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Polyester or Epoxy?
Posted by Paul H on May 04 2006
If you have a "fiberglass" boat, then odds are the hull is made from polyester resin, not epoxy.  If it is a polyester resin hull, you are best off using polyester resin for repairs.  The upside is polyester is much less expensive than epoxy.  As far as what to use for the repair, ie matt or cloth, gel coat, fairing compound etc, it depends on the damage.  Most glass hulls are made with matt, or shot with a chopper gun, so matt is best for repairs.  You can simply tear pieces to size and easily build up an area.  Matt is a bit easier to make go around curves than cloth, and also wets out nicely.  Do you have large crushed areas, small cracks, damage to the gelcoat???  A good rule of thumb is if an area has already cracked, make the repair thicker than the original laminate.

If you're not sure if the hull is polyester or epoxy, then go with epoxy as it will bond to polyester, but polyester won't bond to epoxy.  Also, if you are glassing wood, you want to go with epoxy, as it provides a better seal.  Polyester is porous and the wood will get water logged in time.

I've gone through 22 gallons of System III on my Tolman skiff, and have been quite happy with it.  It mixes in a 2:1 ratio, vs 4:1 for West, and is less expensive.  The best place to get System III in Anchorage is Lasertech Alaska, aka Skiff kits.

Previous: Fiberglass Repair smwwoody May 03 2006
Next: System 3 Cliffhanger May 03 2006

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