recoating kevlar ultra light skin coat

So I’ve got a Wenonah Prism Kevlar Ultra light that over time has lost much of its clear skin coat on the bottom of the hull. The sides are still pretty shiny, but the fabric weave is starting to become exposed on the bottom. After reading a couple of posts here in the forum, it sounds like West Systems 105 epoxy with 207 hardener is the way to go in solving this. What I couldn’t find mentioned was, just how much is it going to take to do the entire bottom of a 16.5 foot canoe? Obviously it gets a very thin coat, but I have no idea how that translates into quarts or gallons.

Anyone have any experience with that who could give me an estimate?

Also, if anyone has a different recommendation on recoating this, I’d sure be interested.


Marine varnish
I have heard some outfitters use a quality marine varnish to recoat the Kevlar boats in their fleet.

I just did a 14’ Wildfire

– Last Updated: Aug-17-13 9:52 AM EST –

The boat needed to be re-railed and I applied a couple of coats of System Three Clear Coat epoxy to the hull inside and out, and to the wood of the gunwales, deck plates, the two thwarts and a kneeling thwart and it's hangers.

I bought a pint and a half kit:

I still have over half of it left.

I would apply a marine varnish over your epoxy to prevent UV degradation of the epoxy.

You are correct.
I have recoated several of our ultralights with the 105-A resin and the 207-SA special hardener.

You’ll need a quart of the resin, and .66pint container of the hardener.

Get the West Systems # 300 mini pumps. They are calibrated to dispense the correct mix ratio.

The beauty of using the above is the long working time you have.

Put on two thin coats.

You can apply the second coat the same day if you wait for the first coat to harden to a firm rubber cure or anytime up to fifteen hours later.

During your prep, don’t sand the bottom too much and get the Kevlar to fuzz.

I always mask around the perimeter of the hull with newspaper, so none runs down on the sides of the boat.

If you have any doubts, call up West Systems and talk with someone in Tech service. That are great and will walk you through the whole process.

Jack L

I didn’t realize
…varnish would protect from UL. Is that more effective than using 303 protectant?

how to apply?
What do you suggest for application? Brush, roller?

Foam Roller
West System has their own Foam Rollers. IIRC they have around a 1/8" nap. It won’t take much and the rollers do an excellent job of evenly spreading the epoxy.

Either a foam roller or foam brush.
Both work well.

Good quality marine varnishes such as those made by Petit (Z-Spar) or Epiphanes confer UV protection. So does 303 but it doesn’t last that long.

What Jack said
Ditto on West System 105 & 207 with foam roller. Then I do a final coat of Helmsman Spar Urethane for UV.

I don’t bother with the urethane
My boats are either in the water or in our boat barn, so the only time the hull is exposed to UV rays is going to and from the water.

Jack L

Yes, foam rollers work well, but epoxy
is not self-leveling like varnish. I coated two ww boats using West rollers, and the result was an orange peel texture on the surface.

That was easily smoothed using a random orbit sander, but anyone rolling on epoxy should expect a final sanding step.

System Three Clear Coat
I have not used West 195 resin with the 207 hardener but the System Three Clear coat (which I applied with a disposable foam brush) went on very much like varnish. Just about the same viscosity and also prone to runs and sags if care was not taken.

It might have to do with the ambient
temperature the day I applied the resin. It was 90 degrees in the shade of my carport. I used 105 and 206. I applied the next coat as soon as the previous coat was just firm enough not to grab the roller. (This was so the amine blush would not have risen enough to interfere with adhesion of the next coat.) I put on about 4 coats. The result was an orange peel surface. I think West cautions people to expect that result. Now, with 207, would I have gotten a different result? I don’t know.

That worked great
This is the first time I’ve used the West System epoxy and this stuff is fantastic. I used the 105/207 combo. Now I’m just looking around the house for more stuff to use it on it’s so much fun to use.

Once I did the first canoe, it looked so good, I ended up doing all my kevlar ultralights. That first one needed a few coats. The rest just got a single refresher coat. They all look like new again. It’s a miracle.

After getting some advice from my local paddle shop repair tech, I ended up using a cheep throw away bristle brush to paint the epoxy on, and then before it set, I used the West System foam rollers to work it around and even it out. Worked like a charm. I couldn’t be happier with the results.

I also managed to put some fiberglass repair patches in an old project Wenonah Solitude I had picked up a few years back. It had been used hard in whitewater and had some impact spots that weeped a little. A couple of patches and it’s, well, not good as new, but watertight again. If I had realized how easy this was, I’d have done it a while ago.

Thanks all for the advice. You’re all very helpful and informative.