Epoxy treatment

skarsten

Medium Skarsten scraper

There were no signs that Lottie had received any treatment below the waterline other than antifouling which was fairly thick and uneven. As she had been out of the water for almost a year the hull was thought to be fairly dry so the antifouling was removed with the intention of applying epoxy.  The antifouling removal by dry scraping was dirty and laborious but not too difficult.

Mostly we used medium and long Skarsten-type scrapers – with the long one being especially useful on large flattish areas. It worked well if held parallel to the hull with the handle in one hand and the other pressing down on it to give it a good bite into the brittle paint surface which often came off in small sheets leaving a completely clean, shiny gelcoat.

striphull

Hull after stripping

Once stripped of all antifouling the hull gelcoat was found to be remarkably sound.  It needed filling in a few places – mostly due to nicks and scratches caused when scraping.  Though the P-bracket also needed  epoxy filler around it where some raw grp laminate was exposed when the P-bracket had been replaced by a boatyard in 1997.  The gelcoat was then rubbed down with 80 grit paper and cleaned with solvent as per the West Epoxy instructions.

epoxy

After epoxying

Three coats of West Epoxy were applied by roller. Successive coats were applied as soon as each was dry enough to be overcoated.  We did this on an extremely hot, dry day and found we could only mix a very small amount at a time or it overheated and boiled.  Pigments were added to enable us to ensure full coverage by each coat.

The final coat was covered in International Interprotect to provide a  chemically bonded primed surface that could later be antifouled without the need for further abrasion.

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