Cover Photo: The intricate plank layout of ZATARA’s finished teak-covered cockpit, before the hardware was reinstalled.
The Zatara refit project began two years ago when my partner Steve Gallo (a mortgage banker) and myself, Ken Newell (a materials engineer), decided that we wanted something to do with our spare time and money. What we didn’t realize was the level to which the refit project would absorb every weekend and every non-critical dollar we had and cause our significant others to chastise us for our obsessive behavior. Continue reading →
Above: We mixed and applied a third coat thickened with 406 Colloidal Silica Filler to create the texture for the non-skid finish on the deck.
This racing season onboard Triple Threat has been filled with the usual mix of tedium, laughs, and excitement. It’s a good thing when the exciting part is due to close racing and fast downwind surfing-it’s a bad thing if the excitement occurs when the foredeck crew nearly goes overboard because the deck is wet and the non-skid finish has the texture of a Slip n’ Slide! I’m happy to report no instances of skidding off the foredeck this year, as there had been in years past, because this year the non-skid finish was brand new. Continue reading →
Above: Sanding the bonding surface is important to good adhesion with epoxy.
“Cleanliness is next to Godliness,” the old expression goes. This is certainly true when preparing a surface for an epoxy application. The surface has to be clean to begin with or there may be adhesion problems. But often, our good intentions with respect to cleaning a surface result in contaminates deposited on the surface. Below are some potential surface contaminates, ways to avoid them, and an almost foolproof method to determine if a surface is clean or contaminated. Continue reading →
Above: The plywood/epoxy sump cover, created by Richard Jobe. It will be buried under pea stone but we think it’s pretty nice looking nevertheless.
Richard Jobe was faced with having a sump located in the middle of a prominent landscaped area in front of his Newburgh, Indiana home. His solution was to build a sump cover out of plywood and epoxy. This way it would be light enough for one person to handle, strong enough to hold the weight of half a foot of pea stone, and water-resistant enough to survive being buried under landscaping.
He made the sump cover from one sheet of ¾” plywood, epoxied together and well coated with WEST SYSTEM® 105 Resin®/207 Special Clear Hardener®. The sump will be mostly hidden under the landscaping but readily accessible, when necessary, by raking back the pea stone.
Richard’s front yard sump without its cover.
The plywood/epoxy sump cover nearing completion.
The completed sump cover. It will be under pea gravel and obscured by landscaping.
Epoxy coatings that will be exposed to sunlight need to be protected, as ultraviolet light will degrade epoxy over time. Richard’s plan to rake pea stone over the sump cover is sufficient to shade the epoxy coating from the sun’s UV rays. An alternative would be to paint the epoxied surface or apply a UV-protective varnish over it.
Above: The pool pump repair was 100% effective four months later.
Barry Bew, a sailing instructor at Arethusa Venture Centre, Gravesend, Kent, UK, used his experience as a plant engineer to make an emergency repair to a swimming pool circulating pump. The pump was leaking at joints between the 3″ ABS plastic inlet and discharge pipes and the cast iron pump body. Continue reading →
Above: After installing the bow thruster, the fairing compound is sealed with epoxy, and bottom paint is applied to the boat’s exterior.
Island Heights, New Jersey architect, John B. Wilson, needed to install a bow thruster in his 26′ Albermarle sport fisherman, using WEST SYSTEM® Epoxy products. The toughest part of the job was cutting through the 1″ solid hull laminate. After trying several tools, he had success with a Roto Zip™ with a ½” carbide bit by making two ½” deep passes. The only other difficult job was cutting away a portion of the floor in the storage area under the V-berth to make room for the 5″ diameter thrust tube. Continue reading →
Above: The Biloxi lugger Alligator. Bob usually cruises at 9.5 knots and averages about 3.5 mpg. Alligator turns out to be fast, safe, comfortable, and fun.
About ten years ago my wife, Ching, and I decided we wanted a comfortable, easy-to-handle, cruising boat suitable for exploring shallow coastal areas. We’d missed this when we lived aboard our deep draft sailboat 21 years ago. We looked at a lot of boats and decided that we would try a powerboat this time. We liked the features found on Biloxi Luggers, also known as “Chandeleur Boats,” a type indigenous to the upper Gulf Coast. Continue reading →
Above: A DCPD blend laminate repaired with WEST SYSTEM Epoxy is tested to failure. The laminate required gross deformation before it failed, meaning epoxy is an appropriate repair material for the type of laminates common on jet skis and snowmobiles.
Gougeon Brothers recently did R&D testing on DCPD blend laminates for a manufacturer who wanted to know if WEST SYSTEM® Epoxy could effectively repair them. DCPD blend laminates are injection-molded parts made with fiberglass and dicyclopentadiene (DCPD) blended polyester resin that included an internal mold release agent. The hoods and decks for many jet skis and snowmobiles are made with this material.
Above: With her damaged bulkheads replaced, the Evelyn 32-2 sailboat RUSH is back in action. Several weeks later, the new bulkheads proved they could handle the stress of a heavy knockdown and a major storm during the infamous 2002 Chicago to Mackinac race.
If you race a sailboat long and hard enough, it eventually will reveal its weaknesses, sometimes violently. My friends and I race an Evelyn 32-2 called Rush. Less than a month before the 2002 Mackinaw races, we were competing in the Saginaw Bay Yacht Racing Association, Gravelly Shoals race. Throughout the race, the wind had been building and we were a little overpowered with a full main and 150% headsail. We had completed about 45 miles of the 50-mile race when the starboard chainplate decided it had enough and pulled out of the bulkhead. Continue reading →
Above: To simplify mixing G/5 Resin and Hardener for a large project, Grant made a carrying pallet with sixteen holes, sized to hold 1-ounce mixing cups (pill cups purchased at a food service outlet). The pallet was covered with duct tape so glue drips could be peeled away. Note that a mini cupcake pan could be dedicated to this kind of task as well.
Many of us at Gougeon Brothers experiment with WEST SYSTEM® products on personal projects at home as well as at work. We often push products and techniques beyond the limits recommended in our literature. Sometimes the experiment fails, sometimes we discover something very useful. Continue reading →