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View Full Version : Storing a boat in the water


krtrcr
03-13-2007, 06:01 PM
Have the opportunity to get a Slip at a nearby lake. I am thinking it will result in us using the boat a lot more. The lake is 5 minutes from my house and work, so we would just stop by either in the AM or PM before or after work. I think our weekend trips would be to other less crowded lakes, but we could just pull the boat out and trailer it for those trips. Anyway, just wondering what you all think of storing a boat in the water for the season (7 months in Colorado).

DrJ
03-13-2007, 06:06 PM
I have been saying this a lot here lately. But, in my opinion it all depends how often you are willing to pull your boat out of the water and really clean it well. You will get all kinds of funk on the hull. Everything from algae to oil and anything else floating in the water. Just look at some of the other fiberglass boats in the marina. I would never do that to mine but it's up to you. If you would use it more it's a preference call. If you do it, I would wax and protect the hull very very well.

VTJC
03-13-2007, 06:48 PM
From my experience the easier it is to use the boat the more you will use it. My boat now sits on a covered lift, allowing 2-3 of us to ski a set in an hour in the morning. When I left my Moomba on a mooring I would pull it once a month to wash the hull. Especially if I was going to be away for a few days to let the hull dry, this will help prevent blistering… I say go for it, just wax and wash often. Colorado water are probably pretty clear(oligotrophic) so algae build up will be minimal compared with eutrophic waters. Jamie

bigmac
03-13-2007, 07:15 PM
MasterCraft states that they won't warrant the gel coat against blistering for boats stored in the water and recommend that the hull is painted with an anti-fouling paint like Imron, and from what I read gel coat blistering is fairly common for such boats.

Here's a description of the blistering process (http://powerboat.about.com/od/hulls/a/gelcoat_vswater.htm)

CottagerGreg
03-13-2007, 07:31 PM
why would you say common? Ask the last time your local dealer did a repair on blistering with a Mastercraft.

We had our old boat (1989 Baja sport) in the water from april to end of october for seasons on end... didn't blister ever!

Give a good wax couple times a year!

New boats and esp high end ones use quality gel coat materials... we ain't in the 80's anymore!

Also keep in mind your ph levels in your lake.

TMCNo1
03-13-2007, 07:49 PM
The bottom line is, no matter how expensive the boat, gelcoat, amount of wax, amount of bottom paint, etc., etc., when and if it blisters IT'S TOO LATE TO RECONSIDER what you should have done.

CottagerGreg
03-13-2007, 08:12 PM
so if you get a blister 4 years from now and it costs you a couple hundred bucks to fix...

just think of the quality time spent.... memories

time spent trailering your boat.... extra wear and tear not to mention extra gas consumption on your boat.

I think you'll still be ahead.

It's like the car guy who can't have his car go in the rain.... it's just a car....

mitch
03-13-2007, 08:19 PM
Have the opportunity to get a Slip at a nearby lake. I am thinking it will result in us using the boat a lot more. The lake is 5 minutes from my house and work, so we would just stop by either in the AM or PM before or after work. I think our weekend trips would be to other less crowded lakes, but we could just pull the boat out and trailer it for those trips. Anyway, just wondering what you all think of storing a boat in the water for the season (7 months in Colorado).

I say go for it, mine's in for 6 months a year and it's a lot more fun using it frequently (even a little dirty) than looking at in your driveway all clean and shiney. Just hop in and turn the key. I use a long handled scrub brush weekly. Pull it a couple of times a year and wash and wax it, and then go thru it in fine detail at the end of the season. It'll look just as good as everyone elses. Make sure you use whips or something, your biggest risk is dock damage. Trailering is a PITA and the worst part of boating my .02 cents

86mcskier
03-13-2007, 08:24 PM
After being very anal about my boat, I realized that ski boats are meant for just what they say, skiing. Like flashydubber said, if you enjoy it more, it is worth it. Besides if the boat isn't showroom condition cosmetically, but still pulls great; Is there a real problem? Don't get me wrong, taking care of your boat is important, and I do so. I just feel too many people treat their boat as if it were a "show boat" rather than a "toy" to have fun with friends and family on. Just my .02

east tx skier
03-13-2007, 09:49 PM
so if you get a blister 4 years from now and it costs you a couple hundred bucks to fix...

just think of the quality time spent.... memories

time spent trailering your boat.... extra wear and tear not to mention extra gas consumption on your boat.

I think you'll still be ahead.

It's like the car guy who can't have his car go in the rain.... it's just a car....


From those with whom I've spoken who have had to spring for this repair, it's significantly more than a couple of hundred bucks. It basically involves sanding the entire area down, drying it completely, and respraying it. It's not a product of the 80s. Gelcoat is a porous surface. Pulling and waxing every couple of weeks is the least you need to do if you leave it in the water, but it does not guarantee that you won't get blistering or possibly worse if it gets into the voids in the glass. As Bigmac said, Imron or other bottom paint is what's recommended over waxing, but may knock down the resale a bit if that's something that concerns you.

Yes, it's most certainly a trade off of enjoyment versus having problems with the hull. It's a boat. It's meant to be used. It ought to be enjoyed. But that doesn't mean you ought not take care of it and take steps to prevent a potential problem.

Here's an article on the subject.

Link (http://www.pcmarinesurveys.com/osmosismythology.htm)

onewheat
03-14-2007, 12:51 AM
Any chance of getting a boat lift for your slip to keep it on the lake, but up and out of the water?

CottagerGreg
03-14-2007, 01:18 AM
at our cottage...

Problem... dock sits in about 12-18' of water..

floating lifts are ugly and bulky... not to mention expensive $6-10k

fixed lift is not an option.... hmmmm

nearest boat launch... 20 min drive...

thus stays at dock with mooring whips.. in the water.. give a scrub every week with a brush... get right under it with the goggles and all!!

http://i89.photobucket.com/albums/k212/GTI2lo/2006%20Mastercraft%20X-1/IMG_0049copy.jpg

puck_11
03-14-2007, 02:20 PM
flashydubber,

Do those whips do a satisfactory job of keeping your boat off the dock? If you had a strong crosswind, would those keep it off of the dock?

MCXSS
03-14-2007, 06:27 PM
I had a boat in a slip for 5 summers. If you want to keep the hull in good condition you must take the boat out every two weeks and wash and wax the hull. Otherwise it is likely that you will have to acid clean the hull at the end of the summer or live with the algee stains. And IMO, once a hull is acid cleaned a few times it's never the same as when it was new. The wash and wax every two weeks is the price you pay for the convenience of skiing, without trailering if you don't have a lift. But the good news is you can leave work and ski to dark every day. Do your wash and wax on the weekends when the lake has more boat traffic.

Doug G
03-14-2007, 11:30 PM
Since my marina is also the dealer (guess how I got a slip) I can tell you that mine is not the only mastercraft in a slip for the season. There are many mastercraft, cris craft and other high end boats along with beater boats not only in our marina but at docks all around the lake. Name your brand and it is probably tied up somewhere around our lake. How they look and hold up is directly related to how the owner takes care of it. Period. There are boats with two tone hulls courtesy of the lake and boats like mine that are fine.

I found by accident that a magic eraser below the water line works awesome. I pulled it twice during the season. 1st time pre magic eraser had some buildup, wash and wax good, on the trailer for a week. good to go. 2nd time (did a wipe down with magic eraser every week in the water while the wife and kids where goofing around) found hull was damn near as clean as when I put it in. washed it, on the trailer for a week good to go. Continued weekly wipe downs, end of season pull out looks great. no acid wash, no scrubbing. Our lake does create a lot of buildup to the point the marina has included an acid wash in the winterize deluxe package.

As eastie said gelcoat is pourus. Blisters are water that has soaked into the gel trying to get back out (oversimplified). As far as I am concerned waxing it every two weaks isn't going to change that. That is why bottom paint is recommended. Letting the hull / gel dry really good is the most important part of pulling it IMHO.

After posting a similar question last year I was really worried about leaving it in a slip for this reason along with the fact that the lake is an hour away. With all due respect the "pull it every two weeks or you'll be sorry" crowd they gave me more worries than help.

After having done it for a season and enjoying the ease, having my own spot to go back to on a public lake, the relationship with the marina / dealer and the trips that I would not have made if I was trailering (no load up, hookup, put it in, pull it out etc... see also 2 hours extra of water time on average) Not to mention no wear and tear on the truck, no trailering breakdown stories to tell. No boat lauch screw up stories to tell (with this boat, we don't need to talk about the old one that I did trailer). 16 mpg drive to the lake vs 9 mpg drive to the lake .... You can't talk me out of keeping it in a slip. I bought it to have fun on the water, not to impress the neighbors or win the shiniest underwater hull portion competition with. My only problem is that the port side of my teak sits underwater and gets slimy buildup that we have to scrub off every couple days. Not sure why it sits that way but it does.

Don't get me wrong. I am very proud of my MC and wouldn't dream of neglecting it. If I could do a lift I would but I can't. There is a dewalt 18v vac in my boat along with the babes for the seats and hull, etc... for keeping it clean and it gets an in the slip cleaning every week. Get the slip, pull it periodically, let it dry (I do a week of sun) keep it waxed and clean and enjoy it. P.S. I agree with everything mitch and 86 said. Sorry for the rant... Just my .02 .

krtrcr
03-15-2007, 12:47 PM
Doug, thanks for the info. Can you elaborate on the Magic Eraser method.

east tx skier
03-15-2007, 02:42 PM
As for Magic Eraser, just wet it and rub. I haven't found many things it can't improve. I ought to rub the stuff on my ski. ;)

east tx skier
03-15-2007, 02:51 PM
With all due respect the "pull it every two weeks or you'll be sorry" crowd they gave me more worries than help.

Well, it's not as if we weren't trying to help. :o I can't imagine keeping a good coat of wax regularly applied to the bottom is a bad idea short of painting it FWIW.

When this topic came up again, I did a search for blisters so I could find that link I posted previously. Always good reading (although the pictures can be hard to stomach). Bottom line is, if it makes you happy to keep it at the lake, by all means keep it at the lake. If it blisters, you'll have to deal with it and chalk it up to convenience. We tend to hit several lakes during the season, so it doesn't make much sense for us to do it even if we were so inclined. That, and our local lake is about 10 minutes door to ramp.

On a side note, I always like it that when the topic comes up, us poor garaged boat saps are accused of being killjoys who only buy our boats to polish the running gear, impress the neighbors, and pivot our trailer tongues back and forth.

Just because it's 99% true doesn't mean you guys with the blister boats always have to always bring it up. 8p

Sodar
03-15-2007, 02:58 PM
Here's an article on the subject.

Link (http://www.pcmarinesurveys.com/osmosismythology.htm)

More than I ever knew on the topic of blisters!!! When I was a kid, my dad had the bottom of our big boat taken down to bare fiberglass, then epoxy coated prior to bottom paint. I think I should have some pictures of it somewhere. It was a pretty cool process, where they took, basically, a powered planner hooked up to a vacuum system and just stripped the hull down to bare glass. Once that was done, they let the hull dry out... we did it from Sept. to May 6, then they came in with an epoxy barrier coat and applied that, prior to our antifoulant bottom paint

mitch
03-15-2007, 03:40 PM
I had a boat in a slip for 5 summers. If you want to keep the hull in good condition you must take the boat out every two weeks and wash and wax the hull. Otherwise it is likely that you will have to acid clean the hull at the end of the summer or live with the algee stains. And IMO, once a hull is acid cleaned a few times it's never the same as when it was new. The wash and wax every two weeks is the price you pay for the convenience of skiing, without trailering if you don't have a lift. But the good news is you can leave work and ski to dark every day. Do your wash and wax on the weekends when the lake has more boat traffic.

disagree, I acid wash my boat every year at the end of the season(previous MC too) and after getting it home and washing and waxing, it looks perfect. Use an alum acid wash on my pontoon boat, also with great results

mitch
03-15-2007, 03:44 PM
flashydubber,

Do those whips do a satisfactory job of keeping your boat off the dock? If you had a strong crosswind, would those keep it off of the dock?

Whips are great. my lake gets crazy on July weekends and our boat on the main part of the lake gets pummeled by huge rollers, and it has never hit the dock. knocking on wood now:D

I've had the same whips for 6 years and replace the rope overy 2 years

MCXSS
03-15-2007, 03:58 PM
Magic eraser sounds interesting. Waxing actually fills the small pours in the gelcoat or paint. That is why ithe surface feels slick when waxing is complete. As the wax wears off the algae can begin to attach to the pourous suface. I know anti-fouling paint helps (smaller pours), but you still need to fill the pours or algae will grow. I had a boat hull stripped and painted with anti-foul paint. There was less algae growing, but still some grew. It should be called foul resistant paint. I'm not sure for ski boats but for HP boats algae really brings the performance down. I didn't mean to worry anyone when I said wax it every two weeks. I learned the lesson the hard way and was just trying to pass that info on.

Doug G
03-15-2007, 04:00 PM
Well, it's not as if we weren't trying to help. :o I can't imagine keeping a good coat of wax regularly applied to the bottom is a bad idea short of painting it FWIW.

When this topic came up again, I did a search for blisters so I could find that link I posted previously. Always good reading (although the pictures can be hard to stomach). Bottom line is, if it makes you happy to keep it at the lake, by all means keep it at the lake. If it blisters, you'll have to deal with it and chalk it up to convenience. We tend to hit several lakes during the season, so it doesn't make much sense for us to do it even if we were so inclined. That, and our local lake is about 10 minutes door to ramp.

On a side note, I always like it that when the topic comes up, us poor garaged boat saps are accused of being killjoys who only buy our boats to polish the running gear, impress the neighbors, and pivot our trailer tongues back and forth.

Just because it's 99% true doesn't mean you guys with the blister boats always have to always bring it up. 8p


It's all love Eastie!! I consider myself blessed that I was able to stop trailering and get the slip.

I agree about the waxing can't hurt and it certainly goes along way to keeping it nice. I would go so far as to guess that it may even retard the process (I have been told I understand retarded processes well ) of the misc scum below the water line and make it easier to clean. My point is only that I don't think the waxing is what stops the blisters as much as the drying out does and every two weeks may be overkill if you are cleaning properly.

I don't want to get into the competition mind side cuz I don't want to have to try to out do Harold! That time I don't have :D

MCXSS
03-15-2007, 04:06 PM
Magic eraser sounds interesting. Waxing actually fills the small pours in the gelcoat or paint. That is why ithe surface feels slick when waxing is complete. As the wax wears off the algae can begin to attach to the pourous suface. I know anti-fouling paint helps (smaller pours), but you still need to fill the pours or algae will grow. I had a boat hull stripped and painted with anti-foul paint. There was less algae growing, but still some grew. It should be called foul resistant paint. I'm not sure for ski boats but for HP boats algae really brings the performance down. I didn't mean to worry anyone when I said wax it every two weeks. I learned the lesson the hard way and was just trying to pass that info on.

Doug G
03-15-2007, 04:37 PM
MCXSS,

That is great feedback. I was not inferring that waxing should not be done. I think it has a lot to do with the algae side of things and should have made that clearer. My bad.

Someone told me that magic eraser on the hull was going to actually remove the wax. I don't remember who, but I do remember not giving the source a lot of credit.

All I did was throw a vest on and float around the boat wiping with the eraser while we are tied up in a cove. 10 - 15 minutes of time each week and no buildup problem. When I pulled it the last time it still "felt" waxed to the bare hand when dry. So I have no idea if the eraser is actually hurting the hull. Bear in mind it was new last year and I did wax it when I pulled it the first time. So one season of experience with this method may not be enough to judge by.

I can tell you I plan on doing the same thing this year and pulling it a couple times to go over it and clean it real good. My theory is if algae doesn't build up in the first place I don't need to worry about cleaning it off. Time will tell if it is good or bad for the gel / wax. Anyone have any info on that?

east tx skier
03-15-2007, 05:53 PM
It's all love Eastie!! I consider myself blessed that I was able to stop trailering and get the slip.

I agree about the waxing can't hurt and it certainly goes along way to keeping it nice. I would go so far as to guess that it may even retard the process (I have been told I understand retarded processes well ) of the misc scum below the water line and make it easier to clean. My point is only that I don't think the waxing is what stops the blisters as much as the drying out does and every two weeks may be overkill if you are cleaning properly.

I don't want to get into the competition mind side cuz I don't want to have to try to out do Harold! That time I don't have :D

I was just having a little fun. My boat has never been to a competition and probably never will. But the neighbors love it. 8p

I don't think there's anything that guarantees no blisters. Like I said, you gotta do what works for you. Heck, we had one guy on here that got blisters from wet bunks. In fact, I recall Harold's old boat (not his boat now) had blisters from putting silicone protectant of some sort on the bunks, which caused water to get trapped next to the hull, etc., etc. Three shots of penicillin and no improvement for his boat V.D.

As for magic eraser, I use it on my seats and rub rail (to get rid of the white marks). I haven't had an ocassion to use it on the hull though.

Doug G
03-16-2007, 12:19 PM
Looks like I shouldn't be doing the gel with the magic eraser based on the magician thread. I don't have any sratches or the like. Maybe I am getting away with it because it is underwater.

dmayer84
03-16-2007, 12:24 PM
Since my marina is also the dealer (guess how I got a slip) I can tell you that mine is not the only mastercraft in a slip for the season. There are many mastercraft, cris craft and other high end boats along with beater boats not only in our marina but at docks all around the lake. Name your brand and it is probably tied up somewhere around our lake. How they look and hold up is directly related to how the owner takes care of it. Period. There are boats with two tone hulls courtesy of the lake and boats like mine that are fine.


I wonder if Sterling would want to have a section of slips for boat lifts. They have the one floating one now on the gas dock. It would cetinaly give me a good reason to leave the slips from my neighborhood assoc.

Doug G
03-16-2007, 09:21 PM
I can't imagine it. The waiting list for a slip is already long. I would guess they would lose real estate and have less slips. The premium they would charge for the lifts would probably just offset the loss from the lost slips along with adding maintenance and dumb user issues. Can't see that being a wise biz move for them. Would still be nice to be able to have one though.

agua4fun
03-17-2007, 11:26 AM
Okay, so i dont want to be the party pooper here, but i'm one of the guys here with the blisters. (2001 PS190 Sammy) They cover the bottom of my boat from front to back every inch or so. I bought the boat used (2005) from an MC dealer, with no blisters, payed them to wax it before pickup, floated it for 2 or 3 weeks infront of my parents house, pulled it out to clean and walah, blisters! I tried to let it dry out for 2 weeks, but that didn't help. I love my boat, and will always buy MC in the future, but its hard to swallow the repair cost estimates. MC wont/cant help.

Just something to think about, as it is your choice, now that you know. I dont know what i would have done, if someone had warned me first, but i wish i would have known.

oh, and i have a jet boat, and another brand ski boat sitting infront and behind my boat at the dock that have never had blisters. go figure.

André
03-17-2007, 01:37 PM
Okay, so i dont want to be the party pooper here, but i'm one of the guys here with the blisters. (2001 PS190 Sammy) They cover the bottom of my boat from front to back every inch or so. I bought the boat used (2005) from an MC dealer, with no blisters, payed them to wax it before pickup, floated it for 2 or 3 weeks infront of my parents house, pulled it out to clean and walah, blisters! I tried to let it dry out for 2 weeks, but that didn't help. I love my boat, and will always buy MC in the future, but its hard to swallow the repair cost estimates. MC wont/cant help.

Just something to think about, as it is your choice, now that you know. I dont know what i would have done, if someone had warned me first, but i wish i would have known.

oh, and i have a jet boat, and another brand ski boat sitting infront and behind my boat at the dock that have never had blisters. go figure.
Wow.That's a bad case of blistering.
Can't beleive 2-3 weeks in the water would do that.Blisters must have been there before...
Are you gonna re-gel or paint?
My hull was repaint to the waterline with Imron 5 years ago by the previous owner(professionnal fiberglass guy).No problems since.
I do keep it on a lift.