Highbuild, resin coat

A New White Coat

Posted by Paul

So after yesterdays excitement it is back to work. I got in early (for a Sunday!) and started at 9am. I gave the hull a thin resin coat and was very careful not to get any runs in it. These will just have to be sanded out again so I used the roller and carefully checked and rechecked for runs and rolled out any I saw. It took me about 2 hours to coat the entire hull. I used exactly 50 pumps of the West wall pump to entirely coat the hull (I did 2 tubs of 20 and a tub of 10). I have no idea how much 1 pump dispenses but I will pump out 1 pump next time I need some resin and I will weigh it so that I can tell the tech minded readers exactly how much resin I used. I will also find out how many milliliters it is.

resin coated outboard bowresin coated outboardresin coated inboard bow

The resin shows up every high and low spot that you just cannot see beforehand. I thought I had done a great job of fairing. I ran my hand along the hull with my eyes closed or looking away and I could not feel many highs or lows at all. But they are there and clearly visible in the gloss finish of the resin. Nature has a way of messing with peoples heads. It is only when a gloss finish is applied that the poorly faired finish shows itself and of course, very glossy is the way we all want our boats. But the sanded finish of bog is not gloss, the opposite in fact and these blemishes are invisible! My heart sank when I first saw them and I thought I would have to fair all over again. But I started the resin coat from the inboard bow back and when I got around to the outboard side I noticed how much more care I had taken where it mattered. The outboard side is much fairer. There are still some highs and lows but nowhere near as many or as deep. One thing is clear from the photos, that the tapes are still visible through the resin, but only because the resin is clear. If you look into the sheen you cant see the tape edges in the finish only on the panels under the resin. Once the white highbuild goes on they should disappear forever.

I was finished resin coating by 11.30. I got everything ready for the highbuild and then went out to buy some last minute things I needed, such as a way to measure out the paint and hardener. I had some lunch and got back at around 2pm and the resin was still very tacky. I intended to wait until around 4 before starting on the highbuild but by 4pm the resin was still tacky. I decided to go ahead and apply the highbuild anyway. At least I know I will get a great chemical bond between the resin and the highbuild.

The Penguard Highbuild is a 2 part epoxy based paint. The ratio of paint to hardener is 4:1. I was going to use a measuring jug to measure out the right ratios but in the end I thought it easier to use 2 matching soup ladles into a mixing tub. It is much cleaner and neater and easy to measure 8 of paint and 2 of hardener (about enough to do 1/3 of the hull). I then used the drill mixer to mix it properly before using a roller and roller tray to apply it to the hull. The paint is like any other paint and needs to be mixed before scooping out the ladles because it is thicker at the bottom. The hardener very thick and almost identical to maple syrup.

ladle used on highbuild hardener

I was advised to use a squeegee to apply the first coat so that it filled all of the pinholes and deeper scratches from sanding but because the resin was still tacky the squeegee was not very effective, and didn’t coat the hull very well leaving only streaks of highbuild very thin where it was applied but left most of the hull uncovered so I quickly abandoned that idea and used the roller.

The roller is not the ideal way to apply highbuild but effective enough. The conventional wisdom is that the first coat is better applied with brush or squeegee so as to get a deep penetration of the paint into the scratched surface of the bog, then to spray subsequent layers so as to get an even smooth layer. I don’t think I will spray any of the layers on. I will wait to see if the roller and then sanding it back with progressively finer sandpaper is sufficient. I am building indoors and I don’t want tiny beads of spray in the air landing on everything. Furthermore, normal paint would dry in the air and fall as dry paint drops almost like dust but being epoxy based it would drop wet and dry where it fell sometime later. Not good. And a warning to wear breathing apparatus if you are spraying epoxy based products. Otherwise the fine mist will dry on the inside of your lungs! It is near impossible to use this stuff without wearing a respirator due to the nauseating smell the stuff gives off. I don’t know what effect it would have but I didn’t want to find out and I wore my mask the whole time. Even half an hour after I finished and after a change of clothes Jo could still smell the stuff in my hair. I was also careful to wear gloves the whole time. So I didn’t actually touch the stuff at all. I am sure it is harmless but like with all aspects of the build I err on the side of caution.

highbuild outboard bowhighbuild inboard sternhighbuild inboard bowhighbuild outboard

So after the rollercoaster ride of disappointment then relief of the actual finish I had achieved I can say that I am happy enough but not entirely satisfied I have done as well as I could have. I will have a better idea once I have sanded this first coat back and applied another coat.

Finally for all of those who have waited patiently for Jo to contribute to this website via her page, she has finally done so and you can read what she has to say here.

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