Graphite bottoms...

So, when I built my Wood Duck 12 in December, I decided to put an epoxy-graphite coating on the bottom.  Two coats, as a matter of fact.

I have taken DAFFY DUCK out several dozen times and had my share of groundings and beachings.  Until yesterday, the bottom did not show ANY signs of "bottom" contact.  Yesterday, I was paddling in very murky water and ran UP on rocks just under water, so hard, I stuck & had to get out to refloat again.  The sound of rocks against hull made my heart stop...  Oh oh...   I kept checking the bilge for seeping water but none ever showed up.  

Then, after the day, we hauled out & I checked the bottom to see how deep the iceburg has ground into my hull (Oh wait, wrong vessel...)  What I saw was what looked like a light white chalk line in the black bottom.  Not even the slightest indentation.   I'm sold on graphite bottoms!!!!  If you are trying to decide to coat or not to coat, I highly suggest coating.

 Whoo Hoo for DAFFY's bottom !!!!      ~BRUCE~ 


23 replies:

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RE: Graphite bottoms...

Excellent, Bruce! I'll be coating the bottom of my Auk

RE: Graphite bottoms...

Here's one more vote.  I spent three weeks this summer on Lake Pend Oreille in Idaho.  Great spot for paddling.  The front door of the condo was about 75 feet from the water.  Grass from the door down to about 4-5 feet of gravel at the waters edge.  I dragged my Mill Creek which is coated with epoxy and graphite over that gravel everyday.  I can see light scratch lines, but there is no damage.  In contrast, the bottom of my Shearwater, which is all varnish, shows unsightly scratches from gently contacted that gravel when landing.  That boat will get a black bottom with the first refinish.  This stuff is a real no-brainer.

Paul

RE: Graphite bottoms...

I have two Wood Ducks, the 10 was originally all varnish. The 12 was done with Epoxy Graphite on the bottom right from the start (Please dont make me tell you why). Anyway, within three paddles with each boat, the 10 got an epoxy graphite bottom.

It works great, was in a tidal river in Acadia last weekend and ran my 12 up onto a rock (much like above story), nothing but a rub mark.

I have a Sassafras 16 I am thinking about Graphite for the bottom.

 David

RE: Graphite bottoms...

My story is much the same.  I built a WD12 hybrid and painted the bottom.  It looks great except for the  many scratches just loading it on my roof rack!!  I am building a WD10 for the smaller folks in my family and plan to do the epoxy/graphite bottom.  Did you use Laszlo's method?  Can you recommend the graphite/ epoxy mixing ratio and any special application techniques?

Thanks

Rod

RE: Graphite bottoms...

Here is what Matt does over on the JEM web site: I get it to a pancake batter like thickness so I can still apply it with a paint roller. The thicker you can manage it, the more protection you will get.

RE: Graphite bottoms...

I mixed it about 50-50 by volumn.  I used West Marine graphite power, rolled it on, then foam brush tipped it.  The first coat went very well.  I added the second coat to double up and to raise the waterline a bit more...  When I re-varnished DAFFY DUCK, I also coated the graphite areas showing at the bow, stern and kayak sides.  That makes it a shiny finish where you can see but yet those areas never make contact with the bottom.     ~BRUCE~

RE: Graphite bottoms...

   Bruce, did you add the graphite to MAS epoxy or West Marine?

--michael

RE: Graphite bottoms...

  Do you intend to enjoy and paddle or create a museum piece? If you guys intend to paddle then graphite is a "No Brainer".....it dosen't grab,stick, and gouge to any great degree....After all it is only the bottom of the hull....get over it if it gets scratched.....That is what it is suposed to do...Take a licken and keep on ticken....These Cedar boats are made to last a life time-easy to repair and keep going....Unlike the heavy,plastic,tuperware wanabe's......Don't be afraid to "USE" youre boats unless you are going to stick them into a museum!!!

http://s147.photobucket.com/user/scrawford_photos/media/Toughness%20of%20a%20wood%20boat/tn_100_2607.jpg.html?sort=3&o=5

This is normal...

RE: Graphite bottoms...

Is this the sort of stuff you add to the epoxy?

 http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Graphite-powder-500g-high-purity-dry-lubricant-save-money-analytical-grade-/261388011046?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_15&hash=item3cdbf08626

 

I have just glassed my hull. No fill coats yet and I am interested in a black hull. I was going to paint it but adding graphite sounds like a better option.

The place where I get my kayak building supplies doesn't stock it so looks like an ebay job.

 

RE: Graphite bottoms...

CLC sells it here.

RE: Graphite bottoms...

   ...but buying composite commodities from West is financial suicide. Their epoxy is great, some of their proprietary fillers are good, but the stuff they relabel and resell is often 3x the going rate elsewhere.

RE: Graphite bottoms...

   Tugbruce, as I recall you are from the SF Bay Area.  Where have you been paddleing?  My last time was at Big Break up by Oakly.  But I haven't got any of my kids to go with me in awhile so I haven't gone to the Sierra's (my favorites) for awhile.

Ralph

RE: Graphite bottoms...

   Convert the Austalian Dollars to U.S. dollars and compare unit price for similar size pruchases. Do not forget shipping. Also consider that any extra cost helps support CLC.

How much are you buying?

RE: Graphite bottoms...

   I often by stuff from the US but prefer to keep my $$ in my own country if I can.

Is graphite, graphite?  

RE: Graphite bottoms...

   Yes. 

RE: Graphite bottoms...

   Cheers Nemochad. 

RE: Graphite bottoms...

   As I approach the finish (yes, pun intended) of my first WD 12, all this talk of graphite sounds like a great idea. Can you give me an idea of how much graphite I might need if I coat just the hull, not the side panels. Is two coats the way to go? Any additional tips on mix ratio, application, etc. greatly appreciated.

RE: Graphite bottoms...

Jeffrey,

6 ounces is plenty.

More info at Graphite Bottom on WD12

Have fun,

Laszlo

 

   

RE: Graphite bottoms...

   Laszlo, thanks a million. The link answered all.

RE: Graphite bottoms...

   Laszlo, thanks a million. The link answered all.

RE: Graphite bottoms...Laszlo

Ok, so the million thanks (twice) was a wee bit premature. Your site and others say 50/50 ratio. I'm using MAS. West says 10%. Just how critical is the ratio? This is the home stretch and I certainly don't want to make a major mistake at this point. Hoping to get the first coat on tommorrow morning.

Jeff.

RE: Graphite bottoms...

The more graphite, the slipperier the boat bottom. Also softer. The less graphite, the harder the boat bottom. Also less slippery. The exact ratio depends on  what kind of river bottom you'll be scraping against.

I originally started with a 10% mix but switched to 50% after a year or so of paddling. The river bottoms here are mostly mud and sand with the occasional rock, waterlogged wood and oyster shells.

If you're in a rocky or gravelly area the 10% mix works better.

Hope this helps,

Laszlo

 

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