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Old 13-09-2018, 10:43   #31
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Re: West Systems or Total Boat Epoxy?

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I am working on getting my new old boat back up to snuff. I have several fiberglass repairs ahead of me. So, I'm wondering, does anyone have experience with both West Systems and Total Boat epoxy?

West Systems has the history and reputation, but also a higher price.

Is it worth the difference in cost?
I've found System3 totally satisfactory and cheaper than West System.
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Old 14-09-2018, 21:44   #32
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Re: West Systems or Total Boat Epoxy?

I'm pretty sure that all marine grade epoxy resin all comes out of the same spigot.
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Old 14-09-2018, 21:48   #33
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Re: West Systems or Total Boat Epoxy?

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I'm pretty sure that all marine grade epoxy resin all comes out of the same spigot.
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Originally Posted by travellerw View Post
...pretty sure that the two products are exactly the same...
Wild speculation with no basis on fact.
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Old 15-09-2018, 03:35   #34
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Re: West Systems or Total Boat Epoxy?

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Doesn’t anyone here use Raka products out of Florida ?
I've used About 80 gallons of this stuff.

Also, buying it from Gulfstream Composites in Florida is a good idea.

It's a 2:1 mix. I'd suggest always using a 2:1 mix since it makes the mix nearly error proof.

Raka is a fine epoxy. They're all pretty much fine actually. Nothing to stress over if you're using a 100% solids epoxy. Forget all that blush stuff and just organize your projects so they are wet on wet. Zero sanding that way as well.
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Old 15-09-2018, 05:18   #35
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Re: West Systems or Total Boat Epoxy?

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Wild speculation with no basis on fact.
Buy some East System and try it.. Then we will have a third oppinion point.

Call it speculation, but based on my experience, I'm sure they are the same. They behave the same, wet out the same, smell the same (exactly), use the same pump system, come in identicle cans (different labels). Like I said I have used hardeners between the two and saw absolutely no difference.

While I don't agree that all marine epoxy comes from the same spigot, there is something between these two.
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Old 15-09-2018, 07:04   #36
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Re: West Systems or Total Boat Epoxy?

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West system is only going to recommend using their brand of fillers (although they do endorse wood flour). Exclusively using their fillers is a good way to go broke!
fillers are fillers are fillers. cabosil (fumed silica), microballoons (glass microspheres), talc, phenolic microspheres etc... are all made by only a small group of large companies, or they were and are completely compatible with any system or type of resin. companies like west marine simply buy these products in bulk and re-package. i used to work for a company that did the same for the aerospace and marine industry.
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Old 15-09-2018, 07:37   #37
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Re: West Systems or Total Boat Epoxy?

I'll throw in the Progressive no-blush epoxy. We've done some nice projects with their products.
Progressive is less expensive than West and they ship. Also they have all the additives (fumed silica, strands, microballoons, etc.) for much cheaper than West. I believe it is really Mas epoxy sold under their private label.
Only real downside to Progressive is their website. Once you get used to navigating it, its still clunky but works.

We just completed a new rudder using composite material for our boat and used vinyl ester resin for the finish glassing. If cost is major concern then you could use polyester resin for above water projects or vinyl ester for underwater. Would only use these for outdoor or well ventilated production areas. Just a thought.

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Old 15-09-2018, 17:57   #38
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Re: West Systems or Total Boat Epoxy?

I've used both extensively, both are great. I'm mid way through a keel up rebuilding on a Bristol 40 and have been using Total Boat exclusively on this project and really like it. I've been a big Jamestown Distributors fan and customer since the early 80's. The are close by to me and their customer service is top notch.
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Old 18-09-2018, 15:57   #39
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Re: West Systems or Total Boat Epoxy?

I have used both West systems and Total Boat. Both with excellent results. Just as a test I tried mixing the resin of one system with the hardened of the other, Same results. I believe they are interchangeable and have use them that way many times. Never had a failure or a hint of one. Just make sure you clean and scuff if you recoat outside the cure window. I'm no chemist but in my experience they are the same product under different labels.
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Old 21-09-2018, 13:12   #40
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Re: West Systems or Total Boat Epoxy?

I've used West Systems and US Composites. West Systems worked great but pricey. US Composites was cheaper but "golden" in color. If I needed to make a clear coat, I used West Systems. I also found alternatives to some of their fillers. I found fine clean sawdust works wonders for low cost filler when mixed with epoxy, especially in non visible areas.
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Old 21-09-2018, 18:57   #41
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Re: West Systems or Total Boat Epoxy?

West Epoxy blushes, and amine blush is stupid and annoying. Now I always use Progressive Epoxy Polymer’s ‘basic no-blush’.
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Old 21-09-2018, 19:11   #42
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Re: West Systems or Total Boat Epoxy?

Reading the comments it seems both are good systems.

Myself I have been primarily using the West System as I find it very low in odor which is especially nice in tight quarters. I would be interested in others opinions on this.

Rick

PS most important is follow instructions, and yes, Read the Label! Was crawling into a tight space when the "slow" epoxy went nuclear in my hand. I always double check and separate components.
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Old 22-09-2018, 14:03   #43
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Re: West Systems or Total Boat Epoxy?

West system is excellent, I have used it for many projects. The only exception is if you are going to Gel Coat over the epoxy repair. Gel Coat does not chemically adhere to West System Epoxy, you have to use Polyester vinyl or Vinylester epoxy for those repairs. They sell it at West Marine and other stores.

The issue with West Systems is that if you finish the job with Gel coat, in 2 years it will have come off.

Good luck with your project. They are a lot of work but the rewards are great.
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Old 22-09-2018, 14:28   #44
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Re: West Systems or Total Boat Epoxy?

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Question.. Could you tell the difference between West and East? I have laid up at least 15 things with both products and I cannot tell. I've even thought of getting my wife to do a blind mix for me to see if I could tell. Would love to hear if you have felt the same, or different.

At least where I bought them, the East is about %25 cheaper than West.
I've built 4 boats and two cars with epoxy and always bought the cheapest available (in the correct formulation for the task) ... You are absolutely correct, I've never been able to tell one from another.

Fairing compounds are another matter altogether, I will use nothing but Quick Fair.
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Old 22-09-2018, 17:28   #45
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Re: West Systems or Total Boat Epoxy?

I've used WEST (rarely though because of cost) EAST, SeaHawk, EXP and TotalBoat. For structure hull repairs I use whatever is least espensive for the task. For above waterline Though I've started to use isophthalic resin for deck and other misc repairs. Works just as well for my needs and is 1/4 to 1/3 the cost of epoxy.
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