Cold Weather

I have an Annapolis Wherry and i live in Knoxville TN. What affect will colder temps have on epoxy while rowing. I would not row below 40 degrees I doubt the water gets much colder than that on the lakes. . Since boat is stable and dry unlike a shell  , I could probably row all winter except for a few of the real cold days. So any input regarding the affects of colder temps on the epoxy etc.

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RE: Cold Weather

As long as the epoxy is fully cured and you stay above freezing, nothing.

Don't forget yout PFD.



RE: Cold Weather

For Laszlo:

Okay, I'll bite.  I paddle in sub-freezing temps.  What happens to the epoxy/kayak? 

RE: Cold Weather


The wood and epoxy will shrink at different rates. If the temperature is low enough and the cycles happen often enough, micro-cracks will form. The epoxy can also get brittle, depending on just how low the temperature gets.

I wouldn't worry if I were you, though. As long as the water is liquid enough to paddle on, the temperature isn't all that low. My point to Bob was that at his temperatures he won't see any effects at all.



RE: Cold Weather

I have never seen any meaningful effect on wood-epoxy boats as a result of freezing temperatures.  At least with MAS or WEST System epoxy.  I can't make scientific conclusions about the effect of cold on any other brand of epoxy, either.

Thousands of CLC boats (including some of our own here at the shop) live outdoors through freezing winters with zero effects.  A disproportionate amount of CLC photography gets done during the winter, in freezing water, and I can say with great certainty that the only hazard of using a wood-epoxy boat in freezing water or air temps is the crew falling in the water.  Which could be fatal.

There's freezing, then there's frigid.  I can't speak to the performance of wood-epoxy structures in cryogenic temperatures above the Arctic Circle, but you can break any material if you get it cold enough. For practical purposes, in 16 years I've never heard of a CLC boat emerging from a Minnesota winter having gone brittle.  And think of all the wood-epoxy DN-class iceboats out there!

NOW, that said, uncured epoxy is another matter entirely.  Epoxy needs room temperatures to cure while you're building the boat.  Read more about that here.

RE: Cold Weather


Thank you, John and Laszlo.



RE: Cold Weather

Thnaks to all, I have one more question about he cold  only this time to the Dreher super lite oars. Any problems with them in cold weather. 


bob d

RE: Cold Weather

Yet again the builders' forum anticipates my questions!

 So what about mostly-finished boats?  I'm done painting my Jimmy Skiff, but still need to epoxy backing plates under the foredeck, and do the whole varnish thing on the parts I'm finishing bright.  Nighttime temperatures are forecast to dip below freezing next week.  What happens to me?  Epoxy needs a day to react in regular temperatures, and varnish wants a week or more.  Will freezing temperatures simply shut down the reactions for a while, and they'll restart when it gets warmer, or do I need to put up a space heater to keep my garage warm?

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