Epoxies - West System vs. ?

I am looking at building a canoe and the people with the kit offer West Systems for $67 more than their standard epoxy. Is it worth the money? I asked what the difference is and other than a slight color difference the only thing was that the generic stuff spreads easier.

Is there anything special about West Systems?

West system is very good
I use the cheap stuff for fillets and everything else gets west system. The only downside is the blush is difficult to remove. I also seem to get a smoother finish with it too.

oneoceankayaks.com is the epoxy bible. I built last winter with system three with perfect results??? It’s all about temp. managment. good luck

I’ve used both …
System Three and West with great results… West has more additives but they can be used with System Three…

I like System Three’s 2to1 mixing ratio. It’s easier to judge…

West is more available at local boating stores should you need more of something…

Good Luck…

Another opinion

If the cheaper is Raka
then go with it. I’ve built 3 boats with Raka epoxy and found it wonderful to work with. My first boat was MAS that came with a CLC kit and the Raka penetrated easier and had a little longer pot life.

Good luck,


i like mas
because of the lack of ‘blush’, available thru clc and elsewhere

MAS and System Three
I’ve used MAS and System Three Silvertip with good results. Both are non-blushing when used with the slow harderner, which is something I like. RAKA is non-blushing as well. I know a couple of folks who have used it with excellent results, and if Pyker says he has had good luck with it, that’s good enough for me.

Pot life
I think they should all be good, each has quirks. I’ve used MAS and West. West I used both the clear 207 hardener and their 205. No longer trying for perfection, I just use the 205 which turns reddish in the can over time for my old cedar stripped, aged boats I own. Also use it for lawnmower chassis repairs,…

Pot life: All vendors have compounds for different temps or application time, don’t choose one just on pot life. Use what you’re used to. My experience was with MAS when CLC sent the kit with slow cure hardener. In 60-70°F, it took 2 whole days to cure enough to sand defects out, vs my experience with West 207, that I could coat at 9 PM one day and be sanding the next morning.

The 205 hardener I used last night doing small detailed bow repairs, one pump of resins starts gelling before I have used it up while adding small strips on the boat. That’s too fast. Luck.

talk about fast response and good answers on nonbuilding forum. Temp management is a good term,familiarity with the epoxy and having a controllable temp environment is more important. West Systems has been around and provided lots of good educational materials, systems3 as well,MAS hit a marketing niche with ‘no blush’ but it’s not a holy grail, haven’t used RAKA but there must be a reason so many folks use it.

Read Vaclavs epoxy test at www.oneoceankayaks.com

I’ve used 3 kinds
Used System Three, RAKA, and a brand called “E-poxy”. I think it’s named “Boat E-poxy” now or something.

Rumor has it RAKA and E-poxy are one in the same. I couldn’t tell the difference between the 2. But who knows?

Anyway, Sys Three seemed a little more forgiving to mixing errors but I like the way RAKA wets out. Sys Three has by far the most complete tech info, downloadable for free off their website, and their tech support and response to inquiries is the best.

My personal choice would be to download the tech data from Sys Three and buy epoxy from RAKA.

Thanks for the info. p.net is great when

– Last Updated: Oct-09-04 7:51 PM EST –

you need to know about just about anything boating related. I got a little nervous reading all the "Good lucks". Im got a little more nervous when I read the artcle angstrom posted. Luckily, I have a friend who does glass repair for a living.
East System is their standard; MAS is $20 more and West systems is $67 more.

System Three
I have only used System Three, so no comparison here. However I have had no complaints with the product and have never had any problems with it. And their tech support was of the upmost help many times as well as the epoxy book that they send you free.


good luck

Don’t worry…you’ll develop the feel for epoxy quickly. I’ve always said boat building via Stitch and Glue is less about woodworking and more about baking. That’s right baking.

You have to get the right mix, blends, and consistency.

Start with a simple project first. It’s worth the time and investment.

Thanks TomOC. The oneocean
report was very informative.

check out epoxy.com website
tyhey have great prices on non blushing epoxy!

Check out the MSDS sheets on
various products. West seems to be the safest. I build canoes in the basement so the industrial #s based on a 40 hour week don’t apply 24/7 in the house. I have excellent ventilation and go by the book. Gloves, grunge bucket, proper mixing, no sanding until cured, et al.

Hey String
If West System is sold with the boat… why not wander on down to the local boat shop and price what you can buy the stuff for locally. Maybe you can save some money off the price the canoe kit company is charging.

Personally, Epoxy is cheap enough that it’s not worth cutting corners. West System is the most complete epoxy system around, plus you can pick up most of the additives and hardeners locally. I’m not real tempted to change.