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In Reply to: newbie boat buiding question posted by mullman on November 05, 2004 at 13:13:31:
Great job on the little skiff!
Here is an opinion: One of plywood’s greatest weaknesses are the edges of the panel where moisture can get into the core and begin the undoing all of your good work. It doesn’t take much bumping about to get this process started and with youngsters enjoying the boat it will begin sooner than later. I would look into fiberglass tape, maybe 6” wide 4 or 6 ounce weight. This product has ‘finished’ edges and can be wrapped around the outside chines to protect this most venerable part of the boat. You will need to sand the chine area to build out a ‘tooth’ for the epoxy to be ‘painted’ onto. Then spread on an epoxy layer about the area the tape will wrap, place the tape onto the wetted epoxy chine, add more epoxy to wet out the tape, then squeegee to ‘pull’ out any bubbles, etc. Don’t forget to read all directions on the safe use of epoxy. IF you can keep the job to some neat, I would just leave it, not sand to fair, but sand to de-blush (if needed) and cover with porch paint (from your favorite hardware store). You could also put epoxy on the gunwale edges, but not fool with the tape if you add gunwale rails.
Before painting I would buy a wood sealer (if using fir plywood this process will slow down the making of hairline cracks that fir plywood likes to generate being around water...) for the rest of the non-epoxied wood areas inside and out on the boat. Then apply the porch paint. The fiberglass tape may show a small ridge up close, but this is not a yacht, but a small vessel for youngsters to enjoy.
Can you point me to some easy to use (and inexpensive) epoxy system?
Preferably something I can buy at an autoparts or home improvement store.
I have the gunwales installed on my small skiff and am ready to begin sanding everything.
Just debating if I want to go through all this epoxy stuff or just caulk it all up and cover everything with heavy coats of latex primer and porch paint.
The skiff is looking great!
There are many epoxy companies and many different types of epoxy. I use the West System. Other popular brands are: System 3, Maas, Raka, Glen-L, all can be found on the web. Not familiar with the home improvement store types of epoxy. The AeroMarine product looks to be just fine (the 'red' version).
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