- The Best Source for Boat Buying Information

Hull Blisters


red line

Browse Articles

  • A Case History and Solutions

    John Williams is the proud owner of a ten year old 35' sloop. Prior to his purchase, he spent nearly a year searching around the country to find this particular yacht because it ideally suited his needs.

    When the survey was conducted, there was only one significant problem with it: it had a scattering of small blisters on the bottom, which I usually refer to as "pimple rash" to differentiate this condition from considerably larger blisters.

    The blisters in this case were no larger that 1/4" in diameter and had a density of about 2-3 blisters per square foot if averaged over the entire bottom area. Entire Article

  • The Alchemist Still Hasn't Found the Philosopher's Stone

    Over the course of the last several months it almost seems that I've been under siege by used boats with failed blister repair problems, some of which are illustrated by the photos below.

    Reading the magazines and surfing around the web, you probably get the impression, as I have, that the blister problem is abating.

    But taking a tour of the boat yards  I come away with an altogether different impression: the problem is now worse than ever. Much worse.

    And so is the problem with the failure of repair efforts. Entire Article

  • An Owner's Dilemma

    Not keep the boat in the water long? What should they do, put wheels on it? Sounds sort of like an auto manufacturer telling customers not to drive their cars in the rain because they will melt if they get wet. Entire Article

  • The Wonderful World of Hull Blistering And Other Interesting Scams

    Some surveyors have been insightful enough to ask why it is that some boats of a particular builder blister, while others of the same builder do not.

    Or even why it is that some boats in a model line will blister and others not. Entire Article

  • Many Water Saturated Hulls Don't Blister

    Quite a few people have written or called to tell us that they know of some proven methods of repairing bottom blisters that constitute a full and final solution.

    Each of the systems and products offered by West, Ashland Chemical and International Paint were mentioned.

    These, of course, are the most widely used products, but are also the most frequently involved in the failures, if only by virtue of their widespread use. Entire Article

  • The 8 Grand Conundrum

    People with boats undergoing blister repairs often write us to say, "My boat has been drying out for six months now, and it still will not dry. The moisture meter readings are still as high as ever." 

    The usual procedure is to just let the boat sit and "dry out" naturally by a process of evaporation.

    Still others are erecting tents and what not and installing heaters or dehumidifiers to try to accelerate the process. And still they report that it's not "drying." Entire Article

  • Related Articles in other categories

  • (in Buying a Boat or Yacht)

    A Blister Boat, That is.

    One of the most frequently asked questions that a marine surveyor gets is, "Should I buy a boat that has blisters?" This is a question that I've wrangled with for many years, and after a great deal of research involving thousands of boats.

    This essay will answer your questions a bit more directly than some of our more detailed blister essays, which many of you found hard to understand. That's understandable because this is a very complex subject. But be prepared that the answer is populated with a lot of ifs, ands, and buts. Entire Article

  • (in Marine Survey related)

    Good Detection and Communication Techiques Critical to Avoiding Complaints

    Hull blistering is a problem that has been with us for a quarter-century. One might think that over a period of twenty-five years this problem would have long since been solved, and no longer be much of a problem for surveyors.

    Unfortunately, our research reveals that the blistering of boat bottoms continues to be a growing source of complaints and lawsuits against surveyors.

    It seems to be one of those pernicious problems that just won't go away. In fact, the number of lawsuits against surveyors has actually increased dramatically in the last several years. Entire Article

  • Direct Links to Some Chapter Contents at

  • Chapter 5   Evaluating Boat Hulls (Mid Size Power Boats)
  • Chapter 8   Stress Cracks, Finishes and Surface Defects (Mid Size Power Boas)
Mid Size Power Boats

Surveying Fiberglass Power Boats (2E)
Mid Size Power Boats Buyers' Guide to Outboard Boats Surveying Fiberglass Power Boats Marine Investigations