Folks, et al,
I have a 1982 Mango, hull N◦ 29 which I bought in 2000. I’m the third owner after the original owner was a Greek and sailed extensively in the Med. The second owner was a Brit who sailed all over the Med and Atlantic, cruising and racing. Upon reaching the Caribbean, he decided to sell her. I bought her in Ft. Lauderdale, NOT FROM POTTER! After six months of waiting for a non-reply, I contacted other brokers. I was chasing an Amel for two years.
Enough of that. The surveyor at the time of purchase said I had micro-blisters and to use that [as well as a few other findings to negotiate with]. But no big deal. He asked where I would be birthing her. I said the Chesapeake Bay, Oh, he advised then that I would have to address the blisters within three to five years. Yep, after four years, I had to address them. I could get a non-guarantee job [gouging out each blister and patching] or get a guaranteed job for a lot more bucks. Long story short, I took the high dollar option since “Windrush” is my home. They ground the outer layer of gel coat and glass off the hull and replaced it. I visited her once a week to caress her on the hard, so I observed the work. The keel bulb was not removed and according to the marina, no work at the keel bulb and keel interface was required. Blisters will happen! It is the nature of glass and its environment over time. I also had a Max Prop added just for fun while in the yard.
I always have two coats of bottom paint put on her and it lasts for about two years here in the Bay. This may not be much help to you; but, it gave me a venue to brag. If you are really, really concerned about the keel bulb, you may want the keel bulb bolts checked for wear and corrosion. The bolts will have to be removed one at a time to evaluate their condition. I doubt that any problem will be discovered. The Amels are built like M1-A1 Abrams tanks.
Crash [wings, wheels and rotors – I’ve busted at least one of each]
From: email@example.com [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] On Behalf Of Craig & Katherine
Sent: Monday, September 24, 2007 11:20 AM
Subject: Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] RE: Amel Keel - & Bottom Painting
When you ask "If the barrier coat between the keel and hull is in
good condition", and also note Joel's advice on refinishing the cast
iron keel, it sounds like you're removing the keel,(the only way to
see if there's barrier coat between the keel and hull).
Unless you've got some bad damage, this seems a pretty drastic and
unnecessary maintenance item. Also, I doubt that Amel would have used
a barrier coat on the underside of the fiberglass keel stub/water
OTOH, perhaps you are making a distinction between two sections of
the fiberglass hull, that is, between a.)the fiberglass hull
structure from the water line down to where it turns straight down on
the side of the keel stub/tank sump and b.)the fiberglass hull
structure from that turning point at the top of the keel stub down to
the cast iron shoe plate.
If so, it sound like you have observed barrier coat on b.) but not on
a.) - which seems a bit odd.
Be that as it may, if you're going to strip the entire fiberglass
hull (from waterline to the top of the cast iron keel, you'll
certainly be removing the barrier coat (if there is any on your
With the fantastic history of Amels not blistering, you might simply
skip the barrier coat altogether. Of course, you'll want to
chemically stip, rather than sanding so you don't affect the
integrity of the gel coat. (If you did, adding a barrier case would
seem prudent, indeed.)
I stripped my boat down to bare fiberglass 8 years ago (same "caking"
of old paint you described), and did apply barrier coat plus bottom
paint with super results. Of course, whether it's the super quality
of Amel's fiberglass (I've read that'ol Henri was nicknamed
the "father of fiberglass" in France) - or the barrier coat that has
kept the blisters away is anybody's guess. I'd bet on the former,
but wearing both belts and suspenders is fine.
As to primer, just follow your paint manufacturer's instructions - as
Joel says, "Read the instructions and read 'em again."
Good luck with your project.
Craig, s/v Sangaris - Santorin #62
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