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Thread: Epoxy alternative it West System?

  1. #1
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    Default Epoxy alternative it West System?

    I'm interested to know if anyone has experience with less expensive alternatives to West System resin and hardener. I was considering the total boat brand from Jamestown.
    Thanks in advance.
    Josh


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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Epoxy alternative it West System?

    I posted this on one of the other epoxy threads. I really like Systen 3 products. You can't go wrong ordering this $10 trial kit:

    Quote Originally Posted by StevenBauer View Post
    System 3 has a pretty cool offer on a trial kit of some of their products. $10 for the kit with free shipping until the end of March.

    Each SilverTip Series product has been formulated from the ground up, optimized for its specific application using 21st century technology. All you do is measure and mix dustless liquids and pastes. This approach makes uncompromised products possible. For 30+ years boatbuilders have had to suffer with general-purpose resins and bins of hideous powders only to come up with less than perfect compounds.
    The Test Drive contains:

    • SilverTip Laminating Epoxy: 6 fl oz.
    • SilverTip GelMagic: 3 fl oz.
    • SilverTip QuikFair: 4.5 fl oz.
    • Fiberglass tape
    • Mixing tools
    • Squeegee
    • Gloves

    We're offering FREE SHIPPING (US customers only) on this kit, so take advantage of this limited time offer.
    Limit: One kit per customer

    https://systemthree.com/collections/trial-kits/products/test-drive

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Epoxy alternative it West System?

    Lots: Duckworks; RAKA; MAS; System III; and many others. No experience with Total Boat, but my experiences with Jamestown have all been excellent.
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    https://www.facebook.com/HarborWoodworks/

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Epoxy alternative it West System?

    What are you going to use it for? Some brands are thicker than others, some penetrate and saturate better than others, some are better at gap filling, and so on.
    -Dave

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Epoxy alternative it West System?

    Josh, to directly answer your question about TotalBoat; I'm currently using it. In the past, I've used EAST System; WEST System, used the epoxy formulations from Interlux (Epiglass) and Evercoat (4:1 formulation).

    I had good service from them all.

    The standard bearer remains for me, WEST. TotalBoat, like WEST, is a 5:1 formula; yet I note that the TotalBoat is a bit slower to cure and it leaves more of an amine blush. That could be a by-product of using it in colder temperatures inside the cabin of my Microtrawler, even when using the wood fired stove to warm it up inside.....

    Take a look at Defender.Com for their SeaHawk brand epoxy hardeners and resins. Link: http://www.defender.com/product3.jsp...000&id=2612311 I am not positive of the mixture; I believe it's 5:1..... I like WEST cause a gallon is easily picked up at the local West Marine store, but if starting a boat build and in need of a lot of resin, a cheaper priced 5:1 formula might be the way to go.

    Mike

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Epoxy alternative it West System?

    Leaving aside special formulations, all 100% solids epoxies are much the same.
    Capitalism is the ideology of parasites.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Epoxy alternative it West System?

    Quote Originally Posted by PhaseLockedLoop View Post
    Leaving aside special formulations, all 100% solids epoxies are much the same.
    For this discussion, a 5:1 formula is less susceptible to fiberglass print through, that condition where the fiberglass cloth, under paint layers, will begin to show the cloth pattern after several seasons out in the weather. Sam Devlin, in his book, went through great pains to talk about this condition when building with fiberglass and epoxy..... One reason to consider the 5 or 4 to 1's over the other formula's (2:1).

    Josh, another thing to consider, if fiberglassing the entire boat hull and keeping it out in the weather: use a lighter shade of hull color, to keep the hull temperatures down, minimizing print-through. Again, Devlin, in his book, goes to great lengths talking about the effect of sunlight and heat on a dark painted hull.

    Did not want to really go much further in this, these fiberglass epoxy threads tend to become 6 page epics with people going back and forth. I can only give you what worked for me personally. For what it's worth, my Microtrawler hull and pilothouse, 5:1 epoxy/fiberglass cloth build, covered in white (pilothouse) and gray (hull) interlux epoxy primer has shown 0 print through since I last applied it.

    One week before Hurricane Sandy hit here in NJ.

    Mike

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Epoxy alternative it West System?

    I have completed a couple projects using aeromarine's 300/21 formula http://www.aeromarineproducts.com/co...price-page.htm
    at about $ 120 for a 1.5 gallon kit, with reasonable shipping rates, it was the best deal I could find about a year ago. The product worked great, good wood saturation. Needs UV protection.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Epoxy alternative it West System?

    You get what you pay for when buying epoxy. I don't want to debate with the experts who have other opinions, but if you tour professional boat shops (and other shops from musical instrument makers to developmental aircraft builders and even aerospace), more of them seem to have West System epoxy in their shops than any other brand.
    I use West System epoxy because I trust them and I trust their epoxy. They have done the work to develop marine epoxies and they continue to do the work to develop better and better products.
    West System does not talk in detail about the advantages of the epoxies they sell, but there are major differences. Their 207 low-blush hardener not only has excellent physical properties, but the through-cure is very fast. It can be painted or varnished over as soon as it can be sanded without "beading" (making little balls instead of dust).
    From what I understand, 207 hardener is a very different and much more expensive chemical formulation than other low-blush hardeners and it has very good handling and physical properties. Some epoxy sellers publish physical properties that are pure fiction. I found this out the hard way by using epoxy given to me by a (then) new epoxy company. the part I built with this epoxy turned into a very expensive broken part that went into a dumpster.
    I started using West system Epoxy in 1976 and the boat I built then is still alive.
    My most recent boat is now 22 years old and looks new despite being ridden hard and put away wet for most of its life.
    The way that I look at it is that sometimes my life depends on epoxy and it's best to cough up the dough to buy the best.

    Russell

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Epoxy alternative it West System?

    Thus far, I have heard no one say that TotalBoat Epoxy is not good. Hence, I just bought a gallon. In twenty years, I will report on the results.
    Josh

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Epoxy alternative it West System?

    I wasn't meaning to say that there's no place for cut-rate epoxy, just that not all epoxies are created equally and that with epoxy, you get what you pay for.

    Russell

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Epoxy alternative it West System?

    marinepoxy from Bateau.com
    it is a 2 to 1 mix, I have used in excess of 40 gallons with no probe.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Epoxy alternative it West System?

    Quote Originally Posted by Russell Brown View Post

    .... Some epoxy sellers publish physical properties that are pure fiction. I found this out the hard way by using epoxy given to me by a (then) new epoxy company. the part I built with this epoxy turned into a very expensive broken part that went into a dumpster.

    Russell
    Can you provide more details on this please? Brand and failure type? Thanks.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Epoxy alternative it West System?

    No, I cannot. I get in enough trouble as it is.
    I have never (knock on wood) had any kind of failure with West System Epoxy that wasn't builder error and predictable.
    My 22 year old boat has never had even had a stress crack, even though it is very lightly built. It is no longer mine, but has just been sailed from Seattle to New Orleans, the only stops being California and the Panama canal. The new owner drives it way harder than I ever did. 5 1/2 days from Panama to New Orleans at a 10 1/2 knot average. This is pretty good for a cruising boat built on a budget that is almost a quarter century old.

    Sorry I can't satisfy your curiosity, but I just can't.

    Russell

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Epoxy alternative it West System?

    Fair enough. How about not mentioning the brand at all and just describe the failure? Thanks.

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