Over the past couple years I have read accounts of builders no longer epoxy coating their wooden boats. Instead they are certain to use only the finest marine grade ply and paint the exterior with multiple coats of oil based paint. The interior was either painted (criminal in my mind) or "souped" with a witches brew of linseed oil and other liquid preservatives.
The rationale was that inevitably there will be cracks in the epoxy coating and moisture WILL penetrate to the wood. Once it does there is virtually no way for it to escape since it is encapsulated. In no time at all rot sets in.
Well I just got the new book from John Brooks entitled "How to Build Glued-Lapstrake Wooden Boats". It looks like the long wait will be more than worthwhile - a top rate comprehensive resource on the subject. You can imagine how the following to be found on page 25 caught my eye:
"We do not epoxy-coat any boat we build nor do we recommend that you do so. We will re-emphasize the importance of building the boat with the highest quality marine plywood, however."
Hmmmmm, seems like I've read this before. They cite the example of a rowboat they built that was used along the Maine coast and began blistering after a few years and then rotted away. Despite careful use the epoxy barrier was violated through scratches and then trapped the moisture and doomed their boat.
The epoxy manufacturers may protest foul but is there a turnabout going on here? It certainly would save a serious amount of sanding and scraping if epoxy coating were not in the build. Imagine just painting the outside and applying Boat Soup to the interior.
Makes sense to me, how about you?
[ 08-23-2004, 11:43 PM: Message edited by: Captain Pre-Capsize ]