Blistering Brightsides paint


I completed a PocketShip (Puffin) two months ago and it has been moored in a local freshwater lake since then. The boat's exterior was prepped for painting per the manual, then painted with two coats of Interlux Pre-Kote primer, sanding between coats as directed, and sanding nearly all the primer off before moving directly to Interlux Brightsides paint. After sitting at it's mooring for 6 weeks or so, I now have a problem with blistering on the painted cockpit decking surface as shown in the two photos below.

The blistering is limited to the inner surface of one of the cockpit storage lockers (non sun-exposed) and the forward portion of the cockpit deck (i.e., not the seat-backs, or the hull exterior) at least so far. The larger blisters can be compressed with my thumbnail, and range in size from small "BB" to pin-prick in size. Portions of the forward part of the cockpit deck have a textured feel as though I had painted it with some non-skid product. During my painting, I tried to follow Interlux's directions to the letter including drying times; painting was done inside a garage with the roll-and-immediately-tip method using foam rollers and foam brushes, and when I had completed the boat and for at least the next several weeks, the painted surfaces in question looked "perfect."

So, fellow boat-builders (and CLC), what went wrong, what do I do about it, and how do I prevent the same thing from happening again?

I've been told by a professional boat-builder that "touching up" Brightsides is a fool's errand; that when it's time to repaint a Brightsides-painted boat, sand it all down and apply a new coat (or coats) to the entire hull; that one will always see a "touch-up job" no matter how carefully done. Despite this advice, I'm expecting I'll have to sand the cockpit decking surface down and start over on at least that part of the paint job. Any advice is deeply appreciated. (I also posted this same message on CLC's PocketShip forum but that site gets less boatbuilders' traffic these days than this general forum, and most everyone here is also using Interlux Brightsides paint.)

Mark Nunlist
Lebanon, NH


1 reply:

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RE: Blistering Brightsides paint


based on your description (boat on mooring, only flat sections seem to be effected),  i wonder if those area may have found themselves under water or wet for elongated times (rainwater? dew condensation?).

i am assuming that there was no real difference in the paint or application technique between the areas that you i am assuming that there is something about the environment for these areas compared to the other areas.

so my sense is that these areas were submerged or constantly moist...and that the moisture eventually got beneath the paint and then when the sun hit it it, it lifts/peels/bubbles. so my guess is, that while note expected, you basically had the section underwater for long bouts of time and that is not compatible with the use of brightsides.  regardless, once that has happened, you need to remove it and repaint. 

if i had any boat that i was going to leave moored, i would be using a two-part epoxy on the flat sections for the reasons i described.  my experience with boats i used to leave in the water was they picked up a lot of water from condensation and rain and could have little pools of water in them for elongated times.   


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