Osmosis in a new Laser?

Discussion in 'Laser Class Politics' started by bouyracer, Aug 23, 2005.

  1. bouyracer

    bouyracer New Member

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    We brought a new laser and within 13 months 10-15% of the hull under the water line is suffering from osmosis. The boat is raced once a week and stored on land. 70% of the time the laser is under cover. Also laser supplied boat covers that were used to protect the boat from the elements when stored outside.
    The Australian manufacturer is stateing "unfortunately I have witnessed how easy it is to induce osmosis into a perfectly good well made laser!"
    It is a worry Lasers policy, to have limited manufacturers, who can take this attitude without even a expert inspection of the hull.
    Is this a common problem?
     
  2. gouvernail

    gouvernail Active Member

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    Osmosis?? Unfortunatly that does not mean much without some description of what membrane and what chemicals are crossing that membrane.
    I am going to guess your hull has some sort of blisters on it similar to the blisters hulls often develop when left in the water.
    You may have caused this problem by keeping the surface wet. Small "dry sailed" boats often develop blisters where they are kept wet by:
    1. Thick carpet which was placed next to the boat to protect it feom scratches. What a disappointment when the very carpet used to protect it causes blisters.
    2. Water tight covers wrapped tightly against the hull. The sailor comes to shore, carefully placvces the cover over his boat only to hold water agains the hull and cause blistering to occur.
    3. Leaving the boat in the water for a few days.


    I find the Aussi manufacturer part interesting as my understanding is there is a resin being used in that part of the world which has previously been advertised in the US as a way to forever prevent blistering.



    Maybe the blisters are really tiny kangaroo pockets??

    Sorry...

    Regardless, we can only guess what you mean by "osmosis." Exactly what is it about the condition of your boat that you do not like. Is it faded, lumpy, chalky, wavy, soft, or telling you it just spoke with god and exhibiting the ten commandments on its gelcoat?? ( I is Moses)
     
  3. bouyracer

    bouyracer New Member

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    The hull below the waterline has blisters covering 15% of the hull around the centre case and extending 2/3 of the way up to the bow and approx 10 inches up from the centre line. The blisters cover about 80% of the effected areas measuring about 2-3 mm diameter (1/8" of a inch) by about .5mm high (1/16").
    1/ No carpet etc has been near the hull.
    2/ If covers did allow water to pool and contact against the hull, the question has to be asked:
    Is it acceptable for the Hull to be so porous it allows moisture to penetrate the gel coat and polyester within a week to cause the blistering.
    After all we are talking a boat here that is meant to be in the water!
    3/Leaving the boat in the water for a few days can cause blistering!...........I would expect a higher standard of manufacture than that! there are thousands of fibre glass dinghys / tenders towed behind yachts during holiday time without getting osmosis / blisters.
    4/ The Aussie manufacturer refuses to release the specifacations and material trade names, so the boat can be checked for compliance.
    My concern is the builders of the laser appear to have no competion, I have observed the standards of the Olympic Optimist drop in countries where there is no local competition. Needless to say when competition is introduced the standard of manufacture increased.

    Cheers
     
  4. Murphs

    Murphs New Member

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    the gelcoat on lasers (and most racing dinghies) is thinner than recreational boats.

    the laser isnt designed to sit in the water for more than 12 hours.

    making the gelcoat thicker would fix the problem but then it would make the boats heavier
     
  5. rock steady

    rock steady New Member

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    C'mon, this is clearly a manufacturing fault. It has been brought up on these forums before. Here is another example:

    http://www.laserforum.org/showthread.php?t=2585&highlight=blisters

    ILCA should be doing all they can to make sure it is rectified, and perhaps allowing more manufacturers into Australia is a good way to do it? Or else we will all be hanging on to our old hulls for as long as possible.
     
  6. gouvernail

    gouvernail Active Member

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    Ouch!!! That description sure is ugly.
    Most blistering on newer boats sets me off with a rant about the manufacturer being a bozoheaded slimebag who uses inferior materials. For the last 20 years or so we have all known how to produce yachts with few or no blisters but the resins cost just a little more and there is that profitablilty out the door thing to consider.

    Unfortunatly for my reputation, I cannot be consistent with respect to the Laser.The Laser is a very special case of one design boat. It is built with technology and design that was mostly or all available in 1969. If the Laser builders were to start using new modern building techniques and materials, 100% of our 185000 other boats would by comparison be slow old dogs. The builders are not allowed to produce toys which instantly make our old toys obsolete.

    In your case, I feel you have been let down. Somehow there must be a better way to let you know what you are buying and what to expect. How does a manufacturer let 1000s of customers in on the truth?

    That truth: Use, exposure to water, exposure to sunlight and exposure to the atmosphere will degrade your Laser.

    OK that is absurd but, so is letting a customer believe he just bought a toy which would last forever. There must be a happy medium. (.and I don't mean a guy who giggles a lot and speaks with the dead.)
    Old guys like me never expect any boat to stand up to water. Wood rots, metal corrodes, and, because we have never seen a 100 year old plastic boat, we still don't trust plastics.

    All sailboats need the same care. Use them and then get them out of the elements.

    If you cannot keep your boat inside most of the time, you will have to spend money fighting with Mother Nature...and she always wins
     
  7. bouyracer

    bouyracer New Member

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    Weight of gelcoat,
    Increasing the gelcoat thickness by .35mm (.o16") will double the barrier effect of the gelcoat.
    The weight penalty is no more 700 grams, I think the manufacture could find a way to lose .7 kg (1.5lbs) from other areas in the hull to keep the Laser at the min weight, and give us a better boat! (Is 700grams really such a big penalty from the waterline down?)
    I suspect there are different qualities of gelcoat and polyester with differing moisture permability!
    Application and atmospheric conditions will produce large variances in quality, but us owners are not allowed to check the quality of manufacture? Or question the specifications our boats are built to.
    Cheers


     
  8. keiran searle AUS

    keiran searle AUS New Member

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    be carefull of the bubbles on the bottom of the boat craig ferris (aus olympic coach) just put his hand through a brand new 49er in a gel coat bubble he just put his hand on it to feel it and his hand went right through the boat $32000 for a brand new 49er overhere in aus dont want to many holes or it might only be worth $320 so dont go leaning on the boat also adding more gelcoat would make the laser not quite 1 design as it would put older boats out of the ball park of the newer boats because the 700grams would be removed and where ever it was removed from the boat would be lighter in that area eg removed from stern 700grams of less drag in back of boat only a small difference but some sailors may start sourcing the older or newer boats like some people used to source aus spars because they where stiffer and also the builders have a hard enough time trying to keep the gelcoat uniform all over the boat more gel coat would make it even harder and we cant really say that the laser is structurally sound now can we compared to a finn or hobie cat for example that was just my little rant correct me if im wrong.
     
  9. jsdeimel

    jsdeimel Member

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    Blistering can and will happen from water vapor trapped inside the hull. Even with a cover a hull can cook it's self left in enough heat. Seen it happen in Thailand with boat's that never touched the water( 6 months).
     
  10. bouyracer

    bouyracer New Member

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    Hi John,
    Yes I am hearing this now! If you buy covers from a laser dealer in the invisible print they state "ONLY USE WHILE TOWING YOUR BOAT"
    "THESE COVERS ARE NOT DESIGNED TO BE USED OUTSIDE"

     
  11. Rob B

    Rob B Active Member

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    The Laser is a light weight performance boat NOT designed to be left in the water any longer than it's intended daysail use. The construction will NEVER change. The hulls require a little extra care. Make sure they are dry before you cover them or there is a way for the water to dry up. A hull cover is fine on a boat that is stored upside down and dry outside. A deck cover is good to as long as the boat is stored dry. I always take my inspection cover and hull plug out when not using the boat so the hull can breath and stay dry. It is also always covered. I've NEVER had a problem. I had a boat in 1989 that I left in the water overnight once. It had some small blisters on it when it came out . After a few days the blisters went away as the hull dried. I learned my lesson then. You can't blame the manufacturer. Perhaps the owners manual should state not to leave the boat in the water overnight.
     
  12. bouyracer

    bouyracer New Member

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    Hi Rob,

    1/ This boat has never been in the water longer than 6 hours!
    2/ It is not manufactured with inspection covers?
    3/ Even if the boat is dry when covers are placed, condensation can develope and trap moisture in. (dew point)
    4/I was not aware new lasers came with owners manuals, we did not get one!
    5/Are the owners entiled to the specifications of the hull, to test materials and labour are in compliance with the specifacation registered with Laser? The specifications are being withheld!
     
  13. tkjazzer

    tkjazzer Member

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    I would get on the phone and BIT** nonstop until you get some compensation. That sounds ridiculous. Don't settle for something small either.
     
  14. Rob B

    Rob B Active Member

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    Never in the water longer than 6 hours!? Something is VERY wrong w/that boat. I remember when Laser were delaminating in the early 90's and Laser would replace the boats. If your dealer does not help you contact Laser directly.
     
  15. gouvernail

    gouvernail Active Member

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    Oh, how I wish I had never posted within this thread. Both parties would love to have the product be durable and provide perfect pleasure.
    The original post sought help with communication and perhaps even hinted at a need for advocacy.

    Look back at the posts above this one and ask yourself," Why would the guy who builds Lasers, sells those Lasers and uses the proceeds to feed his employees and family want to avoid exposing himself to this crap and perhaps even find it advisable to remain silent and hide behind a lawyer?"
     
  16. bouyracer

    bouyracer New Member

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    Found another new laser covered in blisters. The girl brought a new laser from the factory and took delivery of it in bubblewrap. Then drove interstate. When she got home she unwrapped it and found it covered in blisters.
    The Laser manufacturer is saying "your fault you didnt get it delivered by us"

    Surely the laser associations can step in and introduce some competetion as we have seen in the Optmist Class!
     
  17. gouvernail

    gouvernail Active Member

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    Over here in Texas we used tohave a simple "correction" for that sort of businessman.
    It involves a rope, a tree, a horse, a special slip knot, and a gunshot which is used to frighten the horse.
     
  18. rock steady

    rock steady New Member

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    Bouyracer - can you post some pics of this blistering. It may help to get the ILCA to act if the whole world starts to see the poor quality of work this manufacturer is producing.
     
  19. Merrily

    Merrily Administrator Staff Member

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    I guess this is where we insert the lovable but crusty emoticon. And I hope you mean "was" used to frighten the horse.
     
  20. gouvernail

    gouvernail Active Member

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    ;)
    All decision making businessmen should share your curiosity.
     

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