Yes, so your highly durable fiberglass boat has finally given in to the test of time, and now you need to have some repairs done. Well, such situations are nothing new in the boating world. Fiberglass boats – like every other boat – get damaged.
It is simply one of the many inevitabilities of using a boat! Regardless of how careful you may think yourself to be, collisions and groundings cause everything from small nicks to more profound structural damage, not to mention the longer-term issues of water osmosis, delamination, and blistering.
Lon story short, there is never shying away from your boat getting damaged; what you can do, however, is to find the best way around its repair, so that you can further prolong your boat’s life span while also getting the optimum performance from it.
To this end, we introduce to you the ultimate fix for your fiberglass boat repair – Epoxy Resin.
By now, I’m sure you’re no stranger to resins, especially with polyester resins being such an automatic response to boat repairs for many years now. However, epoxies are simply more than a match for polyester resins.
It’s versatile, strong, and reliable. With hulls finally becoming thinner, lighter, flexible, and more sophisticated, repairs have become much harder – especially with traditional polyester resin. In comes epoxy!
So, below is a list of reasons why epoxy is such a great fit for all fiberglass boat repairs
Epoxy is a great adhesive
With modern boat designs coming with flexible composite fiberglass, there is really no way one can have a complete repair to a damaged boat without using a resin with strong adhesive properties.
Unlike polyester resins, epoxy creates an incredibly resilient bond with fiberglass – even when you only apply a thin film – thereby giving your boat a lasting repair. Epoxy binds your broken fiberglass and coats the damaged part in a hard, nearly impervious shell—making for very strong repair.
Ideal for wetting out fiberglass
Ask anyone who’s ever tried to wet out their fiberglass boat with polyester resin, and they’ll tell you how frustrating the experience is.
Not only would you have to put in a great amount of effort to get an even, consistent coating, but you’ll also need to either get a foam roller or metal paddle to make sure the job is done. With epoxies, however, it’s all cherry and cheese – the epoxy does the work for you.
All you have to do is brush the affected surface you want to wet out, leave it, and the resin will get to the right places and move straight into the fibers, which means less effort and time.
Epoxy works at a range of temperature
Imagine you repairing your fiberglass, and you’re told that the recommended temperature to work at is 15 0 C or higher, how would you feel? What if the recommended temperature is not achievable at the given time? Do you halt your project and wait it out? Far from it!
Those were the worries associated with using polyester resins. With epoxies, however, you need not stick with any given temperature as you can work and cure your epoxy at a different range of temperatures.
Ability to control the curing process
Yes, any resin can give you the temporary fix you desire on your fiberglass boat, but what happens when curing sets in? Are you able to adjust how fast or slow your resin cures; does it get cured spontaneously, or it requires an additional cost of curing?
Another great advantage that comes with using epoxy is the ability to control its curing. Yes, epoxy resins normally get cured at room temperature but depending on where you choose to fix your boat, you can adjust the curing temperature to whatever suits your project.
In fact, with the newest heating blanket technology in the market today, curing epoxies are now easier than ever.
For your boat epoxy curing, these state-of-the-art heating blankets distribute heat evenly through the entire material application, while helping you to achieve the cure you desire at such a great speed, thereby saving you cost and time in the process.
There is a long-standing concern about how polyester resin becomes sticky and tacky when used as a thin film. This concern is alleviated by epoxies.
Even when applied as a thin film, epoxy works as an adhesive, coating, and laminating resin, thereby giving you a much stronger repair, with a lesser likelihood of micro-cracks developing.
Epoxy shrinks less
As soon as curing sets in, polyester shrinks due to the evaporation of the styrene molecules. While this might not seem like a big deal when you’re making small fixes, it suddenly becomes a major problem when you’re repairing a surface with a larger area.
The shrinkage adds stress to the repair, thereby putting pressure on the adhesive. Epoxy, on the other hand, shrinks far less, which means that there is no stress on the repair, even as you tow your boat back into the water.