WRONG!!There is more than just the blister mode you state.In the case of any Whaler: if any type of water damage is found-I suggest you run away from the hull!!! And a Whaler heading for the North,with anytype of water damage,where it will be stored unheated outside and exposed to the cold/heating cycles there is a BAD Idea.
Until we all here have our outfits weighed and then posted on a data base we need to start here,we all are in the dark as to how wide spread/and great the problem of a waterlogged foam core is. From my own experience it's a widely known problem,that is hidden(or shall i say not spoken about) by owners,dealers,and the Factory. I firmly believe it more wide spread than anyone can imagine,and it time we speak about it!!! CHAIN SAW Whaler was a excellent start.....
JimU posted 06-20-2002 12:29 PM ET (US)     Profile for JimU  Send Email to JimU     
Agree with Z. how large are the blisters? If Small 1/2 inch or less and close together its a piece of cake to repair with west system kit. Get the video from West Marine. Luck, JimU.
fester posted 06-20-2002 12:42 PM ET (US)     Profile for fester  Send Email to fester     
I do not think blisters are an indication that the hull is waterlogged. When I purchased my Outrage, the hull had about a dozen blisters that ranged in size from about dime to the size of a quarter. Because of the blisters, the price of the boat was discounted $1,000 and it cost me $900 to have the blisters repaired at a local boat yard. The blisters were ground out and filled. There was no water in the foam at all. Boatyard told me that the blisters were not that unusual for a whaler that had sat in the water for a period of time.
bigz posted 06-20-2002 01:15 PM ET (US)     Profile for bigz    
tuna1, as many member folks know I do have a bit of experience with water in the hull foam. I am sorry you feel so emphatic that my advice is incorrect. Though it is obvious that you don't know what your talking about if you blame the source of blisters on 'water' infiltrated hull foam.

Minor amounts of moisture are very common in older Whalers as any Marine Surveyor will tell you and a moisture meter of professional quality will give you a pretty good idea of just how bad the case maybe. I can't think anyone is trying to hide anything here particularly since Maine Whaler had a professional survey. I am almost positive the surveyor ran over the hull with a moisture meter since this has become a common practice not just on Whalers but all boats under going a survey.

As far as the Tom Clark's Whaler which was trashed to begin with I will hold my own views of that exercise.


Bigshot posted 06-20-2002 01:28 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
Got to side with BigZ! Blisters are NOTHING to worry about unless the hull is covered head to toe with them. they are strictly cosmetic and easily repairable. They are common on most boats, especially w/o bottom paint and a quick pop and fill is all it takes. They are simply an area that was porous enough to let in a tiny amount of water that lifted the gelcoat, which by nature is porous to begin with. The only time a hull get saturated is when the fiberglass is penetrated.
tuna1 posted 06-20-2002 03:38 PM ET (US)     Profile for tuna1  Send Email to tuna1     
Again Big Z Wrong.A moisture meter test(both meter types)is not a diffinative test and the value is only good for a guide.The test methods use a field effect that does not do a good job with depth,basically it's a surface test.And therefore quantity of water in laminate and core material is at best a unknow and therefore a guest.
I do know what i am talking about,and your lack of knowledge,and a open mine is very evident in what you state.I did not state that blisters were a source of water infiltration,but a possiable indication of water in the hull problem and that could leed to a waterlogged core.
A proper layup at molding with careful labor will yield a boat without blisters down the road.Modern production methods can yeild blisterless hulls.
Again the weight of the hull is the ONLY way to determine the extent/amount of water in a Whaler hull......... And all hulls have water in them in areas,I am not saying all are waterlogged.A data base is needed to help use all determine the extent of the problem. It's not uncommon,but little know, here in the Notheast to have a dealer drill a 1/8 hole in the bottom of the hull(while no one is looking) to find out if a trade-in whaler has a water problem.
JimU posted 06-20-2002 05:46 PM ET (US)     Profile for JimU  Send Email to JimU     
minor blistering is a piece of cake to fix. Ive done it three times in my three restoration pojects comprised of whalers dating from 1971 models. Chuck Bennett of Whaler informs me that a little moisture or wet foam is no problem if the foam is not delaminated from the hull. On one of my project boats the outside hull was delaminated for about four feet along one side. In a long previous post I described the technique of drilling the delaminated area, pulling a vacuum on the delaminated area to remove the water and pumping it full of West System epoxy to relaminate. That particular job is now three years old and is holding up very well under continuous moderately rough use.Fear not, there is a plethora of written and video reference material available on the subject. Go with it!!!
LKS posted 06-20-2002 09:40 PM ET (US)     Profile for LKS  Send Email to LKS     
Blisters are not the kiss of death for any boat. We purchased our other (non-Whaler) boat (34') knowing it had blisters. We negotiated the price down, based on the surveyors report and an estimate from a fiberglass guy on what it would take to do the repairs. Our repair, professionally sandblasted, blisters ground out, filled, barrier coat, and bottom paint ran about $2,500 five years ago, if memory serves. We've had no problems since. From what I understand, when doing the reapir in the north, the key is getting the hull completely dried out after opening up all the blisters. If you have access to a heated building, suggest sand blasting and opening up blisters after the fall season, and let it dry until late winter (Feb./Mar.), then do your repair job, barrier coat, and new bottom paint. Good luck!
EddieS posted 06-21-2002 01:03 AM ET (US)     Profile for EddieS  Send Email to EddieS     

You need to think about what you are saying. Blisters while not good are easily fixed. They do not let water into the hull to saturate the foam. You would need a gash in the hull or some similar damage for water to seep in. A blister is just that a small area usually less than the size of a quarter. This is caused by osmosis, and will deteriote the laminate over time. This could cause large areas to become delaminated or soft spots in the hull if it is not remedied. The waterlogged Whaler problem is a seperate issue entirely and I dont think that the two should be mixed together. All to often it seems to me that the first thing that comes up when ever someone asks a question is to weigh the hull it may be another water logged whaler.

Maine whaler,

Follow your gut, if it were me 12 blisters would not necessarily queer me on the deal. You should definetly get compensated for it beyond the straight cost of the repair. If that is all he will spring for, make the sale contingent on the repair of the blisters and have him deal with the problem.

Good luck


kamml posted 06-21-2002 08:59 AM ET (US)     Profile for kamml  Send Email to kamml     
My SC 17" Montauk spent the better part of its 25 year life in a warm and very shallow southern pond/lake. It has numerous blisters, too many to count, but they have no effect on the boat that I can determine. It runs in the low 40's speed wise and unless you climb under and look at the hull you don't see these minor imperfections. Blisters in fiberglass and warm water go almost go hand in hand down here in the southern USA, especially if the hull has spent its life in the water. I have no intention of repairing them, what for, the repair would probably exceed the worth of the hull. The hull doesn't drain water when its on the trailer, so I suspect that the blisters are localized. If the deal is right, the boat has the equipment you want and its the right age, go for for it. Ken
JimU posted 06-21-2002 09:55 AM ET (US)     Profile for JimU  Send Email to JimU     
To EddieS. Well said.
Maine whaler posted 06-21-2002 01:24 PM ET (US)     Profile for Maine whaler  Send Email to Maine whaler     
First off, thanks for all your advise. I really like the boat and have agreed to purchase it subject to a price concession to help with repair expense. The surveyor does not feel their is any structual problem with the boat. Now I just have to wait to see if my final offer is accepted. Thanks again for all you help. Maybe I can find an "almost" whaler forum although it would never be as good as this one.
bigz posted 06-21-2002 03:40 PM ET (US)     Profile for bigz    
Maine Whaler even though an Edgewater they are certainly close to a Whaler in heritage and from what I understand fine boats. Best of luck on your pending purchase.


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