Epoxy coat for Skerry spars

Another first time boat builder's question.  We're approaching the finishing of our Skerry and wonder how many coats of epoxy, if any are needed on the spars?  We're getting down to the last of our epoxy and figure we can get at least one coat of epoxy on the mast, boom and sprit, maybe two in a stretch.  CLC manual says that "an epoxy coating will aid in durability..." which tells us one coat is enough.  Any other thoughts on this?  Thanks.  Bob H.

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RE: Epoxy coat for Skerry spars

I chose not to epoxy the spars.... just varnish.... following the time honored techniques for varnishing bare wood (thin the first coats significantly so they will penetrate better). 

One could also finish them with oil instead (one of my friends did that with the gunwales on the pygmy wineglass wherry he built, instead of epoxying them and finishing them bright. His rationale was that they wouldn't show the wear and tear as much and would be easier to touch up (he also cartops his boat, so it's 'riding on its rails' a lot).

The spot where the mast will get the most wear & tear is where it is in contact with the mast partner and mast step....so if you do decide to epoxy, you might want to do a couple coats there.

Undoubtedly, the conditions under which your boat will be stored when not in use will have some bearing on your decision....My fleet of watercraft is stored in my garage, so the spars aren't contending with the outdoor elements unless they are accompanied by me.   

Julie K.

RE: Epoxy coat for Skerry spars

Don't worry too much about this. Put your 2 coats of epoxy on then varnish with 5-6 coats and you will be just fine.You need the varnish for the UV protection and also for waterproofing. Epoxy is notably sensitive to Ultraviolet and is not as waterproof as you think.

Your spars will be protected. They might not be as stiff as if you had put 3 coats on but I don't think its much of an issue.

Many people have not epoxied their masts/spars.

Good luck. Keep us posted and put up some photos.



RE: Epoxy coat for Skerry spars

I forgot to say that as far as protecting  the mast at the partner I leathered my mast and this did wonders. I also leathered where the sprit rubs agains the mast.

Looks cool too!



RE: Epoxy coat for Skerry spars

Christine, I like your leathering of the mast at the partner and at sprit points.  I used to tool leather for projects and have a good supply of it.  Do you have any pics of your leathering on your website I could peek at?  It seems easy at the sprit point but I wonder if you had to make the partner and subsequent deck openings much larger for the leather to fit?  Or is your leather lightweight enough not to require any extra woodworking?  Thanks again for your helpful tips.  I'll get some photos posted here in the form of the link to my photo gallery as you did.  That/s easy enough.  Best,  Bob H.

RE: Epoxy coat for Skerry spars

Hi Bob

I have some photos of the leathering on my website: 

http://www.christinedemerchant.com/mast.html  at the bottom of the page. 

Note that I did not build the stock mast and boom. I wanted a round mast because I prefer the look and for no other reason.

You will want to check your clearance if you leather the kit mast and enlarge the hole slightly if it doesnt fit. I felt I needed the leather for 2 reason: I like the look, and my mast was getting a bit scratched where the sprit, boom and step rubbed. My mast wobbles a bit in the hole because I wanted to play with different rigs and thought I might want to angle the mast forward or back a bit to balance a new sail.


RE: Epoxy coat for Skerry spars

Thanks Christine; I found your pics after I sent you the email.  I did notice your diffrerent approach to the gooseneck and your different mast.  But I still like the idea of leathering and will try to fit it into my finishing work.  It's a nice touch.  Thanks again.  bob h.

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