gel coat repair on Esquif Kevlar boat

Does anyone know if the Esquif Kevlar canoes (A Champlain, in this case) are made of polyester, vinylester or epoxy resins, and what the correct gel coat (clear finish) material should be to repair these boats? I understand that the material chosen for the gel coat needs to be compatible with the bonding agent used in the boat’s construction.

I am having trouble getting this info from the company.

I would use my West 105/205 epoxy.

– Last Updated: Feb-17-10 11:23 AM EST –

I don't know whether Esquif used vinylester or epoxy for the layup, but epoxy WILL stick to anything, better than any alternative. You will have to level the surface smooth and keep a little 303 on the epoxy to protect it during cartopping. Or you can use a yacht wax from 3M or Meguar. They have lots of UV inhibitor and will stay on the boat longer than 303.

Esquif gelcoat repair
thanks. This morning, I got a response from their Quebec rep. He said the Esquif kevlar boats are made with vinylester. This morning, I talked to several reps with gel coat/resin manufacturers, and a boat repair outfit. Seems like almost anything will stick to vinylester, provided it’s lightly sanded and cleaned. So, my decision gets down to how UV resistant, and how tough I want the coating to be. Certainly, epoxy has the reputation for toughness. One of the companies manufactures a vinylester/polyester-compatible clear gel coat.

Sounds like epoxy would be just as likely to stick.

Others may come by with alternatives.
Clear gelcoat, or whatever it is, invites a variety of approaches. I suggested epoxy because I work with it a lot, but it still is important for you to consider what Esquif suggests.

Some people on pnet, Bnystrom for example, are very skilled at dealing with gelcoat. But the first issue is to understand what Esquif did by way of a layup, and then to decide whether some sort of vinylester compatible gelcoat would be best, or whether you can just pick up some West 105/205 and go with that.

One thing about epoxy… it keeps for a while. Vinylester and polyester based gelcoats must have a limited life. Although my West epoxy reddens with age, I have used even five year old epoxy without problems.

West System epoxy
West System epoxy does make a hardener that is UV stabilized.

I use 105 resin with 207 hardener (ratio is 1:3) with excellent results.

I have flash coated with 105/207 a sea kayak hull that came from factory as clear finish over carbon/Kevlar. Unfortunately the factory finish was way too soft and not abrasion resistant.

Finishing the whole hull with 105/207 made that kayak suitable for beach launching and avoided abrading the finish down to cloth.

After two years of heavy use it is still going strong.

Thanks, I haven’t used the 207 yet.

esquif gel coat repair
Thanks for the replies. I guess what you are both recommending is to coat with a clear epoxy resin, instead of a gel coat.