I get into the bottom repair stuff, I'd like to talk a little about the
history of Flying Cloud. Especially, her bottom!
guess if you own a fiberglass boat it is inevitable that you will have
to deal with blisters sooner or later.
original owner of Flying Cloud eventually encountered this problem and
according to the log books, the minute he noticed a blister that boat
was on the ways and being repaired. Repairs were made in accordance with
the methods of that era and thought to be the final fix for the problem.
He owned the boat for some 16 or 18 years.
second owner was not so concerned about much of anything in the way of
maintenance and repairs.
when we hauled the boat out in San Carlos, Mexico we were shocked to see
the extent of blistering on her bottom.
considered having the work done in San Carlos before shipping the boat
back to the states.
Marina Seca, we were told that the best solution was to strip the bottom
completely and store the boat in their yard for two years to let it
response was "no way we were going to do without the boat for two years.
After all, the boat was now our only home".
opted to have them sandblast the bottom before shipping the boat north.
she arrived in Texas, we started in on grinding out all the blisters. It
was obvious which of the previous owners had what work done.
The obvious older repairs were still hanging on. But showing signs of
remainder of the repairs was obviously done on the "cheap" and had grown
into much larger problems.
of the later repairs were simply done using automotive body fillers,
started grinding out the obvious problems. But eventually opted to strip
the bottom completely, dry-out for a while and then build it back up
fate would have it, by the time the bottom was stripped, I took a bad
fall from twelve feet in the air. Landed head-first on the ground,
unconscious and a serious concussion. The worst was my right wrist was
completely shattered and required a certain amount of metal to put it
I spent the next fourteen months recovering (and not working on Flying
Cloud) the boat had the opportunity to dry-out even longer than the
recommendation made in San Carlos.
sitting for 2 1/2 years there was a total of 5 blisters that still
needed to be opened up deeper. I talked a friend into doing that for me
and then FC sat another 7 months.
At this point there were so many blisters that grinding each one out
amounted to just stripping an entire area.
I decided that I wanted
EVERY blister repaired/redone so as to never have to do this again. Or
so I hoped.
After nearly three years, we apply 8 coats of epoxy.