Thursday, 9 March 2017

Job #12 - Cockpit hatches....

Progress at last...   I've prevaricated long enough over this one!

First cover almost done...  look at the shine on that...

Not without it's worries - the epoxy kit I'm using is a couple of years old (with a use by date on the pack of April 2015 ) and at some point in time or another, even though I've kept it in doors, it must have laid on its side as most of the hardener had disappeared into the bag.... either way, progress, the plan is to do one side at a time, but I do the edges each time, so the board above has one coat on each surface, two on all the edges....   it hardened - success!

I've now run out of hardener and I'm planning to try some stuff I had in the garage left over from a repair on Papillon in 2011 [clicky].. I'll try a test batch on a spare piece of ply first...  but for the record, and in case anyone has a similar job to do and is interested..
  1.  I used West System Epoxy - 205 hardener (the quicker one) and 105 resin
  2. Mixed 5:1 as recommended, I find it easier to do this by weight than using syringes and the like -  I used 10g of hardener, 50g of resin for a total of about 60g - that was enough for a coat on one side, and the edges..
  3. Gloves I already had
  4. Brushes I find it easier to use once and chuck - Toolstation sell 2" disposables for 20 or 30p each..  you get a few discarded bristles but they're easy enough to get rid of..
I'll do another coat on each side and move to the next one....


  1. Use by dates on epoxy is new to me - I have used stuff that must be decades old (funny colour and all) but has worked!

    Weighing the mixture isn't something I have done before but I might try it next time. Disposable brushes a must - the cost of acetone or whatever you clean with would cost more that a couple of new disposable brushes.

  2. Alden - I tested the 10 year old stuff last night and despite the fact it had gone dark brown it still set so I'm good to go... the weighing thing was something I read about somewhere, probably the PBO Forum, and I can confirm it's much easier and less faff... I have a set of those scales you can set to zero which makes it even easier...

    1. PS. Alden - let me pick your brains... how long before I coat it with something UV proof, and any tips on surface preparation and/or what to use? I quite like the patina so may go for a tough varnish rather than paint this time...

  3. It doesn't take long in the sun for the glossy fiberglass finish to dull, and it will deteriorate over time. Varnish is very susceptible to UV light especially so here in Northland NZ which has some of the highest UV rates in the world - less so in the UK but it will still make an impact on varnish or unprotected surfaces - but you could try a tough varnish - make it more than 3 coats. I personally would put something over the resin finish some time soon whether paint or varnish.
    If you go for paint - whether it's single or two pot - it's the usually drill, sand, primer, undercoat (several high build coats sanded if you want an immaculate surface) and finishing coat.
    If these are cockpit hatches that are going to have heavy foot traffic perhaps a safe non tread surface would be appropriate? - but at the end of the day you are the skipper!!

  4. ..... whoops that's "usual drill" ...... : > )