Prepping deck for the first coat of epoxy.

Hi all again. In the CLC tips for boatbuilders there are differences about sandpaper grit. Under finishing, Dont over sand by Nick Schade only use 80 grit for adhesion but again under finishing- sanding use 220 grit but under Working with epoxy & fiberglass, fiberglassing use 120 grip. Probably not important but just hoping to avoid mistakes on my Mill Creek 13 deck I want to varnish. Thanks forum 

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RE: Prepping deck for the first coat of epoxy.

I read the shop tips back when there was only the one about #220 paper so that's what I use. Works great. I'll bet the others do, too. I think the take-away is that it doesn't really make any difference, just pick the one you feel most comfortable with.

Besides, even if you do get a professional furniture maker's finish, by the third time you put the boat in the water it'll be gone (if not sooner).

Happy New Year,


RE: Prepping deck for the first coat of epoxy.

Nick's comments, i suspect, were related to his recommendations around strip-built boats....which are a different animal than stitch and glue.   

strip built boats are built from raw cedar strips and need to be shaped/carved to create what you see as the 'skin' of the boat prior to glassing.  they are solid wood.

a stitch and glue is built with high-grade okoume plywood with very thin plys on the outside that have a beautiful finish.   and the finish of okoume plywood in its raw form is basically ready to go and quite smooth already.  so you only sand it to clean up little imperfections and remove dirt....not because you are trying smooth the surface.

i wouldn't touch the surface of okoume with anything close to 80 grit.  the only reason for okoume plywood to mix it up with that coarse a paper is when you are trying to carve it or finish up an edge.  but it will quickly leave unsightly 'scratches' or sand through the thin veneer if you try to use coarse paper as a surface prep.....

see the video...

they only refer to 80 grit pretty much for rounding over the chines/edges. otherwise, they recommend 220 as laszlo suggested.

if you are building a hybrid boat (strip cedar deck and okoume plywood hull), then you coarser strip finishing techniques for the deck and stitch and glue techniques for the hull.

hope that help



RE: Prepping deck for the first coat of epoxy.

   Thanks guys for replying, you explained it well. I settled on 180 as I had plenty of it & it looks great after getting 3 epoxy coats, now for the epoxy sanding fun.

Cheers, Chris.   

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