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Strong Epoxy Smell Coming from Ski Interior

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1 year 2 months ago #40313 by Big Mick
Greetings all!!

I am relative newby to surf ski paddling from Sydney Australia (8 mths) and have bought a used Knysna Genius RS about 3 months ago in a glass vac lay-up to learn on. It is ex ski school (those in Sydney would probably know which one) so well used but externally looks great (for the money) and is a relatively watertight boat (when comparing to many of the Epics at the ski school I am member of that seem to take on a lot of water in the bump) - it sometimes has a bit of water in it and I am chasing down that leak/leaks with a view to getting it repaired soonish.

When I do open the bung to drain any water out, I notice a persistent strong epoxy smell coming from the interior. I look through the hole to try and see any obvious delamination or damage, but none is apparent (to my inexpert eyes at least).
The prior owner showed me one repair where the seam protector was split about 40cm forward of the cockpit but he said it had not split the join itself and looking through the bung I cannot see any obvious split. He had just tried to repair the vinyl strip itself with silicone.

Any clues as to what would cause it (short of a previous owner trying some kind of repair where the epoxy did not go off?) Could it mean something is breaking down inside the hull or the stringer is coming off? I am really unclear why it would smell that way unless there some something not right, but the boat seems fine to me in the conditions I have used it in to date.

One reason I am asking is this is I am just starting to venture into the ocean on the ski school's boats and of course want to use the Genius in the ocean too but I dont want to be out there and find it sinks under me or starts to.

Any ideas much appreciated!

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1 year 2 months ago #40315 by Ranga
First and foremost, if you want to upset any composite repairer use silicone. Whats wrong with duct tape, not messy enough?

Rant over!

There are many different materials inside a ski, hence the term composite. Resin, Fiberglass, Glue, Polystyrene, Plastic and the list goes on, not to mention the old stale water! Yes it's going to smell bad, its a closed off vessel getting hot and cold, try that with your lunch box. Epoxy smell? Not sure how you pick that one?

As for leaks, there are the obvious places, rudder cable tubes and post, venturies, could be the footplate has worn through the footwell where they touch the bottom of the footwell. It could also be pourus.

Get some soapy water and a brush and go over the ski whilst blowing into the bung hole softly, I said SOFTLY, just to get a bit of air pressure inside, you will see bubbles. You might need two people or a sealed rubber bung to close off the bung hole as the existing bung has a breather in it.

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1 year 2 months ago #40317 by Big Mick
Thanks Ranga, for the wise advice.

I guess "epoxy smell" is my lay term - whatever is causing it, it's quite volatile as when I was peering through the bung to see what I could see, it made my eyes water. I get whiffs of the same odour sometimes when just moving the ski in still air, perception I get is it's definitely coming from forward of the cockpit rather than behind it, (it is stored outdoors in a weatherproof cover and thus can get quite warm in the sun) and when I do sometimes need to empty out a leaky boat at the ski school I do not perceive a similar smell from their interior. I still wonder if the chap who sold me the boat (who claimed to not have had it long - he bought it from the school for his son, who used it twice) tried a repair somewhere that did not cure properly?

Regarding the leak, I did notice some drips coming from some small hairline cracks in the keel about 60cm aft of the bow when I had the boat up on the roof racks the other day. So I have sanded those back and filled them with a two-pack waterproof filling/bonding compound from Whitworths (JB Marine Weld) and covered the repair with some clear Gorilla tape for good measure. Did not notice any water in the boat when I used it the other day in flat water but the test will be in some bumpier conditions tomorrow - I would say if no water is inside after such a paddle, I may have found the main water ingress problem, and can see about a more permanent solution.

Will keep you all posted on how it goes and happy paddling.

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1 year 2 months ago #40318 by Big Mick
Thanks Ranga, for the wise guidance.

I guess "epoxy smell" is my lay term - whatever is causing it, it's quite volatile as when I was peering through the bung to see what I could see, it made my eyes water. I get whiffs of the same odour, sometimes when just moving the boat in still air, (it is stored outdoors in a weatherproof cover and thus can get quite warm) and when I need to empty out a leaky boat at the ski school I do not perceive a similar smell from the interior.

I will try the puff test to see if I can determine where the water may be getting in.

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1 year 2 months ago #40319 by Big Mick
OK, I am keeping the moderators busy today :).

I have made a more thorough check of the ski and now it is clear there is a pretty big softspot on the port side of the ski just forward of the cockpit. By pretty big I would estimate it to be about 20cm around, just be comparison of the feel between it and its opposite side. It is also the side the guy had used the silicone to repair the vinyl seam strip.

There is no apparent cracks here, and the gel coat integrity appears fine but what I want to know is do I need to get this repaired ASAP or can I wait a little (I have had the ski around 3 months and I am sure it was probably there the whole time).

Might explain the smells I guess if the inside is starting to deliminate and or a stringer has come loose - I can see the effected area through the bung hole and there is no apparent damage to my eye internally, but the soft spot is definitely there.

Thoughts? Repair immediately (I am not handy, would be paying for this) or can I wait a few paddles or even just leave it?

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1 year 2 months ago #40320 by [email protected]
No worries re the moderation - I just moderate the first two messages from folks who haven't posted before; it's the only reliable way to keep spammers off the forum.

We're in different time-zones - hence the delay! But your posts will appear instantly (or thereabouts) from now on...!

Rob

Currently Fenn Swordfish S, Epic V10 Double.
Previously: Think Evo II, Carbonology Zest, Fenn Swordfish, Epic V10, Fenn Elite, Red7 Surf70 Pro, Epic V10 Sport, Genius Blu, Kayak Centre Zeplin, Fenn Mako6, Custom Kayaks ICON, Brian's Kayaks Molokai, Brian's Kayaks Wedge and several others...

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1 year 2 months ago #40321 by Ranga
It is always better to get repaired ASAP but that is not always possible i.e. to get me to do a repair it's usually 8 weeks wait.

The best you can do is find the leaks and seal them with duct tape so that the repairer does not have to waste time finding them.

Keep the ski dry as possible.

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