First, I apologize if this has been covered elsewhere - I searched first, but couldn't find my particular issue.
Situation: I'm in Portland, OR, refinishing a 1966 Calkins Bartender - ply on frame construction. 19' trailer boat. I think the plywood is fir. The polyester based fiberglass on the the boat's bottom was cracked and delaminated in places, so I peeled it off, sanded the bare wood smooth with 80 grit, and am now attempting to apply a marine epoxy/fiberglass replacement bottom. The hull is plenty strong, so I'm really only looking for adhesion, abrasion resistance, and waterproofing from the epoxy.
The trouble I'm having is that the epoxy goes on fine, but about 15 minutes into the cure, it starts to crawl and fisheye, resulting in a very rough surface with ridges, valleys, craters, and rims. When it first happened, I sanded it all off down to the bare wood, then washed with acetone and papertowels - 4 total washes - and re-applied. It happened again. No change. Next, I took it back down to bare wood and scrubbed different areas with soap & water, TSP & water, acetone, and in one spot nothing at all - just sanded clean. Put on new epoxy, with the same result in each area. Everything I've read says that fisheye comes from surface contamination, but I've gone to great lengths to avoid that - new brushes, new mixing containers, new mixing sticks, no waxed containers, gloved hands only, etc.
I'm using TAP Plastics Marine Epoxy with slow hardener, which I'm told is a good product. I'm well within the temperature range of the epoxy, and it cures and hardens nicely - just not flat! I called TAP and they were at a loss - but they also said their epoxy expert had gone home for the day, and I should call back tomorrow. I'll do that. I've not tried any other brand of epoxy, and I'm a little leary of spending the money for what amounts to trial and error.
Here's a link to a couple pics of the boat and a close-up to a patch of lumpy epoxy: https://picasaweb.google.com/rjtange...eat=directlink
(sorry, I tried to attach it here, but it says the file size is too big?)
I've exhausted my very small bag of tricks and am hoping someone here has experienced and conquered a problem like this! As a side note, I'm utterly amazed at how this stuff sticks to absolutely everything except what I want it to! It's on my glasses, my watch, my fingers, the steering wheel of my truck and my garage floor. No fisheye in any of those places!