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Old 09-10-2013, 15:40   #16
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Re: is west system and west marine running a big scam?

arlbergsailor, First, only fiberglass boats are made of fiberglass and polyester resin. I've been using Gougeon Brothers' West System resins for thirty five years. My boat was the first all-West System Searunner built in Los Angeles. I, too, love it and have great respect for the product. But its uses are limited. First, you have to read the instructions and choose the correct hardener, you have to learn how to mix in the fillers and pigments. But, most of all, you must take responsibility for prepping and applying, using the guidelines they specify.

I also use polyester resins for certain applications. I usually buy these at West Marine (again, NOT affiliated with West System epoxy). That's because I don't use polyester for anything other than repairing gelcoat damage on other people's boats. That's not to say it isn't good stuff, I just prefer epoxy resins, covered by linear polyurethane paints for my own projects. If your PO painted over gelcoat, he probably did so because of a belief that it would be superior, or he couldn't achieve a perfect color match. Someone like Minaret could probably do it, but even then, a couple years exposure to ultraviolet light can change everything. Sorry you made the choice to use 60 grit paper to remove the paint. You may now be stuck with the option of epoxy primer and expensive LPU paint. Don't blame West Marine, though for your own self-generated issues. They are a good company that carries good materials at reasonable prices. Their staff is unequal in experience, but there is usually someone, in the larger stores, who has direct experience with specific products. Good luck with resolving your boat's cosmetic issues.
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Old 09-10-2013, 16:10   #17
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Re: is west system and west marine running a big scam?

"Theres just simply no reason to use the stuff in 90 percent of the applications they recomment using it for."

So you think it is a GLOBAL conspiracy and every in the resin business must be in on it, huh? There couldn't be any other reason that all of them say there's a time and place for epoxy resin, and a different one for polyester resin, and wait a minute, you forgot the vinylester resins, didn't you?

Companies like Royal Dutch Shell and Amoco make a lot of those resins, didn't you know the Seven Sisters controlled all global commerce? Or maybe...they know something about the chemistry that has eluded you? (Nah.)
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Old 09-10-2013, 18:54   #18
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Re: is west system and west marine running a big scam?

Well good thing i found out today about system 3 and sb112. Yesterday i was told by a west system rep and an interlux rep that such a product didnt exist. It sure does help me feel better about the whole situation.
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Old 09-10-2013, 22:52   #19
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Re: is west system and west marine running a big scam?

As mentioned West Systems, and West Marine are different companies with similar names.

In reality polyester only bonds well to itself, try and bond it to anything else any you get a mechanical bond only. And poly makes a very poor mechanical bond. I open you are positive you don't have an epoxy, or vinylester resin. in which case you will have almost no bonding strength.

Frankly, unless you are building large projects the cost difference is pretty minimal, and just using epoxy for everything saves the trouble of needing both in your work room.
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Old 09-10-2013, 23:16   #20
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Re: is west system and west marine running a big scam?

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Originally Posted by atoll View Post
gelcoat because of its fast cure time is not really designed to be sprayed on,unless into a mold.


I spray at least some gel on most days. Just about the only way I apply it, unless brushing in a bilge where it won't be finished. You just need to use the correct fluid tip and needle combo for your pressure pot. Sometimes I go all the way up to a PB 89 for shooting gel as primer, with HVLP I call this the "garden hose". Awesome when you are using gelcoat as high build, which I very often do.
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Old 09-10-2013, 23:19   #21
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Re: is west system and west marine running a big scam?

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Well sure under the water line is fine because u will be epoxy barriercoating. I dout west marine even sells unwaxed gelcoat. See i was planning on repainting cuz i thought the old gel was shot. but even if it was that still wudda been a bad idea. its funny how spraying all these 2 part paints is so much more toxic than just respraying gelcoat yet west marine pushes all these cyanide paints. I read about all these people painting there boats. Y dont they just spray on gelcoat. um cuz they got caught up in the hype like me.
It's really not that hard. Totally doable, particularly if you are shooting an entire area so that long term color matching no longer matters. Break point selection is one of the keys to the art, and often shooting a little more to get to a minimal break point is just as fast.
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Old 09-10-2013, 23:23   #22
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Re: is west system and west marine running a big scam?

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Seems like spraying gelcoat if fine just takes more labor cuz u have to sand.


I hear this one a lot. Mostly from people who want to sell you paint or a paint job. The truth is its often much faster to restore original gel or even shoot new. Consider one key difference: paint needs primer and gelcoat doesn't. So, although gel does indeed have to be sanded and polished (there are tricks for this), paint requires you to spray twice and sand twice, whereas gel does not. I'd say gel is faster or it's a wash, depending on the situation. For a hull gel is definitely faster, as you can machine sand almost everything. And gel is most certainly more durable and maintainable, though it does require more maintenance.
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Old 10-10-2013, 09:35   #23
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Re: is west system and west marine running a big scam?

For the small gelcoat repairs I end up doing, I use a Prevail disposable sprayer (available at
WM and elsewhere) and a 3M Finesse-It system of pads and compounds to blend the margin to background.
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Old 10-10-2013, 11:40   #24
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Re: is west system and west marine running a big scam?

"Yesterday i was told by a west system rep and an interlux rep that such a product didnt exist"

Come on now.... tell us what they really said.
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Old 11-10-2013, 17:40   #25
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Re: is west system and west marine running a big scam?

When one supplier dominates as in WM case you pay the price, I've always found the staff to be knowledgeable and helpful. Don't forget to send off for your Defender Catalogue while they still maintain a presence.
Another option "may" be vinyl wrap, haven't tried it yet myself but I'm getting pretty moist at the prospect. You see on taxis and cars in the form of advertising and sponsors. Its starting to make inroads to the yacht market in very exciting ways. I'm told if when buying a new boat and want a green or blue hull they recommend vinyl because it can be simply added and removed to the standard layup. Thus not affecting the all important resale value and provides protection. While these sort luxury problems don't affect my bargain purchases it is an option when considering a respray. The vinyl is printed using photographic images so there is no limit to the possibilities other than imagination. There are cleaver finishes that change colour as they pass like those two tone fabrics from the 70's. I haven't had a quote for any work but was led to beleive it is competative to a professional respray.
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Old 11-10-2013, 18:48   #26
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Re: is west system and west marine running a big scam?

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When one supplier dominates as in WM case you pay the price, I've always found the staff to be knowledgeable and helpful. Don't forget to send off for your Defender Catalogue while they still maintain a presence.
Another option "may" be vinyl wrap, haven't tried it yet myself but I'm getting pretty moist at the prospect. You see on taxis and cars in the form of advertising and sponsors. Its starting to make inroads to the yacht market in very exciting ways. I'm told if when buying a new boat and want a green or blue hull they recommend vinyl because it can be simply added and removed to the standard layup. Thus not affecting the all important resale value and provides protection. While these sort luxury problems don't affect my bargain purchases it is an option when considering a respray. The vinyl is printed using photographic images so there is no limit to the possibilities other than imagination. There are cleaver finishes that change colour as they pass like those two tone fabrics from the 70's. I haven't had a quote for any work but was led to beleive it is competative to a professional respray.


Vinyl has little depth or gloss, can't be repaired, really shows scratches. I think it's a gimmick for small powerboats. I've been spraying two tone metal flake for years, you don't have to go vinyl for that. It's common in small powerboats and hot rods. Not very cruise worthy materials, however.
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Old 12-10-2013, 18:39   #27
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Re: is west system and west marine running a big scam?

Vinal wrap is great on local transit buses. Boats? No.... Not close
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