bubbles after leaving sectional boat in a hot car

The subject says it all -- I finally finished outfitting the boat a couple of weeks ago and was taking it out today.  I left it in the car for a few hours while I had lunch, and when I took it out to paddle, there were a couple of patches where some of the fiberglass had bubbled off of the wood.

So, my questions:

1) What did I do wrong that caused this?

2) Is there a way to fix it other than removing the bubbled sections, patching in new glass, and then sanding and painting everything?

3) Assuming that the answer to 2 is no, how stupid would it be for me to ignore it until the fall, enjoy paddling the boat over the summer, and then deal with it at the end of the season?






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RE: bubbles after leaving sectional boat in a hot car

   Oh, and one more question:

4) Will it get worse if I keep leaving the boat in the car?  I had imagined that I could leave it in the car while I went to work and then drive to the put in point after work.  (One of the reasons I was excited to have the sectional, as driving downtown with a kayak on top of my car and leaving it in a parking garage makes me nervous.)


RE: bubbles after leaving sectional boat in a hot car

Hi ELB, 

how frustrating.  how hot do you think it got?  was there any rhyme or reason as to what bubbled vs what did not? were the parts that bubbled dark/or painted a heat-building color or in contact with something hot?

i have had this happen before on a boat that was on top of my car that i left out in the sun.  i had stained the boat a dark color.....and it was a hot summer day and direct sunlight.  it got really really hot.

as for repair, what you described in point 2 is what i ended up doing.  but i did wait until the end of the season to address it.  i just monitored it carefully to ensure that the bubbles never opened up and let water onto the wood.

sometimes this bubbling may indicate a problem with the epoxy - not properly cured in my case - and there was clearly a pattern in my bubbles that seemed to point to a poorly mixed cup of epoxy as it was limited to only a part of the boat that corresponded to ~ a cup of what were many cups used to wet out the surface.  that's why i asked if there appears to be any rhyme or reason on what bubbled.

that said, i am also more careful on how i handle the boats on hot summer days/in the sun.  so i usually stake out a place in the shade.




RE: bubbles after leaving sectional boat in a hot car

Some of the bubbles are where I had a bad batch of epoxy on the first layer of fiberglass and I cut the glass off and redid it.  But some are on the other end, where I didn't see any issues.  On the bright side, none of it is on the deck, so it's not where it's particularly visible.  I varnished the bottom on this go around, but am pretty sure I'll paint it when I refinish.  I've named the boat "wabisabi" to try to remind myself that perfection is not the goal.

RE: bubbles after leaving sectional boat in a hot car

If it was my boat I'd fix it ASAP, but certainly before I put it into the water again. The reason for the hurry is that I'd be worried about micro-cracks and thermal cycling pulling in atmospheric humidity and allowing it to pool.

Howard's approach of monitoring and fixing if/when a problem is observed is certainly valid, but that give the Universe the opportunity to wait until you are off on a vacation hundreds of miles from home before having a problem show up. Or the night before a boat festival, or something. Whereas, if you fix it now you get to plan for it and have all your tools and materials ready at hand.

You could compromise and do a patch fix without the full finish repair now and the museum job later.



RE: bubbles after leaving sectional boat in a hot car

laszlo certainly makes good points and i would consider them and then decide.

fwiw, i am generally a 'fix it asap' kind of person....but in this case i was still trying to sort out what was going on...i had several 'bubble episodes' with the boat so i am glad i did not rush to fix it as i would have just been fixing it every couple weeks during the summer.

anyway, i had a back-up boat so that if it was not up to snuff after a quick 'before i go inspection', i would just take another boat.

but i agree that i would not take a 'wounded' boat on some great adventure.  my paddles while i was in the 'sorting out what was going on' were close to the house, close to shore and only a couple hours at a time.   


RE: bubbles after leaving sectional boat in a hot car

   It is rare to see a Conch Boat coming & going out of Boca Raton Inlet, here in South Florida. Here's a sample of a few gorgeous Conch boats.

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