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Re: Barrier coating and antifoul alternatives

  Unfortunately, all fiberglass boats can and will experience osmotic 
blistering below the waterline if not properly protected. I bought a 78 SJ23 
over a year ago that was badly neglected. That is the reason I bought her. I 
could not stand to see the boat sit bow low and full of water another year.  
Normally a boat will show blistering worse the closer to the surface of where 
its waterline is and is a factor of moisture and UV damage. I have had great 
results in the past using West Marines barrier paint of six to eight coats. 
[I used eight so I could sand off one or so for a race finish] I then use 
VC-17 as an antifoul. I leave my boats in slip from six to seven months in 
fresh water with no problems. Your situation may be different, but in my 
opinion an ablative which wears off gradually may not stand the test of time 
in salt water. I may be wrong of course, and the rest of these folks can 
surely attest to what lasts in salt water better than I. I had hundreds of 
small blisters, [or stars, which are wanna be blisters] on my boat and I used 
a dremel tool to grind them out so as to get the filler to bond securely with 
the fiberglass, and then used a glass impregnated blister fill product. It 
was not easy to sand, but its integrity was the defining point in my decision 
to use it. Other blister fills are a bit easier to use, but do not contain 
fiberglass, and therefor are not as permanent a bond. Hope this was some help.
                                                  Good luck!
                                                  William Best

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