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1 year Awlgrip bubbling at waterline

Posted: Sat Feb 11, 2023 10:03 am
by lsheaf
I had my hull resprayed a little over a year ago.
A couple bubbles started forming at the waterline after about 8 months.

Since I left for cruising 2 weeks ago, paint 2-3” above the waterline has started bubbling up bad. I’m thinking it’s due to the extra weight (food, tools, and having a second person on board). Pretty sure it’s osmosis related.

Should I just raise the bottom paint another 3-4” or do a boot stripe?
A boot stripe seems like a lot of work (and more expense) but is probably more reversible than raising the waterline if it comes out a little too high.

Re: 1 year Awlgrip bubbling at waterline

Posted: Sun Feb 12, 2023 9:45 am
by atomvoyager
You could strip the affected area, apply 2000e barrier coat and add a 3" bootstripe and hope that it doesn't suffer the same bubbling problem. From pictures I've seen of your boat it looks like you have around 4" from actual resting waterline to the bottom of the white topside paint. If it were only an inch or two then you could raise the bottom paint 3" or whatever amount is needed. Or at next haulout, instead of a bootstripe, you could repaint the area white. If you can't live with a line visible between new and old paint then add a final coat over the whole topsides to blend it in. Since the boat was hauled out a long time before you painted it should have had a chance to dry thoroughly so it doesn't sound like an immersion problem and there is some other issue with moisture in hull or bad paint. In Part II of John Stone's recent article in Practical Sailor he mentions the same problem with his new Awl-grip paint:

"If we briefly fast-forward to the end of my first voyage to
the West Indies in 2016, I can reveal the Awlgrip bubbled all
the way around the boat from the waterline to a foot above it.
When I returned home we hauled the boat out of the water.
Awlgrip sent two tech reps to investigate the bubbling. They
determined it was a bad lot of paint on their end.
They sent me a pallet of supplies gratis and in the spring of
2017 Gayle and I rolled and tipped the topsides with four coats
of Awlgrip Snow White. It turned out great. The paint looked
like it had been sprayed and it has held up well over five years
and 8,000 nm of offshore sailing."

Re: 1 year Awlgrip bubbling at waterline

Posted: Sun Feb 12, 2023 11:08 am
by lsheaf
I do remember you suggested applying 2000e above the waterline before applying 545 finish primer, when the boat was hauled out. I was told by my painter that it wasn’t needed.

So it sounds like stripping the affected areas and adding a boot strip is going to be my best option. Maybe a few day project with all materials on hand.

With black bottom paint, could I add a solid blue strip without a white spacer in between? I’m not sure what the standard color with black bottom paint would be. I’m not the biggest fan of a boot stripe but it’s better than repainting the entire hull.

Also after priming with 2000e will I need to apply some epoxy primekote to sand it smooth?

Just asking about a white spacer and sandable primer because I have a new gallon of primekote and a quart of Snow White Awlgrip. I’d like to get rid of them if not needed. It’s taking up a lot of space.

Re: 1 year Awlgrip bubbling at waterline

Posted: Mon Feb 13, 2023 8:45 am
by atomvoyager
I wouldn't bother with the white stripe between bottom paint and bootstripe. You can paint the bootstripe directly over 2000e. As you know, 2000e Interprotect is hard to sand. So go ahead and add epoxy Primecoat over it if you aren't happy with how smooth it is.