Considering a sailing adventure to Mexico? Just look at how engrossed that guy is in the book! Grab a copy of the Unauthorized Guide to Sailing in Mexico, and you too can find yourself sitting on a Mexican dock with an oversized (but very attractive) hat.

Unauthorized Guide to Sailing in Mexico

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Entries in epoxy (2)

Monday
May102010

rot repair with epoxy

The sides of our coach roof (cabin top) are 35 year old plywood with 35 year old fiberglass above it. The portlights started to leak over the winter, and probably had a bit of a leak before that but this winter was one of the wettest San Diego has seen in a long time.

I've yanked them all off, and sure enough there's a significant amount of delaminated and rotten plywood lurking behind the fiberglass. Fiberglassed over wood seems prone to this type of behavior. The relatively tough fiberglass skin doesn't crack or swell until significant damage has been happening for a long period of time. With simple painted wood, the paint will crack quickly and the damage much more localized.

For this type of work I just let it dry out in the sun, get a lot of liquid epoxy in, and then start building up with epoxy combined with fairing filler. Get it to finger smooth, a final coat of liquid epoxy, 220 sand it, prime it, and paint it!

Over on thekeel.com, Mac added some valuable tips on just how nasty a cabintop leak can be.

I'll post another picture when it's completed, but I thought an image of a halfway finished product might be helpful for some folks. Also, I'd recommend using a sanding block instead of power tools for the final fairing. The hand block (which has a comfy rubber grip) will do a good job of an even sanding. After as much work as it takes to repair something like this, it's worth taking a few more hours to get the sanding right.

And remember to put a final coat of liquid epoxy over the lighter fairing. The lighter fairing compound isn't as strong to dents, will make the final product smoother and more water resistant.

Monday
May032010

plastic syringes: the hunt for the lowest price

 This might fall into the category of "penny wise and pound foolish" (where you care about little price savings and take focus off the big stuff). Fair enough, but either way I've made it my personal mission to find the cheapest plastic syringes for epoxy.

If you've never used them before, plastic syringes allow you to squirt epoxy into little holes, along horizontal surfaces, and across gaps. Very handy. But you can only use them once, epoxy being what it is and syringes having the tolerances that they do.

I made a post over on thekeel.com where I found some on Amazon.com for about $1/piece, but there's shipping on top of that. The image in this post shows a 12 pack from West Systems for $16.33, bought through San Diego Marine Exchange, so about $1.30 a piece.

Note that West Systems indicates these are "re-usable". They very well might be to a point, but they're not selling them in 12 packs because most folks out there are talking the time to clean them afterwards. If you have one left and a big job to do, clean them out and re-use. Otherwise, buy them in bulk.