Can i use unvarnished kayak for weekend w/o damage to epoxy?

Almost done(except varnish  - will be ready for next weekend - family camping trip to a lake.....am I risking all my hard work over the past 2+ years?!?!?

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RE: Can i use unvarnished kayak for weekend w/o damage to epoxy?

Your boat should be just fine.  Just don't wait until the end of the summer!

RE: Can i use unvarnished kayak for weekend w/o damage to epoxy?

Don,  I am in the final stages of building a Chesapeake 16 and will use it for several weeks before painting andd varnishing. Some believe that it is better to let the final epoxy coats cure for a week or two before painting.

Dave

RE: Can i use unvarnished kayak for weekend w/o damage to epoxy?

Thanks all....will be completing the details (varnishing, deck rigging.etc) following the weekend trip and won't be using it again for about 3 weeks....plenty oftime, i hope, to get varnished before a week at the ocean....so close.....

RE: Can i use unvarnished kayak for weekend w/o damage to epoxy?

Is your boat sanded?  I wonder that if it is sanded, you may get some impurities in there that would contaminate the varnish??????  Or is it epoxied and not sanded yet?

RE: Can i use unvarnished kayak for weekend w/o damage to epoxy?

My kids have skim boards that they have been using for the last 3 years that have never been varnished. We used west system 105/207 and they still look great. I wouldnt lose sleep over a week end trip. Last week I spoke with a guy along lake Michigan that has been using his kayak for the last 9 years without varnish. I have to say his boat still looks fine. He figures its only out in the sun for a few  hours a week.

RE: Can i use unvarnished kayak for weekend w/o damage to epoxy?

Not sanded....fiberglassed and full coats of epoxy - ready to be sanded and varnished.  I realize that it won't look as good without the varnish and every scuff in the epoxy will show up.  I just want to be able to use it, then I'll sand and varnish. - just worried about uv damage potential from two days of use...

RE: Can i use unvarnished kayak for weekend w/o damage to epoxy?

I splashed my wood duck hybrid before varnish--water spots and bits of lake weed clean-up were the biggest challenges --especially were the weave was not totally filled. I do not regret taking advantage of the opportunity to check the Duck out---but cleanup before continuing with the finishing process and not hurting the finish that I had been so carefull with did have me questioning the logic of my indulgence. --CZ

RE: Can i use unvarnished kayak for weekend w/o damage to epoxy?

None of my boats were varnished before launch. There's always the possibility of discovering, based on use, that one needs to make a change. Always better to make changes before putting on the final finish.

The length of time you can use an unvarnished boat depends on the conditions. In the tropics the epoxy would begin to break down and get chalky after about 6 months of continuous daily exposure. That's almost 1900 hours.If you live farther north (or south for the Aussies and NZers), the solar intensity is reduced. If you store the boat indoors or covered, the number of hours of Sun per day are reduced. Then if you throw in seasons, you get the double effect of reduced solar strength andit being too cold to take the boat out of the garage and go paddling. I figured that in my situation it would take 5 years to get the equivalent of 6 months of tropical radiation. So going an entire season wouldn't hurt anything, especially since I'd be sanding off and re-applying the top layer of epoxy as prep for the finish. That also deferred the actual varnishing from the hottest days of Summer to the Fall when the varnish went on better because of the temperature and humidity.

Short answer - go for it and do the varnishing after Labor Day.

Laszlo

 

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