Query about tape line and epoxy

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7 months 2 weeks ago #39509 by Oopsla2
I am fixing up a Epic V10 (elite). Today I was looking at my friend's Think Ion (ultimate). It looks like they finished the boat with epoxy over the tape line. This makes for a sweet and clean looking hull. Is there and reason not to do this on a V10 (besides weight)? I am using West Systems 205/207.

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7 months 2 weeks ago #39515 by Ranga
Nothing wrong with the West system epoxy, you have however only mentioned the hardeners, they will not work by themselves, they will need 105 base resin to be mixed with them. 

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7 months 2 weeks ago #39516 by Oopsla2
My bad, I bought 105 and 207. I never saw a new epic elite. My apologies for the questions. I'm just scratching my head on how thick a coat of epoxy. Do I thin it (I have MEK solvent). Do I coat the tape lines. Pretty sure they didn't but as I said it looks clean on the THINK ION.
My initial idea was a thin coat just on the bottom and having the tape line taped off. I never thinned epoxy which I am shy about as I do not want to destroy the integrity/bonding. Ah well. We shall see. Cheers.

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7 months 2 weeks ago #39517 by tve
Replied by tve on topic Query about tape line and epoxy
Epoxy is not really something to be thinned... And MEK is most likely not the appropriate thinner. You may want to read what West Systems has to say: www.epoxyworks.com/index.php/thinning-west-system-epoxy/

BTW, I have the strong feeling that you're trying to ruin your surfski more than anything else. If you're not having damage to your surfski then I'd leave the epoxy in the cabinet and spend the time in the surfski on the water paddling ;-) If it ain't broke, don't fix it!

Good luck!

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7 months 2 weeks ago #39518 by Oopsla2
That is a good read. Thank you TVE. I discussed the ski to staff at EPIC. They suggested me using MEK (they actually gave me multiple approaches w/ and w/out). I was hesitant to thin it and open to suggestions such as yours. I don't know if it is broke or not. The previous owner said it was taking on water. The rudder lines/tubes are good. Pretty much all of the black gelcoat failed. It was just falling off. I have been fixing that but none of that would let water in. Figured it is the hull. I thought a thin coat of epoxy would solve the problem.

I have some heart issues that have me a bit sidelined for a month or two (hopefully) which I have used this time to fix up this old ski. That is were I am at. I have my V14 to take out. Just not pushing the water as much. 

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7 months 2 weeks ago #39519 by tve
Replied by tve on topic Query about tape line and epoxy
Did you do a soap bubble test to find out where it's leaking, if it really is?

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7 months 2 weeks ago - 7 months 2 weeks ago #39520 by Fath2o
Hey guys, long time no post. Thought I would chime in here since this topic seems to come up a lot. Here is the way I repaired leaks in the seam of my recently aquired Swordy (thanks MCImes). My goal was to make this a quick and easy 1/2 day project.
First:  Dry out your boat!
Second : Gather the necessary supplies for the repair, I am using a variety of composite products here: Due to the rigidity and and stiffness, I chose to use Carbon fiber tape (vs fibergass) that I had bought for repairs on my old ski. I thicken my epoxy with colloidal silica and colored it with black graphite powder that gives a nice smooth glossy finish and UV protection.  

Third: Identify leaks. Some were pretty obvious due to salt crystals at leaks, but did leak test any way. Only want to do this once. Pressurize hull with your lungs and plug vent/drain etc. Spray hull and areas most likely to leak with soapy water.    
 
Next: Clean areas to be patched with acetone. Double tape area and sand moderately.   .
Here's where I skip typical steps, Cut carbon to fit inside taped area. You wont be able to see seam with black resin to cut with razor, which I ended up having to very carefully do anyway, but, not to much., Apply a thin coat of the slightly thickened epoxy to fill the uneven surface and apply carbon strip. Saturate carbon (or fiberglass) with epoxy, I use throw away brushes. Next, to avoid the typical sanding and finish coat. apply wax paper and thoroughly smooth with dry brush then squeeze out excess resin with your hands. I actually created a vacuum by sucking on the vent tube and plugging it to help draw resin into the seam.
Let it dry, BUT, not fully cure. About an hour and a half or two in the sun with regular cure or what is commonly referred to as slow cure. All relative. I some times use epoxy that takes 24 hours to cure. Have a fresh razor blade to assist with the tape and wax paper removal.
 
So it is not a perfect glossy finish repair, but, it is a stronger than new leak free repair and gets you back in the water in one day.
 
 
Of course there are dozens of ways to make these types of repairs. This just what worked for me. Hope some one finds this useful.

 
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Last edit: 7 months 2 weeks ago by Fath2o.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Watto

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7 months 2 weeks ago #39521 by Fath2o
Just thought I would add something here. This ski was covered in reflective tape. It took quite some time to remove the tape with a heat gun. I was struggling to find a solvent that would remove the adhesive, Goof off, acetone, MEK etc. were useless.
I was just recently introduced to the use of gasoline to remove adhesive residue by a guy from Mexico who did upholstery work on my boat. That was the MAGIC elixir. Easily removed the glue, shined and polished the ski and best of all! Did not damage the factory stickers like acetone does. Just wish I had discovered this 50 years ago. Would have greatly improved my many life's projects frustrations.

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7 months 2 weeks ago #39522 by MCImes
Kirk I cant believe that boat is leaking at the seam! I had done at least 5 small fills along it already. I love Fenn's and specifically the old SFS but &*#%^*#&% do they leak from everywhere.

You got it looking good! Good tip about gasoline. Ive neve tried it but seems like it should be a hotter version of paint thinner

Current - Kai Wa'a Vega Flex & Swordfish S Carbon in Ventura County, CA
Past Boats: Epic V10g1, Stellar SRg1, Fenn XTg1, Swordfish S Glass
"When you've done something right, they wont know you've done anything at all"

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7 months 2 weeks ago #39523 by Fath2o
Yeah, It is all good Marcus. She had been on the roof of my van for awhile during a series of Santa Ana wind events and I noticed the "Crustys". Pulled the plug and about an oz. or two of water poured out. Nice and dry now. Also shaved about a half lb. or so by removing reflector tape. 

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7 months 2 weeks ago #39524 by tve
Replied by tve on topic Query about tape line and epoxy
Thanks for the suggestions and photos, Kirk!

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7 months 1 week ago #39529 by Fath2o
Your welcome Thorsten and thanks to you.

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7 months 1 week ago #39533 by Fath2o
To the OP Oopsla2, you mentioned the gel or finish coat is in bad shape. So unless I am mistaken, the older anyway, epic elites are carbon fiber hulls with a clear coat vs gel coat. I had one of the original South African skis and the hull was actually perforated with hundreds of pin holes. Apparently it was from an error in the factory lay up. I had to re-epoxy the entire hull. I did not thin the epoxy. Don't think I ever had a problem with the seams. 
Ranga would know much more than I.   Good luck!

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7 months 1 week ago #39534 by Ranga
If using West 105, no need to thin the epoxy, well any epoxy will thin out with a warmer temp. 
Lightly sand the hull but not too much as to damage the carbon. Then using a plastic squeegee, just drag the epoxy over the hull as hard as you can to give it a very thin coating. I usually drag over it with my hand palm down to remove the slight ridges at the end. leave to go hard, you will have a decent finish doing that and it will seal and pinholes.

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7 months 1 week ago #39543 by Oopsla2
Well... Ranga, I wish I had read your post before I epoxied. I followed what West Systems recommend (roll, then use a roller like a squigy. (It started breaking up.)). There was a bit more runs than I wanted and your technique would of helped with that. I sure did a lot of sanding and probably need to do more but at least the bottom half is essentially done. No thinning but a bit of cursing. In the end, I am tickled pink. She looks like a respectable hull again.
The reason I wanted to coat it is that the carbon was exposed (center section of each weave overlap was carbon). It is supposedly a G2 from 2013. I'll ask Epic what the process was then. I do not know if the clear coated or epoxied.
I masked the tape line but left room for the epoxy to saturate under the tape line since it is gapping in areas.

She'll be on the water tonight or tomorrow. The top will get done later. Ought to be much less pressure because I can do it in two small batches. 
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