Bubbling paint

The paint on my 4 year old, China made, garage kept and covered canoe is developing small bubbles. Does anyone have ideas on what is causing it? Rep is telling me something I am not buying ( that storing a canoe wet will cause this). I figure if it gets worse I will have to sand down and repaint but if I know the cause I will avoid it to not make it worse. Thanks for any help you can offer.

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Submitted by HuliGirl on Mon, 01/24/2011 - 9:32pm

Quick questions please ...

Stored wet = Inside, inside a wet bag or inside said bag out in direct sun ?

If so, is this where bag contacts the hull directly most of the time ?

Otherwise, unless "stored wet" means 24 / 7 in the water or above scenarios .... I would say to trust your instincts here.

Ask the "rep" why its not happening everywhere then.


#1 Mon, 01/24/2011 - 10:39pm

It looks like thin gel coat. But 4 years old? you could bring it to a specialist other than your dealer to get an educated answer. if its that car paint, bring it to a car paint guy and if it gel coat, bring it to a boat builder that works with gel coat. but that storing a canoe wet will cause this doesn’t wash unless you ad soap. jkd. On my China made Hurricane I put some electrical tape to hold a racing # on and it pulled paint when I took it off. I thought was cheesy but I know the canoe building companies, not all. are trying to get the weight down like an anorexic super model.

good luck

#2 Mon, 01/24/2011 - 11:52pm

I have a one year old china made. It has the surface paint bubbling off along the entire seam deck seam...both on the canoe and on the ama. It is just over one year old. It is stored with two other canoes....on racks....right next to each other. They are not chipping or bubbling. I do not think this is a storeage problem and the manufacturer is trying to deny the obvious..
..is this really gel coat or some other kind of spray on paint that is being used ? In either case...improper priming ? or other application problems during manufacture are probably more to blame.

#3 Tue, 01/25/2011 - 7:25am

I had a Mantra(gelcoat) and stored the ama in a bag wet and it bubbled. Took it out of the bag and it corrected itself. HAd a China Pegasus and left it outside for a bit in the cover which got wet and it bubbled. Now stored in a dry area and it is fine. Where the paint did come off I bought that Crayola acraylic (sp?) car paint spray from WalMart and it matched well(white hull).

#4 Tue, 01/25/2011 - 8:25pm

Thanks for the input. Maybe it is a reaction to the cover getting wet and sitting on the canoe/ama. Bubbling on ama is on the sides and hull has only a little bubbling. Ama was stored under the canoe for period of a few weeks out of the garage but in a shaded area. My other canoe sat next to it in a canvas cover but that canoe has a gel coat finish. No problems with bubbling on that canoe. I kept it uncovered for a week recently but did not notice a reduction in the bubbling. Maybe needs a longer "drying out" period or maybe bubbles are here to stay. :-(

#5 Tue, 01/25/2011 - 9:24pm

I would like to know how an epoxy based coating on a canoe or boat or anything else bubbles because it is exposed to moisture? There a miriad of watercraft out there stored wet that do not bubble and flake apart. I have owned plenty of them and have not had that problem. It is a "defect" in manufaturing process when this happens....does not matter if when you put it in a different location and it does not happen or gets better. It should not happen and that is the bottom line and the difference between well made canoes and canoes that are not so well made. I am glad you can offset the problem by changing the storeage conditions but I do not think you should have had the problem in the first place.

#6 Wed, 01/26/2011 - 2:44pm


I have a Pahoa made by Tiger and a Stingray made by Karel that have had bubbling issues in the past. Now, I have rinsed my canoe after usage (and not removed the seat) noticing bubbles days later after removing seat. But once it was dry the bubbles went away. I also noticed tiny bubbles on a small section of the hull, but they too went away. Other than that I have not had a problem as both canoes are covered and garage kept! I thought it may have been the wide temperature swings that we have here in the Mid-Atlantic region (Va. Beach) but I've had a Karel made Viper that exhibited none of those problems. Wash, air dry thoroughly and then cover and I think you should be ok. Good Luck I wish I could offer more sound advice. Aloha, K.Kahikina

#7 Wed, 01/26/2011 - 5:50pm

It seems there are more paddlers out there who have experienced this then I thought. I definitely agree with Poidog that this is a "defect" and should not be happening.

Paddle safe :-)) Mahalo, HuliGirl

#8 Wed, 01/26/2011 - 9:58pm

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