What is that ?
Fiberglass plague or "osmosis" is when there is a semipermeable membrane between two liquids of different concentrations, one of the liquids penetrates through the membrane and causes an increase in pressure inside the membrane.
How does "Osmosis" affect fiberglass boats? In the case of a boat, the semipermeable membrane is a gelcoat and the liquid is water. Over time, water is absorbed into the reinforcing plastic. Although most of the moisture passes through the body to the bilge without causing any significant damage, some of it begins to decompose the materials used in the laminate, causing the formation of "osmotic" solutions. The osmotic solution contains acetic acid and glycol and has a higher molecular weight than water, which prevents it from passing back through the gelcoat or laminate. As more water is absorbed into the reinforcing plastic, osmotic pressure builds up, which eventually causes blisters to form on the gelcoat. Most unprotected fiberglass boats develop osmotic symptoms at some point in their age. The time span and extent of their formation depends on several factors, such as temperature and type of water, the length of storage periods in the countries, and above all, the quality of the original laminate.
How do I recognize fiberglass plague?
Blistering in gelcoat is the first signs of fibreglass rupture when such an osmosis blister is punctured, some acetic-smelling fluid leaks out of it. It is possible to detect fiberglass plague before the appearance of visible signs by checking the moisture content of the frame with a moisture meter. However, this provides only one indication of the problem. If moisture is detected, it is advisable to ask a professional to determine the extent of the problem and suggest actions to remedy it. Experts have hygrometers that can measure body moisture.
Protection against fiberglass plague, and prevention of it.
The best way to prevent fiberglass plague is to use the right methods and materials during boat construction and ask for Epu Coat® coating on the boat from the manufacturer.
The higher the quality of the reinforced plastic, the better it is protected against fiberglass plague.
Take your boat for coating immediately with a new Epu Coat® boat cover with a coating, then you will get lasting protection for years.
Before an old boat can be protected with Epu Coat®, the condition of bpth the laminate and gelcoat must be determined. If you are unsure of their condition consult your Epu Coat® retreader in your area.If the frame is in good condition, it can be protected from fibreglass plague with Epu Coat® coating. Otherwise, it is recommended to repair it properly. Once you have coated your boat with Epu Coat®, you will also get: An easy-care surface for your boat that no longer needs to be waxed for years to come. You participate in the eco-making because you no longer need strong detergents or solvents to clean your boat. Your boat slides forward with less engine power which brings fuel economy.
The resale value of your
boat will increase.