Here at GBI we’re not just your average epoxy “retailer.” We are the leading provider of quality epoxy products and service. Quality epoxy as in; we dream a big, sticky, epoxy dream, research it, develop it and produce it. Service as in; packed within our 20,000(ish) square foot walls is a wealth of knowledge and experience so vast that it has enabled us to educate hundreds of people worldwide on the features and benefits of West System® epoxy. Spanning from A to Z….Alaska to Zimbabwe. . Yeah, I know. Alaska. Mind. Blown. Continue reading →
I hear it said increasingly often in the last couple years as I meet people during my travels “Who will be the next generation of tradesmen? Who is going to work on our cars, boats and homes?” This is a serious lament posed by today’s tradesmen, potential employers who have a very hard time finding apprentices and workers to learn their trade. The U.S. is in dire need of men and women willing to work with their hands and develop the skills necessary to build and repair all our…stuff. Continue reading →
For some sailors, there is a common maintenance ritual that occurs every spring—repairing cracks where the leading edge of the ballast keel meets the hull. This annually reoccurring crack is sometimes referred to as a “Catalina Smile” because it often occurs on Catalina sailboats.
The crack can form due to a number of causes but probably the most common reason is the hull isn’t as stiff as when it was new. Continue reading →
Early in March of 2012, a local boat owner called our technical line and asked about repairing his cast iron wing keel with WEST SYSTEM® Epoxy. He asked if a technical advisor would be willing to take a look at the cracks on his keel and recommend the best way to repair it. After looking at the boat I gave the customer a call back and recommended using G/flex® Epoxy. The advantage of G/flex is that it is a toughened system that has a tensile elongation of more than 30 percent, which would prevent cracks from reappearing in the fairing compound. The boat owner then asked if I Continue reading →
The amount of wood used in a production fiberglass boat is significant; it is used for many things such as stringers, bulkheads, floors, and backers. Higher quality production boats often use marine grade plywood for these applications but it can still be damaged by long-term exposure to water. Continue reading →
Many of our EPOXYWORKS articles feature projects that our customers have spent years building and represent major personal accomplishments. I also believe we have many customers who, like me, use WEST SYSTEM Epoxy simply to keep an older boat in good repair.
The following are examples of repairs and small projects that I have completed on my personal boat over the last ten years. These would apply to many production fiberglass boats. Since WEST SYSTEM Epoxy has a shelf life measured in years, it is easy to keep it on your shelf and tackle these tasks when it’s convenient. Continue reading →
Built in 1957, my 15′ Larson Thunderhawk Jr. is a fiberglass runabout reborn. I launched her into the waters of Grass Lake, in Fox Lake, Illinois in late August 2010. But before this happened, the boat underwent a major restoration. I purchased this boat in August of 2009, after it sat idle for several years, collecting dirt, rainwater, leaves and snow. All that remained was its shell,
I purchased this boat in August of 2009, after it sat idle for several years, collecting dirt, rainwater, leaves and snow. All that remained was its shell, motor, and a rusted trailer. I found a group of Larsen enthusiasts who helped me locate my boat’s original specs, drawings, and
New for 2012, WEST SYSTEM is offering three specialized boat repair kits designed with the do-it-yourselfer in mind. Each contains the right materials and instructions for making lasting repairs and retails for around $30 at your local stocking WEST SYSTEM dealer. Continue reading →
The Tartan Ten, Flags, sustained port side core damage in a race course collision. The original repair, a simple patch applied over the damaged skin, was improper and ineffective. Within a short time there was distortion and movement in the hull side at the repair area. Water penetrated the skin and saturated the core, which soon began to rot. A significant crack reappeared and even more water went into the balsa core. Eventually, the boat was nearly unusable. Continue reading →
This repair method is tailored to fixing individual gel coat blisters prior to bottom painting. The advantage of this method is it can repair blisters on hulls recently pulled from the water or hulls that have been out for some time. Continue reading →