posted 24 May 2002 02:03 PM
This topic is related to the thread on blisters, but is of more general interest, so I’ve taken the liberty of starting a new one.
Having finally fixed the blisters on the hull, as described elsewhere, I have moved on to the topsides, and here the problem is different, there are a myriad of tiny hairline cracks in the gel, which when I ground away at one area, proved to go almost halfway to the laminate. Once again I called on an expert, who gave me an explanation, but perhaps I should precede this with some history…
My boat Paloma is one of the original batch shipped out to Hong Kong, I believe in the late 70s. She spent most of her life racing and being kept on a hard standing. She has had little maintenance.
To continue, the problem is apparently related to the blisters, and all down to a poor quality gelcoat, or perhaps the way it was mixed or laid in the mould. It has not taken to the heat and UV out here too well, and the hairline cracks are the result of shrinking of the gelcoat. The problem mostly affects dark colours (mine is blue) and I can confirm after having looked at other boats that the white ones are mostly OK. (Apparently Impalas are the same).
The solution in my case is to employ a worker to spend about three days of back-breaking labour to grind off enough of the gelcoat to remove most of the scratches, and very carefully fill the rest with epoxy filler. The bulk is then replaced by spraying two coats of very thick high-build epoxy, and then carefully sanding this to get a good surface. Then two coats of undercoat and two coats of two-pack lacquer. Most importantly this will be white! (I will dress it up with a green stripe because I hate all-white hulls)I am going to pay somebody to do all this, as I simply don’t have the time, but the price is very reasonable, and I was very fortunate to have bought the boat very cheaply.
For those of you who might have similar problems, it is an achievable project for an amateur, but it does need time, and in particular, an orbital sander just will not do the job. My contractor will use a commercial rotary sander using 60 grade paper… that’s really rough! I’m also told that the high-build epoxy needs to be sprayed with a non air spray gun. That’s one that just pumps the paint out. I look forward to watching this.
I will post some photos when the project has been done, which will hopefully be next week.
Now has anyone in HK got a second hand No2 for sale?