I've just finished reading Appendix C, "Superior Adhesives For the Millennium", from Larry Pardey's excellent book, "Details of Classic Boat Construction: The Hull", 2nd Edition. Mr. Pardey is refreshingly blunt and doesn't mince words in his warning about epoxy as a good-for-what-ails-you kind of marine adhesive.
For those of you who've not had a chance to read Appendix C, here's a three-point summary: 1) epoxy is not a viable adhesive in a marine environment and delaminations are becoming commonplace on boats; 2) epoxy fabricators and suppliers, while not committing outright fraud, have encouraged duplicity among boatbuilders through tall claims in advertising; 3) resorcinol glues are without sin, provided you can live with a dark glue line.
As I prepare to build my glued lapstrake Newfoundland Trap Skiff (the loveliest little boat on this planet. Visit Walter Simmons' Duck Trap site and see if you don't agree: http://www.duck-trap.com/2002nts.html), I suddenly find myself feeling rather verklempt. Sure, everybody agrees epoxy is messy, expensive and, if not properly handled, unhealthy. But, until reading Appendix C, I'd never had reason to doubt the omnipotence of this God of All Glues.
Does epoxy as a marine adhesive really merit Pardey's dismal opinion of it? Or can we categorize Appendix C as merely some well-intentioned hubris from an arch-traditionalist yachtsman sceptical of any nautical practice less than a century old?
Would love to get some opinions on this before I go out and buy two thousand dollars' worth of epoxy resin, hardener, plastic gloves, paper cups, solvent, towels, respirator and coveralls.