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good day,i am coating the hulls and bulkheads with two coats of epoxy,aplying the second coat before the first has gone off.i then give it a wash and a light sand.my question is are two coats enough as per the plans and secondly when i have sanded the epoxy it does have an orange peel look and only the higher points are being abraded ,is this normal and as i intend to leave the interior bright are there ways off getting a smoother finish,thanks paul.

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Varnish works well and we used it on Peace. Two coats. The polyurethane exterior varnish seems better than interior but boats are more likely to get wet even inside than most interiors on land.
To get a smooth finish, you will need to sand until the "orange peel" effect is gone. It is best to use 220 until it is gone then follow up with 320 or 400.

To make the sanding faster and dust free, use wet/dry paper and a wet sponge when sanding. You will be amazed with the speed and effect.

Follow up with two coats of UV stabilized exterior varnish.
thankyou i will get sanding as the weather here on the east coast of australia has been decidedly damp and do not really want to do any other epoxy work now.
I use a very sharp paint scraper to "shave" down the hills and flatten the second coat of epoxy. It greatly reduces sanding time and the cost of sandpaper. Of course, it must be done on flat surfaces before the hull is stitched together.
For us the main interest is actually sailing the boat so we do not mind seeing some orange peel effect in the paint so long as we can look out at Paradise.
fair enough anne and nev ithink i may be leaning to your way of thinking.one more question if i may.will there be a strong enough bond between the epoxy fillets and the varnish? or do you only varnish once all the bonding of bulkheads etc are done ?
Varnish is after fillets. You don't epoxy over varnish.
great,well i tell ya this boatbuilding game really has got the old grey matter fired up again.
We did our epoxy coating on the flat sheets of ply BEFORE we glued them into the boat. We did ALL our fillets then, and FINALLY we did the varnish work using a brush and being careful to avoid runs etc. I think if we had been really picky about things, we might still be back in Britain boat building. But by being less picky, we have spent the past 9 years sailing over 40,000 miles and we like that lots better. However, if you look at the boats David boatsmity builds, they really are lovely. Nev and i just look out to sea. Ann and Nev
To get a flat surface use a hard sanding block. We very rarely sand with just folded paper. We use foam backing pads and lots of shaped blocks for special sanding spots. Also we start with coarser sandpaper than most people. If you sand with fine paper and a soft pad you will not flatten anything or remove defects, you will just take off the sharp edges and your surface will never get fair. Coarse sharp paper and a hard backing will cot off the defects and show where the lows are and it will progress much faster with fairer results.I would never sand epoxy with 400 grit paper for varnish. The varnish will not adhere well to a surface that is that smooth. IMO 220 is more than smooth enough. I would probably start with 120 and then go to 180 and then maybe 220 depending upon the quality of finish desired.

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