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  1. #1

    FX Ho blistering on one side of footwell

    I am looking at a 2016 Yamaha FX HO and found light blistering in the footwell on the side near the engine. Funny thing is there is no blistering on the bottom of the foot well or the opposite side. This leads me to believe it wasn't caused by water sitting in the footwells or wouldn't blistering be on both sides of the footwell. I not happy about it but it appears purely cosmetic and a factory defect issue. I was quoted $1K for repairs, they wanted to tear out the skid mats and rework the whole footwell where damage is only on the one side and 2" up from the bottom. Truth be told I tempted to repair myself what's the risk? its a footwell. Does my theory make sense that it wasn't water or have others had blistering on one side after sitting filled with water? If I buy I probably just hold off for a year to see if the blistering gets worse. I had a 30 year old boat never had a blemish or blister on it.


    Thanks!!

  2. #2
    TimeBandit's Avatar
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    No expert here ... but I can comment a little something about paints.
    Yamaha topside paint is typically a single-stage (one color gloss). Between that and the SMC hull is obviously a primer coating. Yamaha has a long history of foot-well blisters - we almost call it a "feature" not a flaw. Kidding aside, the paint is what we'd call an above the waterline paint, because the paint will permit water to osmotic-ally (is that a word) penetrate over extended water exposure.
    It's been my own personal standing theory, that the blisters are a function of failed primer (rather than the paint itself) mainly to improper primer layout inside the foot well zones. It could be too light primer, as well as too much. It could also be that the spray was too distant, causing some of the primer to flash before it reaches the surface, and it could be the spray angles (more on that later) ... in any case, I'm saying some sort of primer-related issue, yet another function is also in-play.

    The reason this happens in the foot wells is two-fold. A) the contours and confined foot well compartments likely facilitate difficult paint spray angles and/or distance, lending to the potential inconsistent primer application layout. Not sure if a human or a robot sprays the hulls ... my guess is a robot, and it may not be programmatically hitting one side of the ski as well as the other side. This might also explain why the inside walls blister more than the bottom as these walls are being sprayed at an off-angle, even though the bottom can see more sitting water, which leads to the next topic, B) water, including humidity, seeps through the paint where it exhibits the weakest adhesion, and the water can interact with the under layer causing gasses to form, expand (in the sun) and get trapped - aka a blister is lifted. Water can wick up the sides as well.

    Aside from being an eye-sore, as long as the blisters do not rip or rupture, you could just live with them (many of us do - and I hardly notice mine anymore). Yet if the cosmetics are just too much to bear, or the blisters have exposed some hull, you could certainly attempt a fix (DIY or Pro), yet I would suggest complete sanding away all the OEM paint (and primer layers) as a part of that fix. But being a confined foot well, you (or the repair shop) would encounter the same difficulty in paint spray angles.

    Bottom line, consider blister condition (are they ruptured), total ownership, life of ownership, resale value, with repair costs, and then make the best decision for you.

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  4. #3
    I agree with your explanation and very well written. I have one tiny blister that popped the rest are still in tact. Sounds like the process to remediate is more aggressive than the blisters themselves. In other words the material removed during remediation exceeds what the blisters have done. The good news being in a footwell I am the only one that sees them, color is white so as far as repairs it doesn't have to be perfect. I going to check some other fiberglass places. Since NANO has been around for almost 10 years more than one shop has to have experience in repairing. I could digest $400-$500 but $1K is insanity. No holes, no structural damage, easy access at waist level. guess the shop has to much work. I just obtained ski and it will always be garaged. I will let it go a year and see what happens. I looked at 4 used 2015 newer skis its incredible the abuse people put these things through. My 2012 VXR with over 140 hrs has two marks on the haul. This unit has 23 hours and blisters in the footwell and beached a number of times. No worries it came off the sales price.........

  5. #4
    TimeBandit's Avatar
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    On your blister that popped ... is the loose paint/skin completely gone, partial? Do you see a primer layer, and is it still on the SMC, or did it come off with the paint?
    Yet, even if some SMC is exposed, thankfully it's not going to act like typical fiberglass (aka soak-up water), so no worries on that. Perhaps just a matter of some touch-up paint then. You could possibly get away with sanding them out yourself, but once you sand into that nano-xcel SMC, you'll risk spreading nano wax particles around the entire repair site, and that could lead to adhesion issues on the new paint, not to mention you'd need some good feathering skillz to blend into the OEM paint. Don't get me wrong, it can be done with careful cleanup solvent/wax-removers.

    FWIW, I have a few on the one side of mine (this one is an old 2005 hull of mine, regular SMC) ... and no lie, I thought about using a small syringe (if I had one) with either paint or resin to inject up under the larger blisters - totally thinking out loud here! Granted, if that were to work, I doubt it would hide/collapse the blisters, yet my main goal with the resin injecting would be simply to prevent them from ripping open one day maybe.

  6. #5
    The size of blister that popped is about the diameter of pin head. I looked at the black spot with a jeweler's loop and could see depth to the hole. I originally though I would just sand, prime and repaint but it will need some filler to make it look perfect. total defect area is 1" off bottom of foot well 2" high and 12" long. Again your theory of manufacturing error makes sense. Why in the heck wouldn't the blister go all the way to the bottom. Only time the footwells will be wet is when I use it. Rest of time they dry and in garage. On a side note on my VXR since you cant get all the water out of the haul without a shop vac (another great design) water sits in my bilge for 6 months of summer. I suck it out before storing for winter. Zero indication of any blisters etc.

    Discussing the repair with the one shop even if i let water sit in footwells for a year and blisters start popping and delaminating they say the fix is the same as tiny blisters.


  7. #6
    HardRider, what is the effect when water is sitting now that I have blistering in the footwells of my '19 GP1800R? Referring to overnight rain of south Florida when my ski is sitting on the jet dock.

  8. #7
    I imagine over time the blisters get bigger and paint pops off and is not as "pretty" other than that ZERO. Bottom line to repair they grind it down and redo it anyway (huge blisters with pain missing requires same repair as tiny blisters with paint still intact) so if the appearance doesn't bother you don't mess with them. Your haul will never be damaged.

  9. #8
    TimeBandit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrElussive View Post
    HardRider, what is the effect when water is sitting now that I have blistering in the footwells of my '19 GP1800R? Referring to overnight rain of south Florida when my ski is sitting on the jet dock.
    Sitting outside on a dock exposed to both water saturation AND sun (aka heat) is a classic recipe for blisters. Consider shading the craft, and prevent water from collecting in the first place.
    One additional tip, if your craft is subjected to reside outside in rainy FL, consider the benefits of adding some type of foot-well drain modification. There's a thread or two on here where other GP owners retro-fit the OEM system design on the newer FX's (2019+).

  10. #9
    Hey hardrider my foot wells on my Fz have blisters in them they never have popped and they’ve been there for probably 5 years.

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