Did you know that the cry of an osprey is actually quite offensive? I forgive them though, they make up for emitting annoying sounds by being baddasses and ripping fish to shreds. Anyway, that’s not really the point of this post. I thought I’d talk a bit about all of the lovely compounds involved in refitting an aging fiberglass sailboat.
West System 1o5 Epoxy Resin
The star of the show right here boys and girls. Epoxy resin is about twice as expensive as polyester resin, which is what is used in most fiberglass lay-up, but it makes a much stronger physical bond with the area being repaired. West System is the industry standard, I’ve found it to be easy to work with.
West System 205 Fast Hardener
Epoxy is a two-part resin, this is the stuff that’s mixed in to kick off the chemical reaction. The fast hardener is good down to about 40 degrees F, once it gets warmer I’ll switch over to the slow hardener.
407 Fairing Filler
Red-ish purple dust looking stuff, you mix it in with epoxy to form a putty. Sands easily.
404 High Density Filler and 406 Colloidal Silica
These are more epoxy additives, used when you want the repair to be a bit stronger.
Solvent used to clean brushes and prep surfaces for epoxy work.
Methyl ethyl ketone
Does pretty much the same thing as acetone, evaporates a bit slower.
Hard-core cleaning agent. Haven’t actually used this stuff yet but probably will when it comes time to paint the topsides.
I wrote about this a bit in Better Living Through Chemistry , the “green” version doesn’t have methylene chloride in it so it’s safe to use on fiberglass. It also doesn’t work all that well, probably because there are almost 50 years worth of paint to cut through.
Loosener of stuck screws. Like WD-40 on steroids.
Included in the purchase of the boat! Used to kill wasps. Apparently also useful as an alternative to pepper spray.
Spring is here folks, hopefully it warms up quick. Warmer temperatures mean setting epoxy and setting oyster larvae! Can you tell I’m excited for the change of seasons? Until next time.