Wharram Builders and Friends

A Photo & Discussion Forum for Wharram Design Enthusiasts

I am in the heart of pricing materials for my Tiki 30 #200 and although I have worked extensively with West Systems and know that many others have as well, I have a friend who is a professional boat builder who swears by System 3 and another who has used US Composites. After doing some research I found a ton of other brands that are a fraction of the price of West Systems, System 3 or MAS and although I know you get what you pay for, has anyone used a cheaper alternative with positive results?

Views: 3217

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

We have used Raka and like it very much. They are out of Fort Pierce and ship everywhere. David www.boatsmithfl.com
I used MAS epoxy to build my 38 and I recommend it with no reservations. there is virtually no amine blush, so washdown is not normally required. (The fast hardener is said to blush if used in low temp/high humidity, but I never really saw anything I could identify as blush.) The boat has been in the water for over a year and seen some hard use, with no failures. With two resins and three hardeners, you can pretty much fine tune the epoxy to the conditions/type of use, and It is not difficult to figure out which combination works best for your circumstances. The company has always been great about advice/tips on use/delivery of product, and dealing with them directly was always a pleasure. I recommend them without reservation.
I used West, which I still think is the strongest. Problems: blush and allergies. I switched to MAS, it worked fine, and I could get good prices from them (about 60$ for a gallon of finished product).
I've used East (from Noah's in Toronto) and West, started out West for 50 gallons and really liked it then went to East based on reputation and price. Each have their strong points. West 206 is thicker and good for structural purposes, not so easy for wetting out cloth. East is great for wetting out cloth but I do have a problem with a secondary heat 'slump' when using it for structural fillets etc. Although I've not used it I understand West 207 is similar to the standard East resin.

No blush with the East resin which does save a bit of time and hassle. I have had pretty good amine blush on West finished panels, especially when pushed to cure with a heater in winter. Various hardeners available for both for different conditions and uses.
for epoxy systems, IMHO major points are disponibility, ease of use and price in that order.
disponibility because i prefer to use a not too old resin.
for myself i use a strange system www.resoltech.com.
for coating plywood it is 1010 a part of resin a part of hardener and a part of water !!! and you clean the roller with water for the next time. when dry it is like the others.
for fillets and joins, 2040 is a pre-charged resin so no need to have special powders and special knowledges in mixing.
please have a look to www.sicomin.com they have a special resin for tropical conditions.
Hi,
I think the main reason to not use West is the extreme allergy reactions so many folks develop. This caused nev to build our Tiki 46 mostly suffering from bloody hands and blisters during most of the build. I spoke with Meade Gougeon about this when he came aboard at Mystic Seaport for the wooden boat show and he referred me to his company tech folks. Meade is a great guy and so are all the folks I met through him, but they did say Nev must not ever use West products.

We heard about MAS while we were in Britain. We heard of less toxic reactions, no amine blush, and less cost. Friends were using it while teaching kids how to build boats. When we came to the US, we found that Nev could help mix glue and apply it when we visited Wharram builders who had bought plans from us. Nev did not react at all.

I spoke with the folks at MAS about Nev's allergy problems and how he was able to use MAS, and thanked them for that research and development. They told us about the different hardener they use that has no amine in it. They also have developed an even less allergenic product and it is on the market. The tech guy told us they are developing a product that they hope will prove to be totally free of all allergins. For folks who have the allergy, this can reopen boat building again.
God forbid!!!

But the main thing I like about using MAS is that I can apply glue, wait three days, and sand and there is no clumping on the sand paper. No washing off the amine blush because it never comes up. That saves so much time, I can work with MAS twice as fast as West.

I do hope that West will someday make a less caustic product. They developed this west system of boat building and it is surely terrific for us amateur builders and for the professional builders as well.

If you wish to test the strength of any of the other products, you can do as we did while building Peace. I took scraps of ply and assembeled them at a 90 degree angle, made a fillet, waited three days, and crushed them in a vise. If it broke at the glue join, I made a bigger fillet for the next test.
I must say, I do love the West additives and expecially I love the low density filler for fillets. It is easy to use and to tool. Filleting can be fun if using West low density. I have tried using the cabocil and did not like it. It was not as easy.

Wear nitrile gloves! Wear a mask! Wash up after!

Ann and Nev

oh finally, "secondary heat slump".  Thanks.  i've been looking for a way to describe what happens with East system that makes fillets so difficult.  iv'e had to carry a small container of silica to thicken the epoxy.  i am thinking of trying MAS for the rest of the boat.



Axel said:

I've used East (from Noah's in Toronto) and West, started out West for 50 gallons and really liked it then went to East based on reputation and price. Each have their strong points. West 206 is thicker and good for structural purposes, not so easy for wetting out cloth. East is great for wetting out cloth but I do have a problem with a secondary heat 'slump' when using it for structural fillets etc. Although I've not used it I understand West 207 is similar to the standard East resin.

No blush with the East resin which does save a bit of time and hassle. I have had pretty good amine blush on West finished panels, especially when pushed to cure with a heater in winter. Various hardeners available for both for different conditions and uses.
We are having no problems with MAS epoxy using slow hardener.  Seems ok for general use and Nev has no allergy issues with it. No blush at all.  Built Peace using West and Nev  got severely allergic to it using fast and also slow hardener at various times in that build.  We will never use West again.  Blush is a pest you don't need.

OK,

     I'm moving my reply over here because it is in response to the epoxy issue.

     I can't and there are probably many who can't express enough regard for Ann and Nev for their example in building and sailing a large catamaran many miles and continuiing to provide support for anyone who wants to go to sea in a Wharram.   But the issue of epoxy allergy has been raised, and most of the epoxy manufactures never mention this. 

     MAS has been mentioned as a low allergic resin.  It is important for any other resins that have or have not caused allergic reactions to be mentioned.  I know I have some sensitivity to epoxy and will choose  resins appropriately.

 

     I hope Nev's sensitivity to epoxy doesn't translate to any other problems.  It goes the same to any of us working with a boat with epoxy. 

     Take care.

LUCKY YOU. Epoxy at 60usd a gallon. That is approx 45 euro. This is not what we pay here. For comparison I checked West on the net. for USA. In euros again about 60e. Best I found here. own-brand but marine to Lloyd's standard -112e. West system 160e. More than 2 1/2 times dearer !!!  Seems where you buy is as important as which you buy. Now I understand better why so many on this site use West. My next boat I will build in Florida !!!

Ahoy Grumpy! er, Galway,

     I had problems with WEST due to amine blush due to working outdoors in a boatyard with a deadline and chilly Fall weather.  That was maybe 7 years ago.  I tried a Florida epoxy called Raka (how appropriate) that guarranteed not to blush.  I used it extensively to resheath my starboard hull and have been using ever since.  I don't think it is non-allergenic though, but I wash with white vinegar, wear gloves, and I am merely irritated by epoxy, not having any dire reactions.  Will it ever be done...

Thanks Andy

Still find it hard to believe these prices. So I did some more virtual shopping. Ebay UK still around 200 euro!!

This is approx 260 US dollars. For sure someone is getting ripped off.

This is enough to make even Snow White grumpy !!!

For solvent here I use cellulose thinners as used in spray-painting. Available cheap at any Auto Shop [ motor factors ] but NOT for washing hands !! Very good,makes  brushes last a reasonable time. Someone mentioned Acetone on this site. This is only good for Polyester Resin[where it is very good] no good on Epoxy.

Best of luck  - get back in the water soon there are too many Wharrams ashore !!

Reply to Discussion

RSS

© 2017   Created by Budget Boater.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service