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Maverick gel coat blisters - pls help??

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Hi guys I have been looking at lots of boats and came across a 2000 master angler I really like.  Yesterday when I went to see it I noticed bubbles or blisters in the gel coat.  Both sides below the waterline.  One side of the boat was more scratched up than the other, and thus it was more noticeable.  Maybe someone tried sanding them? Lots of small bumps.  Here are a few pictures.

What the hell are these?  Is this a major problem?  I would rather walk away from the purchase if a problem.  I've never seen this before.  I see nothing indicating paint or anything and this appears to be original gel coat.  I posted this before running a search given I need to move fast if I am going to buy.  Anyone have any thoughts, comments, ideas??  Thanks..

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Search " Gel coat problem. What caused this?" On this site. I started a thread on the same issue several months ago and got some good responses. I have a 2002 MA 21 with blisters. 

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I just got done reading it!  what was the outcome with yours?  Did it get worse?  I have to tell you, it makes zero sense to me, and I still don't understand what caused it and what will happen next.  The boat I am looking at is low hour and was indoor stored, and other than this issue, is great. 

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That is what's called osmotic blistering and is caused by keeping a boat in the water without proper preparation like a barrier coat. It has no structural impact at this point and is simply cosmetic, I'd wager. Only way to fix is to grind them out and re paint or re gelcoat.

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So I assume the boat was dry sailed stored on a trailer ,not at a dock. Doesn't look like the original gel coat,can you tell?  If not original it is probably a botched All grip job,maybe too much humidity when it was shot,or prep not done correctly. Figure the cost of re all grip job into the price.  If done correctly it lasts many yrs,  I had a big boat done 15 yrs ago and it still looks new and it's flag blue!

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Thanks for the replies.  Owner represents the boat was hardly used and stored on trailer in garage.  Owner claims the boat was never left in the water for any extended period.  I have no reason to not believe the owner here.  All indications from inspection of engine and other parts of boat and trailer confirm what he has said, and all are original.  It appears to be original gel coat as well from what we can all tell.  There is no evidence of paint or prior work done at all, and the owner claims that to be the case.  The blisters are very hard like the rest of the gelcoat.  I will likely walk from this purchase which is very disappointing.  I've read all I can read on this since last night.  I can't seem to get any straight answers and have never seen this before.  But I'm sure as hell not taking on the expense of removing and gelcoating again.  Thanks again everyone for your input.  

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This seems to be a common problem on MA's around these years. I don't think its a result of being left in the water, its too common among this group of boats. It seems more likely something was wrong with the material used during production of these years.

That said, I don't think its too big of a deal, they are not going pop open unless you smash the boat. If you smash the boat you would have damage anyway.

Its great boat, don't let this scare you off from buying it. But if it does, post the for sale info, many people are looking for these boat.

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16 minutes ago, hurricane said:

This seems to be a common problem on MA's around these years. I don't think its a result of being left in the water, its too common among this group of boats. It seems more likely something was wrong with the material used during production of these years.

That said, I don't think its too big of a deal, they are not going pop open unless you smash the boat. If you smash the boat you would have damage anyway.

Its great boat, don't let this scare you off from buying it. But if it does, post the for sale info, many people are looking for these boat.

I have to agree w/ Hurricane on this one.  It's a cosmetic issue that, based on what you are describing, is an issue with production.  There is no evidence that would suggest they will "pop", and the boat already has some scratches that eventually need to be addressed (if you really want a pristine hull).   To me, this would be a negotiating point where I'd look to get about half of the cost of addressing them off the sales price, then fix it or not if and when I wanted to.  

Not structural

Unlikely to get worse

Already "imperfect" hull

Everything else is sound 

Boat you want . . . 

To me, only thing left is whether the price you are paying accounts for it.

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The bubbles have nothing to do with structural integrity or the boat. Everyone approaches their boat differently.  Some want it pristine all the time and to them the blisters matter. Others want to just catch fish and watch out for mechanical issues but don't get upset over a scratch. Only you know where you fit in the picture.

I am going fishing so hold on and let's go. DONH is cruising taking beautiful pictures . Both of us enjoy our boats  equally.  I would use the blisters to get a better price Donh might pass. Either way it is a cosmetic issue.

Walter Machowski 

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I hear you guys on the cosmetic part, but if that is true it's still a problem.  It's going to hurt my resale down the road unless I fix it.  And I'm picky anyways about how things look.  This went from a compound or wet sand and wax, to gelcoat removal and redo?  That is a big difference.  Also, what if I travel like I do to other places and leave the boat in the water for a few days?  Will these get worse?  Again I am not finding any straight answers here.  I should mention though that in all my reading up on hull blisters last night, these do not appear the same.  I know it's hard to tell from the pictures but these are not of much size at all.  The blisters are pretty darn small and there are a ton of them.  

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You could try calling a fiberglass repair shop and provide pictures as I'd bet they could give you an approximate idea on what you are facing.  I have had no experience with this guy but have seen from his social media sites that he's repaired gel coat blisters: 

Glasser Boatworks
3.02 Google reviews
 
 
Boat repair shop in Rockledge, Florida
 
Address: 1670 Barrett Dr, Rockledge, FL 32955
Hours:
Open today · 8:30AM–5PM
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
 
Phone: (321) 626-0061

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Seems a lot of  MA’s from this vintage are popping up (pardon the pun) on here recently . Anyone know what they did different on the Mavericks than the other boats of that time period?

I’m not familiar with these specifically, but have had a few  gel coat voids in my MBC boats. Two of them broke open from water hose pressure while washing boats. Kinda surprised but as the gel coat ages, it’s gets more brittle. 

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7 hours ago, Scott Deal said:

That is what's called osmotic blistering and is caused by keeping a boat in the water without proper preparation like a barrier coat. It has no structural impact at this point and is simply cosmetic, I'd wager. Only way to fix is to grind them out and re paint or re gelcoat.

No need to go and ask anyone else.

The boat got left wet on the surface's that were never intended to be exposed to being wet 24/7.

No barrier coat and what you see is what you get.

The boat can be fixed to be brand new.  Left to long in that condition may cause lamination problems.  The materials used today no matter how advanced are not designed to be exposed to water unless as said above barrier coats as in bottom paint are used. The coatings required to do so are more common on larger boats. They are maintenance intensive for a reason. 

I can from any builder using gel coat put a wet sponge on the deck and keep feeding it water and blister it over time. Porous materials like gel coat will do it every time.

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Troy I have to disagree with you. I've seen a few to many MA's all about the same vintage with the exact same blisters,  never seen a Redfisher or Pathfinder with these.  Im sure there have been Redfishers and Pathfinders left in the water as long as any MA. 

 If it was a result of being left in the water, it would be randomly all over the boat. However, the blisters I have seen have only been in the midship area on the sides. Yes below the waterline , but typically not all the way to the bottom, blistering stop about 2" short of the bottom. None on the transom, none on the bottom, none in the bow area, not even any blisters under the bunks.  Its more like its coming from the inside out, through the thinner parts of the sides.   I do agree being left in the water can cause similar blisters. This all just seems to be to much of a coincidence to solely blame on being left in the water.

All that said, we are talking about 15ish year old boats, which we don't know all the past history of, and I'm sure you know I love my MA!

Edit: To clarify what I"m saying. Water is the cause, being left in the water or long exposure to the outside of the hull,  is not the cause. I would call it premature blistering.  

 

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Guys, this is not a water stored boat.  Not at all.  Maybe I was unclear about that.  It has very low hours and has always been trailer stored.  It's the original owner, and the owner is not lying to anyone about how he used it (as far as I can tell anyways).  I have owned many, many boats over the years and take multiple vacations a year where I may leave the boat in the water for a week to 10 days, before trailering back home and cleaning her up.  Is that not normal?  That is normal to me and in my mind, any boat out there, no matter the brand, should be able to handle this without giving it a second thought.  I've certainly never thought about it and I have never had a problem.  I may be wrong, but it seems to me some of the comments on here are suggesting that would not be normal use for a boat and could cause this blistering?  Am I reading those right?  I'm sorry but to me, that just makes no sense at all.  So I should barrier coat and bottom paint my boat, and devalue it, before my vacation next time to avoid blistering?  That is utter craziness.  This is not a slipped boat stored in the water for months or years, and if it was, it would be obvious.  Instead, it is obvious from everything else on this boat, that it has never been stored in the water for any extended period.  I appreciate everyone's comments on here but again, this makes no sense to me at all and I have no interest in dealing with it.  I'm disappointed and wasted some time and money, but I will find a different boat.  Thanks again.  

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I'm gonna go with the President and Founder of a major boat manufacturer and Capt. Troy on this one as well... This is Osmotic Blistering. Osmotic blistering is not only caused by leaving a boat in the water but also can be caused by something that happened in the production of the hull. Improperly mixed resins and  the presence of MEK after the resin cures will also attract water causing blisters. The fact is that ALL polyester resins develop porosity over time which may allow water to enter into the laminate which is why sometimes it occurs above the water line, especially in high humidity environments. Another fact is that 99.99% of boats are made with polyester resins (they're waaaay cheaper than epoxy resins) so there you have it. All polyesters eventually decompose in the presence of water, its science.

Whether you have it addressed or not is up to you, eventually, at some point the boat will have to be sanded down and re-sprayed / gel coated, unfortunately there is no way to tell when since you have no idea how long the condition took to get to its current stage, for now its fine judging by the pics you posted.

Before you call Glasser, search him on microskiff.com. I don't believe everything on the internet but I'm a good friend with one of the guys who had a Whipray at his shop for a re-furb and later took it to HB to have it finished.

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58 minutes ago, jason p said:

I'm gonna go with the President and Founder of a major boat manufacturer and Capt. Troy on this one as well... This is Osmotic Blistering. Osmotic blistering is not only caused by leaving a boat in the water but also can be caused by something that happened in the production of the hull. Improperly mixed resins and  the presence of MEK after the resin cures will also attract water causing blisters. The fact is that ALL polyester resins develop porosity over time which may allow water to enter into the laminate which is why sometimes it occurs above the water line, especially in high humidity environments. Another fact is that 99.99% of boats are made with polyester resins (they're waaaay cheaper than epoxy resins) so there you have it. All polyesters eventually decompose in the presence of water, its science.

Whether you have it addressed or not is up to you, eventually, at some point the boat will have to be sanded down and re-sprayed / gel coated, unfortunately there is no way to tell when since you have no idea how long the condition took to get to its current stage, for now its fine judging by the pics you posted.

x2!  Also keep in mind the boat is nearly 18 years old!!!!

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Again I really appreciate everyone's input here - I am always trying to learn and I am no boat expert in any way.  Some of it makes sense to me.  Some, I will admit, makes no sense to me whatsoever.  This boat has never seen freshwater.  It has also never been stored in saltwater for any length of time, except the owner tells me he took it on vacations over the years where it was kept in the water "less than 10 times" for up to a week.  Most of these trips were to a timeshare in Key Largo.  While on vacation, it was then used daily.  In addition to never being stored in the water for more than a week, the boat has only 242 hours on it. 

If this boat had ever been stored for an extended period in saltwater it would be obvious and, further, I have no reason at all to not believe the owners here.  Now, with that said, I am assuming that no one here is suggesting that this boat should have ever been barrier coated and/or bottom painted before their vacation right?  I think we can all dismiss that as absurd.  Next, let's assume just for argument sake that this older gentlemen and his wife are outright lying to me about their use.  

Here is a quote from Hurricane's post above:  "If it was a result of being left in the water, it would be randomly all over the boat. However, the blisters I have seen have only been in the midship area on the sides. Yes below the waterline , but typically not all the way to the bottom, blistering stop about 2" short of the bottom. None on the transom, none on the bottom, none in the bow area, not even any blisters under the bunks."  This is EXACTLY the case with this boat as well.  Exactly.

So assuming all of the evidence to the contrary was not there and also that the owners are lying and this boat was stored in the water --- can anyone explain this pattern and why the blisters would only be in this location?  Does this make sense to you?  Please educate me.  I am not buying this MA and any other Maverick I come across of this vintage I am going to be very careful about.  But just so I am educated, if anyone can explain this to me, I am all ears.  I spoke with 2 different reputable fiberglass guys yesterday, and they were unanimous in that nothing here made sense given the boat usage.  And, they agreed that age had absolutely nothing to do with it if in fact the owners are not lying to me. 

 

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2 hours ago, jason p said:

I'm gonna go with the President and Founder of a major boat manufacturer and Capt. Troy on this one as well... This is Osmotic Blistering. Osmotic blistering is not only caused by leaving a boat in the water but also can be caused by something that happened in the production of the hull. Improperly mixed resins and  the presence of MEK after the resin cures will also attract water causing blisters. The fact is that ALL polyester resins develop porosity over time which may allow water to enter into the laminate which is why sometimes it occurs above the water line, especially in high humidity environments. Another fact is that 99.99% of boats are made with polyester resins (they're waaaay cheaper than epoxy resins) so there you have it. All polyesters eventually decompose in the presence of water, its science.

Whether you have it addressed or not is up to you, eventually, at some point the boat will have to be sanded down and re-sprayed / gel coated, unfortunately there is no way to tell when since you have no idea how long the condition took to get to its current stage, for now its fine judging by the pics you posted.

Before you call Glasser, search him on microskiff.com. I don't believe everything on the internet but I'm a good friend with one of the guys who had a Whipray at his shop for a re-furb and later took it to HB to have it finished.

Jason I agree with your explanation. However its not the technical definition that's in question, its the root cause. Your very technical description contradicts what's being said to be the root cause.

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Lot of what ifs and unknowns.

I have blistered 2 boats. 1 a Grady White that was only 3 years old. Left it in the water for 2 months in the Keys. Scrubbed it once a week and it was moving almost every day. GW warrantied the 8K repair job. Ironically, during the same time my MA was left home for the same period and I forgot to remove the bench cushion. Well, the open cell foam in it got soaked and set on the bench for 2 months and blistered the glass under it.

 

As for the OP and the boat he is looking at it makes no sense. But a good glass guy would be able to tell you most likely. I would suggest getting a estimate to repair if you like the boat and negotiate the price.

 

As for how long it takes an exposed boat to blister the condition of the gel-coat to start with will have something to do with how long it will take. Both of my 21 MA have been left in the water up to weeks at a time with zero issues.

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Capt. Troy whoa wait a minute  - - you had a wet cushion sitting for 2 months on a MA blister your gel coat????  WOW!  That is all I can say to that is, WOW!  I'm speechless.  I have owned probably a dozen different boats over the years, of all sizes, vintages and brands.  I've never worried for one second about keeping my boat in the water for vacation, standing puddles in the boat that may not have drained entirely after washing, wet things in gel-coated storage compartments, etc., etc.  Seriously I don't even know what else to say.

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Hey all - I'd be VERY curious to get a rough estimate on what it would cost to address this by sanding down and having the gel coat re-sprayed.  Assuming that it impacted 2/3 of the hull on the sides only, anybody got any idea?   Are we talking 1-2K or 3-5K,, or more?

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Seems everyone who has these has stated NOT keeping the boat in water for “extended periods” of time. Of course, I guess that’s subjective and this is a used boat so who really knows anyways....  But if we are to believe that is the cause then this would be a great time for @Scott Deal or other MBC guys to help define that amount of time. I kept all the original paper work for all my boats and don’t recall seeing anything about it in manual, but maybe I missed it. 

 

I bet like most others on here I’ve kept my Hewes and Pathfinder in keys for over a week numerous times and never  had any issues other than a lil growth and would like to keep it that way.

I’m still most curious why this seems to be just a Maverick thing 🤔

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as jwalk stated WOW, I too have owned several boats over the years. never removed cushions or had blisters.  present 2200v has side cushions on fwd. storage lids for 3 years. only removed a few times to wash lids, no blisters, some discoloring, bleach, looks like new.

cost of blister repair all depends on the blisters themselves. it's more than just sanding and re gel coating. if the blisters are deep enough they must be ground out, allowed to dry for a time, rebuild area the RIGHT WAY, prep and gelcoat. if it is a large area with large amount of blisters, gelcoat and fg may have to be skinned. blisters are common on many boats and may become costly to repair.  

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