Fiberglass work in the winter? - SailNet Community

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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 12-05-2009
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Fiberglass work in the winter?

Hello everyone! Hope everyone is staying dry and warm@ I was wondering if I could do a minor one day fiberglass repair job in the winter? I am currently in Annapolis MD. I just bought a Bristol 24í. I really like this little boat. I have some repair work to do on 2 stanchions. I am going to cut out the bad and repair it the right way and top it off with a good backing plate. As I am living on board atm and have some free time I was hoping to be able to repair this in a few weeks. But alas itís getting a little cooler now and I have read that itís not a good idea to do fiberglass work while itís cold. So does anyone have any experience with working with fiberglass in the cold and give me some tips on making sure that my resin takes. Thanks a lot Dan B24 South River MD. Oh itís been snowing on and off today but the temp has been around 40.
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Old 12-05-2009
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Dan,
I have seen people do epoxy/fiberglass repairs when it is in the 40 - 50 degree range on the hard. They use a tarp(s) to tent the area in and use some kind of heater to get the ambient temp around the repair area to about 70. The higher the temp the quicker the epoxy will set - as you know. I'm a West Systems kind of guy and would use the 205 fast hardener as I have seen it kick in about an hour at 80 degrees. I forget if the slower hardeners have more tolerance for lower temps.
Good luck.
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Old 12-05-2009
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See this link - there is cold temperature info on page 81. Lots of other good info as well. http://www.westsystem.com/ss/assets/...aintenance.pdf
No epoxy work in Victoria this week though. Temps below freezing and right now it's gusting 40 (mph). I live aboard as well.
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Old 12-06-2009
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The key to success in cold weather glassing is to be able to keep the surface area of the repair above the minimum requirement for the resin used for the duration of the cure time. This can be accomplished with heaters or heat lamps. A laser thermometer is useful for monitoring the temperature. It is easy to overheat the surface.
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Old 12-06-2009
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Doing my driveway repairs up here were its a bit colder its tough to keep stuff above 50 deg and you have the fume issue as you mention living aboard

When i do epoxy paint in a semi heated shop at 55 Deg it extends the time before it can be sanded about 50%

epoxyproducts.com/noblush.html]Basic No-Blush (tm) Marine Epoxy Boatbuilding Repair Laminating Resin System - Non Blushing - epoxy sample available[/url]

You can get there cold stuff down to 35 deg
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Old 12-06-2009
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Old 12-06-2009
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Also check out MAS epoxies. People build Chesapeak Light Craft kayaks in the winter in New England in garages that are much colder than it usually gets here in Annapolis. Halogen work lights do a nice job of keeping the temp up. Defintely get the fast hardener. If you are going to have thin layers of epoxy, it will take longer for them to cure as it will produce less heat than thicker layers.

There are plenty of warm days here in the winter. The snowstorm yesterday was a fluke this early in winter.
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