Re: US Composites

Posted by Alan Speakman on Sep 3, 2006

Hi Andrew,

Thoughts...

* I heartily recommend the Mill Creek as a "mild-watered" kayak... I wouldn't want to surf any six footers in her, but for relatively calm waters, I believe she is supreme... Both the wife and I are relatively new to kayaking, and neither I nor Suz are 22 anymore, but the MC responds kindly yet confidently. (It's funny... Long ago we rented plastic kayaks... What a disaster... We didn't paddle, we waddled!) Using the MC however, Suz covered a mile in no time, and with a little practice, 5 - 10 miles is easily doable even for us couch potatoes.

* As for the US Composites epoxy -- that's a tough one... Here goes... As I see it, there are umpteen areas of consideration here, and most of those areas are further influenced both by the application technique and the means of protection...

The features I look for include durability, low/no blush, clarity, non-whitening/non-yellowing, low outgassing, and especially ease of application... I've used West, System Three, Raka, Mas, and US Composites. While all are good, I think the Mas and System Three stand out, but ONLY if you protect them properly! A good "UV-protection" finish is crucial. To prep, we gave the deck six extraordinarily thin coats of epoxy (which equates to about three normal coats), sanded the deck down to the "320-grit-emery-cloth" level, then cleaned it thoroughly and gave it an EVER so brief cleaning using Interlux 202 Fiberglass Solvent Wash... After that we applied Epifanes Rapidclear semi-gloss, (which took FOREVER to cure). After just one coat, the deck is "spooky beautiful" -- Not shiny at all, but deep, even, and rich like a violin or a Martin guitar. (Sorry, I can't answer to the issue of finishing bright on this one.)

* If I were to do it again, I'd probably use this forum to decide whether to use Mas or System Three... I'd make sure to stick with CLC and this forum...

* Lastly, consider the application technique... I've had tremendous luck wiping on thin coats using foam sponges... I feel that I can better control the layer by hand then with a foam brush or foam roller. I guess the bottom line is to TEST, TEST, TEST first...

Hope this helps...

Alan

P.S. Try googling on: "yellowing epoxy test west system 3 raka mas" (without the quotes...)

In Response to: US Composites by Andrew Sommer on Sep 3, 2006

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