NE Dory gunwale damage, how to fix

 

 

I took a turn too close to a tree and bashed the gunwale exposing some bare wood. I know epoxy can’t go over varnish, so I’m not clear how to clean up the area so that I can reseal with epoxy and then revarnish. It’s obvious where the wood is bare, but do I need to sand back to a clear demarcation between damaged and undamaged, or is it ok to just feather the sanding and epoxy until I get close to the varnish and then varnish over it all?

Sorry if I’m not clear but, basically,  is it more important to avoid epoxy over varnish, or to avoid areas where there is varnish but no epoxy?

Pete

 

 


5 replies:

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RE: NE Dory gunwale damage, how to fix

Epoxy over varnish will not work at all.

Varnish over bare wood (no epoxy) is much better than nothing, bit not as good as varnish over epoxy over bare wood.

Fortunately, this is an easy problem to fix.  First use #400 paper to wet sand away the varnish around the damage. You want a 2-inch or so undamaged area around the damage, clear of varnish. It's OK if you sand a little bit into the underlying epoxy, but you want to leave as much epoxy as possible while removing all the varnish in that area. When you're wet sanding varnish, it feels a little soapy. Once you're past the soapy feel, you've gotten the varnish mostly off. Wash it with clean water and wipe it with denatured alcohol. If it feels gummy, there's some varnish left. Let it dry, look at it with grazing light and you'll see the varnish streaks. Repeat the wet sanding and testing until you have a clean epoxy surface.

Now fix the damage. When I get deep dings like that, I clean it out with #80 sand paper to get down to the top of the glass or into the wood (depending on the surface, damage, etc.). Then, I lean the boat so that the damage is facing up and level, pour some epoxy into it and cover it with clear platic packing tape. After a couple of days I take off the tape and there's a nice, mostly flat patch. A bit of sanding blends it into the surroundings and then it's just a matter of new varnish. The repair is usually invisible.

Good luck,

Laszlo

 

 

RE: NE Dory gunwale damage, how to fix

   Nice, detailed info, Laszlo. I've got some dings to fix on both of my boats. Now I've got a better idea of how to do so successfully. I appreciate the help. Jeff

RE: NE Dory gunwale damage, how to fix

   Thanks Laszlo, very helpful reply. I wasn’t clear how to distinguish between varnish and epoxy when sanding back, but your description was very useful, I’ll give it a go today.

Pete 

RE: NE Dory gunwale damage, how to fix

Glad to be able to help, guys.

Laszlo

 

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