WEST on epoxy on boats
From: Tom Pawlak
Sent: Wednesday, May 02, 2012 9:57 AM
Subject: RE: [BULK] Fw: [bolger] Re: Lightweight marine ply
I hope this helps. Let me know if I can be of further service.
WEST SYSTEM® Epoxy is an excellent moisture barrier but it is not an absolute barrier to water vapor. Well formulated high-solids (no volatile ingredients added) epoxies, like WEST SYSTEM Epoxy, are significantly better at slowing moisture passage than most other coatings. As good as the epoxy is, if wooden structures sealed with it are exposed to extremely humid conditions over a period of months or years, moisture levels in the wood will increase. Having said that, well designed wooden boats glued together with it and sealed with it have more than stood the test of service and time. There are many examples. Here are a few:
The early Bruce King designs Whitefin, a 90 sloop, http://www.artesedesign.com/sailing/whitefin.html and Whitehawk, a 105 ketch, http://www.boattest.com/resources/view_news.aspx?newsid=4232 have been sailing the oceans of the world for 35+ years and they are still going strong. Several years ago we received word from the owners of Whitefin- the oldest of the two, saying a 2 diameter plug taken from the bottom of the hull (a new through hull fitting had been installed) looked and smelled like fresh wood. No water stain or signs of distress had occurred in the wood after all that time.
Tenacious, a 212 wood epoxy ship launched 12 years ago, was built to Lloyds of London standards using WEST SYSTEM Epoxy. Epoxy was used to glue the hull laminations together as well as used to glue all of the frames and laminated timbers throughout the ship. It was also used to seal all wood considered structural throughout the ship. Tenacious is classified as a 50 to 100 year ship by Lloyds.
RINA, another classification society, recognizes wood/epoxy construction as an excellent construction method. They monitored the construction of Scheherazade, a 154 ketch, built with wood and WEST SYSTEM Epoxy http://www.hodgdonyachts.com/scheherazade.shtml.
A number of other boats built with our products are now over 35 years old. I'm happy to report that majority of these boats are still in beautiful shape. Meade Gougeon's (the founder of Gougeon Brothers, Inc.) trimaran Adagio was glued together and sealed with epoxy over 40 years ago. In that time, Adagio has required remarkably little upkeep. Not too long ago she won the Port Huron to Mackinac sailboat race on Lake Huron in spite of her age.