What Does a Marine-Grade Epoxy Resin Do for a Boat?
You can save on boat repairs by learning how to use marine-grade epoxy resin.
There’s no way to avoid it – boats get damaged. Your watercraft faces a range of threats every time you take it out on the water, including collisions, grounding and nicks. Over time, these impacts can lead to problems such as blistering, delamination and water osmosis.
Marine-grade epoxy resin is reliable, durable and versatile. Furthermore, it outperforms polyester resin every time.
Boat repairs are costly. Accordingly, it makes sense to learn how to fix small problems.
Marine-Grade Epoxy Resin Can Save the Day
Marine-grade wood sealer is an excellent resin. It works exceptionally well for wetting out surfaces as well as a coating. It also has exceptional curative characteristics.
Epoxy resin also resists micro-cracking. Additionally, it’s an excellent moisture barrier.
Epoxy sticks to many materials, including wood, metal and cured polyester laminate. It also creates a strong bond with graphite.
Boaters routinely use epoxy to repair structural damage. In time, they become boat repair experts. You too can learn how to use epoxy to keep your boat in tip-top shape, with a little practice.
After using epoxy, you can apply hardener that will enable it to cure in temperatures of 40-degrees and up. Furthermore, extra epoxy will last several years on your shelf.
Epoxy is also safer. Polyester resin creates a strong, toxic odor. It’s also highly flammable.
Epoxy resin, however, produces fewer fumes. Also, most epoxies can withstand temperatures of up to 150-degrees.
Polyester resin is more difficult to use. It takes some practice to get it right.
However, polyester resin has been around for a long time. Resultantly, many people believe that polyester resin is the right agent for boating repairs. Nevertheless, you’ll find that epoxy resin is safer and much easier to work with compared to polyester resin.
You Can Count on Fiberglass Epoxy Resin
Epoxy resin emerged on the boating scene in the mid-80s. Before then, most people fixed their boats using polyester resin. Typically, only those with a lot of experience working with it got it right.
Some boating experts suggest that the larger the repair, the more important it is that you use epoxy resin. The concern here is over shrinkage.
With small repairs, shrinkage is minimal. However, with more substantial repairs, shrinkage will create stress before you even place a working load on the repaired area.
Because of the history of polyester resin, many people ask if it’s right to use it for boat repairs. Polyester resin has a long history in the boating community. Resultantly, there’s a lot of misinformation still flying around about whether the use polyester or epoxy resin.
Roughly three and a half decades ago, boat makers built excessively thick hulls, compared to today’s models. Modern boat hulls are much thinner and more flexible.
Because of this, they’re also more challenging to repair. Polyester resin cannot meet the repair standard needed for today’s thin, modern hulls.
How to Repair a Fiberglass Boat
It can cost a lot to take your boat to a marina to have it repaired. With practice and research, however, you can do it yourself.
When you pay a marina to repair your boat hull, half of the expense is typically for labor. There are repairs, however, where this isn’t the case.
There are some minor repairs you can do yourself for a couple of hundred dollars that will cost $2,000 or $3,000 at the repair shop. In these instances, it makes sense to invest sweat equity into maintaining your boat.
Before you begin, remove any numbers or pinstripes from the damaged area with a heat gun. Next, prepare any deep gouges by cutting a U-shaped groove with a high-speed die grinder.
Now, you need to prepare the filler. Stir it until it has the texture of peanut butter.
You want to overfill the gouges so that there is a slight bulge over the damaged area. You need to sand this area down after it cures.
Now, you’ll need to coat the affected area with a hardener. Finally, buff the repair area to a beautiful shine.
Working With Epoxy Resin
Epoxy resin is great for wetting out fiberglass. Working with polyester resin compound, however, is similar to spreading butter on toast.
You’ll need to do a lot of smoothing to get an even, consistent coating when using polyester resin. You typically have to work with a foam roller or brush or a metal paddle roller.
Alternatively, epoxy resin is like working with warm butter. It does most of the smoothing for you.
With epoxy resin, simply apply it to the damaged area, and it smooths out naturally. The resin tends to go right where you want it and bond with the fibers of your hull.
Learn More About Boat Maintenance
Marine-grade epoxy resin is an excellent choice for repairing today’s fiberglass boats, compared to polymer resin. It has exceptional adhesive qualities.
It lays out in a thin film that cures in cooler temperatures, and it will last in your shop for a long time until you’re ready to use it.
Thousands of boat owners use epoxy resin to repair their hulls successfully. It’s safe and easy to work with. With a little practice, you can too!
You can save a lot of coin by learning how to perform essential boat maintenance. Stay in the know. Visit TheBetterBoat.com to learn more about taking care of your craft.