Hi All,

My first post, hope i am in the right spot.

I have removed the bottom, replaced some ribs and am ready to replace some of the 1/4 inch side damage. 

My question for opinion. Can I epoxy over everything, and then decide how to finish with paint or varnish or a combo?

Thanks, I have learned a bunch from your discussions along with input from Greg Tatum himself.


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If you're doing a varnish finish, be neat with the epoxy.  Varnish looks different over epoxy than over bare wood...so either mask off the scarfs when you epoxy them and keep the outside of the wood all dry and ready for varnish...or sand everything, epoxy everything, and varnish over all the epoxy.

Paint won't care as much.  Sand the epoxy with 150 grit so the primer will adhere, and paint away.

Hope this answers your question!

    Thanks Shawn

  I  need to fill some checking plywood and will do that with epoxy+wood dust.   I might as well add another layer of epoxy after the first thickened exterior batch. I planned to epoxy the floor before i install it, so i might as well do the whole insides as well. Will paint the inside and leave the seats and rails bright. In other words do your plan B, varnish and paint over epoxy.

     What would you do on the gunwales/rails?

    Thanks, Scott


Scott, make sure you use a non blushing epoxy or you will be on the hook for a lot of extra work when it comes to prepping for paint and varnish. System 3 silver tip is great for this, west system is not unless you use the 207 and even that can be problematic at times. always use a primer before paint and clean all your surfaces well before paint and varnish.......impurities in your surface will destroy a finish job and leave you doing a lot of extra, scraping, cleaning, and sanding (rework) to hopefully fix what turned out crappy in the first place. Many people on this forum have had issues with this problem and I believe it is mostly due to not following the manufacturers recommendations on the products so it is never a bad idea to always test compatibility before you tackle a big project like this. I have never had finish problems in 20 years of building wood boats other than a few "fish eyes" in the surface due to impurities in the surface that I missed in my prepwork and that can account to being as meticulous as possible with research, reading instructions, and testing your products beforehand. good luck and have fun with it

Blush is a nasty pain in the butt.

One doesn't have to use non-blushing epoxy.  It comes off quite easily with warm soapy water...wipe the majority off while it's still hot/wet and it will come off on the rag.  A final hot water rinse/wipe will get the rest.

Sanding also generally removes it, but gums up your sandpaper.

The faster your epoxy cures, the less blush rises to the surface.

DO read the mfrs instructions, and DO test compatibility!!!

I don't like that plywood checks.  I am glassing EVERY surface in my dory except for my gunnels.  I think epoxy + wood dust is just a bandaid.  I'd recommend using thinned epoxy to really saturate, or use small quantities of warmed epoxy and get it soaked into the wood to bond.  Filling the crack with wood dust is just cosmetic.

Thinned loses strength (5% solvent reduces like 30% strength), and hot epoxy kicks fast and can turn your mixing cup quickly into smoking goo...not easy, but worthwhile.

A traditional mix for gunnels is Linseed-Turpentine-Varnish.  I did this on my oars for years, but have since gone to epoxy then varnish.

I'm planning on hot penetrating epoxy and spar varnish.

Thanks Shawn +Jayson,

I do not want to do something that reduces my options. If one coat of epoxy does not seem adequate. I can add another for the checking. Skip the wood flour.

   To avoid epoxy running down the sides, do you tip the boat so the surface is more horizontal?

Thanks, Scott

Yes, to prevent epoxy sags, do it on a horizontal surface.

If you have to di it vertically, do several thin coats...or let it sag, use a cabinet scraper to get the big boogs, fair with a longboard, and do a thin final fill coat with a squeegee to only fill the dips.

Sounds good, thanks for the ideas.


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