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Old 02-01-2019, 05:05   #1
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Awlwood - Epoxy or not

I am the proud owner of a CheoyLee Offshore 33 ketch with wood masts and booms. Since buying it a couple of years ago, it has been my aim to remove the spars and disassemble at my workshop, which I was able to do last week.
I have stripped all the hardware, and I have completed the booms with two coats of clear Awlwood primer and ten coats of Awlwood gloss, which look great. They were in surprisingly good condition, so they didn't require a lot of wood repair.
As part of the process, I am drilling out every screw and fastener hole much larger and filling with a coloured thickened epoxy mix, then drilling the appropriate pilot hole for the fastener. This gets rid of the loose screws and water damaged wood.
The main and mizzen masts have much more damage. The varnish had completed deteriorated and was crazed or gone altogether. There are small vertical cracks in the face of the main mast from the sun. There was no serious problems, just some enlarged holes where water had got in along a fastener, which I fixed with epoxy filler.
It was my original plan to treat the masts with penetrating epoxy, so I have Total Boat Penetrating Epoxy. I figured it would help the small cracks a lot of treat with epoxy before the Awlwood buildup. But now I am not sure, I have been told that the Awlwood primer, which will be the yellow primer for the masts, does pretty much the same thing, and using epoxy is not necessary.
I'd like to get input from the wood experts on which way to go. I'm hoping that twelve coats of Awlwood will be enough to ensure I don't have to do this again for a long time.
The boat lives in the Caribbean, so the treatment has to survive the sun.
Thanks for any advice.

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Old 02-01-2019, 07:00   #2
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Re: Awlwood - Epoxy or not

I believe the Awlwood primer data sheet says to fix problem areas with the epoxy then sand smooth then apply the primer. The primer won't do its job if it can't go into the grain of the wood, so I would only fix the bad spots/cracks and not coat the entire mast with epoxy.

We are doing our companionway steps with Awlwood. Did a mixture of clear and yellow for the primer so they wouldn't be as dark and didn't need the full 100 percent UV protection that the colors give. Click image for larger version

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Old 02-01-2019, 08:02   #3
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Re: Awlwood - Epoxy or not

Quote:
Originally Posted by SailRedemption View Post
The primer won't do its job if it can't go into the grain of the wood,
That's exactly what I am thinking.
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Old 02-01-2019, 12:20   #4
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Re: Awlwood - Epoxy or not

I wouldn't use penetrating epoxy. You could use a marine nonblushing epoxy such as west 105/207, with or without some woodflour from the same type of wood to fill small cracks before the final sanding. Penetrating epoxing would inhibit the awlwood primer from soaking in and doing it's job.
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