Thursday, June 11, 2015

Alberg 30 Refit: Bottom paint removal continued and hull blisters

This evening I finished up the nasty dirty paint removal task on the port side of the hull. During the last few months I have been pretty busy with work, family and other projects and I was becoming frustrated and worried that the refit would never progress. I had piddled around here and there but no major tasks were getting done. Fortunately, this has changed. I made it a priority to get this refit rolling.

I had been using a 6" sander to remove the paint. That thing made all kinds of dust. It removed the paint but was a bear to use. I decided to try scraping a majority of the paint. This turned out to be a great decision. In about 4 hours time I had scraped almost the entire side. 

After scraping a majority of the paint, sanding with a 5" Bosch orbital sander made getting to the gelcoat quite easy. Another 4 hours and I had 2/3 of the port side hull down to the gelcoat.

Working away at little bit at a time, I put in 2 hours last night.

Using the trailer as a bench and stool has come in quite handy.

Another angle of the sanded hull

Here's where the bad news starts. My Alberg is full of blisters (water intrusion), This is a good example of one. From what I can tell this is not a new problem and one that someone tried to repair long ago...about 6 layers of bottom paint ago to be exact, so maybe 20 years ago....who knows???

You can see the hull issues better in this photo. That discolored area which extends all the way to the stern seemed to be some severe crazing, and is full of blisters

The red dots appear to be old blisters that were filled and the other dots are new blisters. 

As you can see from the pictures I am making progress. I seemed to have opened a can of worms here on the hull. I surely want to fix the issues as best I can, but I also want to be sensible about the repair. I am devising a plan now to use West System epoxy for the repairs, and until then I'll be sanding the starboard side. More to follow!


  1. It may not be as bad as you fear. I know it's tough to tell from pictures, but I'm not seeing blisters. Yes, the gelcoat looks crazed, but even the picture where the gelcoat is gone and the laminate (chopped strand) is visible does not look like a blister - it looks like good, clean fiberglass without any sign of osmotic damage. I'm no expert, but I've seen worse. I would guess that you'd be in good shape if you finished removing the bottom paint and any loose material, solvent washed the bottom, filled any gaps, then coated it in something like InterProtect or West System.
    Good to see the progress! Keep it up. That's a miserable job you're doing. Best of luck.

  2. PS - Glad to see you switched to a scraper! Sanding/grinding bottom paint is a messy waste of time.

  3. So far so good.

    I've only used a scraper so far and it's a pain with the lapstrake hull. Still have a ways to go getting the bottom prepped on my boat too. You'll be done soon enough. Looks like it's going faster for you than I am with mine. Even with a scraper, my bottom looks a lot like your first picture.