MARINE EPOXY Pages (part 3 of 3)

marine epoxy


Marine Epoxy Tips / Tricks / Rules




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Progressive Epoxy Polymers, Inc.


"The Right Epoxy Fixes Darn Near Everything!"


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Progressive Epoxy Polymers Inc., Floor Coatings  EpoxyPolyurethane, Pittsfield, NH

We are the only technology based coating/epoxy/resin company that actively encourages your phone calls, not just during our East Coast work hours but also after/before hours, evening, weekends and even holidays. We're available when you are. We form a personal relationship with our customers and freely share technical information, how to-advice, product information and tips-and-tricks. Speak with a non-salesman technical professional with over 25 years of experience in the resin/coating/epoxy industry (no newbie staffer on the phone lines!). Floors, tables, boats, leaks, rot repair. We handle it all!

Your Host and Tour Guide:

Paul Oman, MS, MBA - Progressive Epoxy Polymers, Inc. (floor epoxies, marine epoxies, underwater epoxies, repair epoxies)

Member: NACE (National Assoc. of Corrosion Engineers), SSPC (Soc. of Protective Coatings)

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"Professionals helping Professionals since 1994"

Former Sailing Instructor -- 1976 Yachting Magazine -- Jr. Article Writing contest 1st place winner --

Boat builder -- Founder: Friday Night Kayaking Club -- "Good Old Boat" magazine advertiser







Marine Tips / Tricks / Rules






Marine Epoxy Boat Issues



Marine Repair Products


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GOOGLE SITE SEARCH - Click here Epoxy specific site search

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MPRICES - 2 part marine epoxy pricing issues - CLICK HERE -

MEPOXIES - comparing 2 part clear marine epoxies - CLICK HERE -

EVAL4U - how to evaluate your marine/non marine epoxy vendor - CLICK HERE -


Nearly all boat projects require multiple products: structural repair putties, fairing compounds, barrier coats, primers and sealers, laminating resins with fiberglass cloth and fillers. Generally people need help with product selection, amounts and application. No web site can give all this support, especially when so many things are involved. Our customers call 24/7 including nights, weekends and holidays for that kind of  pre-purchase advice and  application help. It is the only way to get a two way conversation to happen.  603.435.7199 EST





glue.html - epoxy makes a great glue, but unlike other glues, don't clamp it too tight!



marine_epoxy_recipes.html - folks often mix different epoxy thickeners and fillers to get the 'right' mixture. Customer recipes here.


restore.html - repairing holes in an old plywood dinghy

stitch and glue marine epoxy boat











repair.html - repairing damage, rot, etc. in an old plywood dinghy



putty.html - epoxy putty products repair damage, rot, etc. in an old plywood dinghy

Roller Recommendations

Users recommend using a 3/16 inch nap roller specifically labeled for use with epoxies (regular rollers are 3/8 inch). An alternative would be a ‘lintless' roller. Foam rollers work also, but the foam may begin to break off before job is complete. Regular ‘bulk' rollers will work too, but will leave roller fibers/lint on the surface for the first 30 square feet or so.

We now sell short nap epoxy rollers.

Check out those painting 'pads' - a short nap on a foam block or plastic holder. Our tests seem to show they work better than bushes or roller!

notes on rolling epoxies on smooth surfaces (such as hulls) click here for more in epoxy paint rollers

Barrier Coatings for Fiberglass, Steel, and Cement Hulls

Essentially a barrier coat is simply a layer of epoxy, which is highly non-porous, applied over a rather porous polyester resin fiberglass hull. The regular fiberglass hulls can selectively draw in water and create blisters. The epoxy barrier coat seals the hull.

Despite what you may have read, barrier coat technology is not rocket science. It boils down applying a sealing coat of epoxy to your hull and basically any epoxy will do the job, in fact, from what I have observed many paint/resin companies seem to have brought obsolete and junky epoxies back to life as barrier coatings.

Nice Thing To Have In Your Barrier Coating:

1) pigment - so you can see where you've painted it and get an idea how evenly and uniformly you have been applying it.

2) thickening and gelling agents. These two are not quite the same thing. Hopefully your barrier coat is thick enough that you do not have to apply coat after coat to get a reasonably thick coat. How thick? No set answers, but figure about 10 mils which would normally be about 160 square feet per gallon of a SOLVENT FREE coating. That might equal 3 or 4 coats of ordinary varnish or interior wall paint. Thicker is better as it provides a ‘wider' barrier to moisture migration. Barrier coat products range from 3-4 mil dry coating thickness per coat to 40 - 70 mil, Kevlar (tm) microfiber reinforced, single coat epoxy systems. These thicker coats are often used to seal and protect cement hulls and 'rust proof' steel hulls.

Gelling agents keep the epoxy from sagging after application on a vertical surface. The opposite of gelling is (sort of) the term self leveling. Ordinary epoxies used for boat building, repairing, etc. do not have gelling agents in them. You can use them for barrier coating but watch for sags and expect the epoxy to flow so that the coating near the water line will be thinner than the coating that collects down by the keel. Is this a big deal? Probably not. More info: Click here for barrier coat epoxies.

Boat Blisters

Most folks make a big deal over fiberglass hull blisters. They will not sink or boat and are not worth the worry so many people give them. Consider them like teenage pimples or zits. Pop them, wash them, and medicate them (patch them) and get on with your life. If you insist upon making a big deal about them, you can always find someone willing to agree with you and charge you lots of money for whatever degree of ‘overkill' you are willing to pay them for. More info: Click here for more about boat blister repair



marine spar varnish










If your boat is like mine was, there are at least several wood surfaces that require a varnish or polyurethane clear coat. When living in the Gulf Coast I learned these finishes do not last long. Here is the technique we developed using epoxy and varnish (or polyurethane). First, seal the wood with several coats of epoxy until you have a glassy hard finish. Lightly sand the epoxy and topcoat with one or more coats of varnish or clear polyurethane. This will provide the UV protection to the epoxy, will the epoxy protects and seals the wood. Our Floro Polymer would also do this.

One other trick with the varnish. You can thicken it with fumed silica (often know by the Brand name Cabosil (tm)) -- so that it goes on twice as thick — two coats for the price of one!

Epoxies - How to Evaluate/Compare

Like whiskey, there are good and bad epoxies, potent epoxies and watered down epoxies. There are cheap/trashy moonshine epoxies and performance blends. You can probably build your boat with any of them and be alright. The degree of quality (or ease of use) is a very personal thing.....

Here are a few things you can look at to get a clue about the quality or user friendliness of your epoxy.

Blush/Amine blush - Blush is a waxy layer (sometimes visible, sometimes not) that develops on the surface of many epoxies as they cure. It is a reaction of the curing (hardener) agent with moisture in the air. It must be washed off or additional layers of epoxy or paint will not bond well to it. The very best epoxies do not blush and are so indifferent to moisture that they can literally be applied underwater.

Nonyl Phenol - This is an inexpensive chemical added in small amounts to either side of a two part epoxy to produce easy mix ratios. When added in large amounts, say more than 15%, it is a way to ‘water down the epoxy' and get the cost down. Ask for the MSDS sheet of any epoxy you purchase and check for nonyl phenol. Nonyl is not necessarily a completely bad thing, but a nonyl rich epoxy should not be as expensive as a non nonyl filled epoxy.

Induction Time - If you have to mix your epoxy and let it sit for some amount of time (called induction time) before you can begin using it, you are probably dealing with a ‘cheap' epoxy.

Epoxy Crystallization - If your epoxy (part A or part B) tends to crystallize in the can over time (warming will remelt the crystallized mass) you are probably dealing with a specialized epoxy or a ‘cheap' resin/hardener. There are resins and curing (hardening) agents that will not crystallize. This might not be a purely price issue, but it certainly is a ‘user friendly' issue.

MSDS - The Material Data Safety Sheet - all vendors and manufacturers are required to have these safety sheets for each of their products. I am always surprised how difficult it is to get an MSDS from almost every Epoxy vendor. If they will not offer up a MSDS for their base AND cure/hardener without a lot of hassle, by from a vendor that will. MSDS information should also be available at the local marine store for all the products they carry.

Epoxy - How Much Epoxy Do I Need?

1 gallon of resin wets out:

material sq ft
.75 oz mat 64 square feet
1.5 oz mat 32 square feet
6 oz cloth 90 square feet *******
10 oz cloth 60
18 0z woven roving 40
24 oz woven roving 32
2415 bi-ply 16

******** This is a very common weight. Figure 50 square feet of coverage with 2 top coats of additional epoxy to completely bury the cloth weave (i.e. three total coats of epoxy).


Paint and Painting - Latex


boat repair










We have discovered how great exterior latex paint is on boat surfaces above the waterline and on epoxy surfaces. A top quality semi-gloss, exterior house latex (like that used for trim or shutters at $30 per gallon) is easier to apply, easier to clean up, keeps it shine much longer and is more fade resistant than any marine enamel I have ever used. It is also less brittle and less subject to cracking. Being slightly porous, it resists blistering much more than enamels. It all makes sense. Paint companies have performed a lot more R&D in the competitive, huge, house paint market than in the much smaller marine paint niche. Another plus - with custom blending, you can get any color you want.

Expert article on Latex on boats: click here for latex paint on boat hulls

A second tip. Do not every use pure white paint on your boat. It shows too much dirt, etc. Instead use an off-white, something with a slight gray or blue tint. You will find that while your off-white may look gray in the can or at your home, when on your boat, and surrounded by other boats, it will still look pure white and much whiter and brighter than any of the other ‘white' boats around it.

Another real plus. If you are like me and work on the boat during the weekends, this can save you an entire work session. Latex paint can be applied to just applied, still wet, epoxy without waiting for the epoxy to even begin to cure. This work, at least, with the non-blushing marine epoxy I use. I cannot say for certain if it works with other, more common, name brand epoxies which do suffer from amine blush. It is nice to fill an dent or gouge with epoxy and then immediately carefully brush or dab on the matching hull/deck latex paint instead of waiting a week to repaint the repair.

For the finest above the waterline hull coating (white only) I would recommend our LPU MARINE - a two-part linear polyester urethane (compare to Awlgrip) over a primed surface. For more information about epoxies and urethanes see our Chemistry of Epoxies/Urethanes page. For more info about LPU MARINE - CLICK HERE for LPU coatigs in the marine marketplace. (ONLY AVAIL IN WHITE).

Penetrating Epoxies

This has become such a critical topic that a dedicated web page has been assigned to Penetrating Epoxies. Click here to link to: PENETRATING EPOXY --

Epoxy vs. Fiberglass (polyester) Resin


basic no blush marine epoxy










Standard fiberglass resin (polyester resin with styrene) is used to make fiberglass boats. It is inexpensive, smelly, dissolves foam, sticks will to itself, tends to be slightly porous (can absorb water and form blisters), and does not stick well to wood, metal or other surfaces.

Epoxies are as messy as polyester resins to work with and cost a lot more. However, they do not smell as badly, generally will not dissolve foam, sticks great to nearly everything (except ‘milk carton' or ‘gas can' plastics), and are much less porous than polyester resins.

For fiberglass on fiberglass repairs, you might use polyester resins, but even in those cases, and certainly for all other situations (especially when wood is involved), use epoxy resins.

Note that all epoxies are not created equal, but even the worst of the epoxies is probably more than adequate for about any task you might put them too.


Rotting Wood and Ethylene Glycol

I don't know why the use of Ethylene Glycol (i.e.. regular automotive Antifreeze) to kill and treat the fungus that causes wood rot causes such strong reactions in many people. Obviously the best solution to rot is to cut it out completely and replace the damaged area. If you cannot or will not do that (such as on the top surface of an otherwise good wooden dock piling), then liberal use of antifreeze on the rotting wood will kill the fungus. The antifreeze will evaporate, leaving begin just a slight residue. The rot fungus will eventually return - the glycol have evaporated away. The wood is still damaged and rotted, but at least you've checked the rotting for the moment. If somehow patched or coated/repaired the rotting will probably not continue hidden under the patch.

Third party article: click here - wood rot repair

I cannot speak for other epoxy brands, but the non-blushing brand of epoxy I use does bond to anti-freeze coated surfaces. I have even mixed antifreeze into the liquid epoxy and it cured just fine, although I can see no reason for every doing this.

Underwater Surface Areas


marine epoxy










General Rules of Thumb (Based upon information for Interlux Boat Painting Guide)

boat size wetting surface area

18 ft day sailor = 120 squ feet
21 trailerable = 160 sf
28 racer/cruiser = 250 sf
31 racer/cruiser = 270 sf
36 cruiser = 330 sf
41 cruiser = 435 sf
53 cruiser = 590 sf

motor boats

18 runabout = 120 square feet
21 runabout = 150 sf
28 cruiser = 240 sf
32 sportfish = 300 sf
36 cruiser = 350 sf
42 cruiser = 500 sf
53 cruiser = 650 sf

LOA times beam times 0.85 =wetted surface area.


Epoxy coating your boat hull


wooden boat repair













Disclaimer: these are only theoretical suggestions based upon my knowledge of certain epoxy coatings. They are not vendor/manufacturer/supplier recommendations or approved techniques. Decision to follow or not follow these suggestions, rests completely with the purchaser or end user. There is no warranty, refunds, liability etc. implied or suggested regarding the selection, preparation, application, or results involving these products or suggestions mentioned here.


Wood Hulls

I would always think twice about applying an epoxy skin or coating over a wooden boat and would do so only if I felt I had run out of options for maintaining the original wood surface. I would consider only epoxy coating the hull below the water line.

Inside the Hull - I would use 3 coats of our coal tar epoxy, with the first coat thinned 10%. I would only use if I had exposed (uncoated) wood to cover. The thinning would help penetration of the first coat. Coal Tar epoxies are relatively flexible, but do not like being painted over, hence the reason for internal application.

Outside the Hull - One or two coats of thin Low V epoxy (maybe even thinned 10% for better penetration) and then 1 coat (or 2) coats of our Hi Flex epoxy. If budget or time constraints apply, the single (or double) coat of Hi Flex would work without the "penetrating Low V" epoxy.

For the finest above the waterline hull coating (white only) I would recommend our LPU MARINE- a two-part linear polyester urethane (compare to Awlgrip) over a primed surface (we also have a less expensive white 2-part acrylic urethane now). For more information about epoxies and urethanes see our Chemistry of Epoxies/Urethanes page. For more info about LPU MARINE -(ONLY AVAIL IN WHITE) CLICK HERE.

Fiberglass Hulls

Inside or out - Our fiber reinforced FC 2100, or the fiberless NSP 120 epoxy is the choice for both an exterior barrier coat and bilge coating. Both use cycloaliphatic curing agents and are non-hazmat to ship. Second choice would be our Hi Flex 3 epoxy.

For the finest above the waterline hull coating (white only) I would recommend our LPU MARINE - a two-part linear polyester urethane (compare to Awlgrip) over a primed surface (we also have a less expensive white 2-part acrylic urethane now). For more information about epoxies and urethanes see our Chemistry of Epoxies/Urethanes page. For more info about LPU MARINE (WHITE ONLY) - CLICK HERE.

Steel Hulls

Inside or Out

A standard 3 coat industrial system (zinc primer, epoxy, poly topcoat) - we do not sell a zinc primer product - poly coating not below the water line.

this is a common system for water towers, etc.


2 coats of CORRO COAT FC 2100

Water tolerance before curing allowed the hull to be refloated immediately after the final FC 2100 application.

Completely free of volatile solvents – no smell or air pollution in the drydock during spraying.

Ability to apply at 10 – 80+ mils with no sagging.

Compatible with residues of all existing coating types.

For the finest above the waterline hull coating (white only) I would recommend our LPU WHITE - a two-part linear polyester urethane (compare to Awlgrip) over a primed surface. For more information about epoxies and urethanes see our Chemistry of Epoxies/Urethanes page. For more info about LPU 100 - CLICK HERE. AVAIL IN WHITE ONLY.

Aluminum Hulls

I am not yet comfortable with aluminum hulls. Aluminum can be the most difficult metal to coat and I frankly do not know what to suggest here.

For the finest above the waterline hull coating (white only) I would recommend our LPU MARINE - a two-part linear polyester urethane (compare to Awlgrip) over a primed surface. For more information about epoxies and urethanes see our Chemistry of Epoxies/Urethanes page. For more info about LPU MARINE (WHITE ONLY) - CLICK HERE.


  Epoxy Pumps

Mix ratios/pumps - Most epoxy disasters result form mixing mistakes. Some epoxies have more forgiving mix tolerances. Generally the closer to a 1 to 1 mix ratio the better. In these cases being off a tiny bit is not so serious but with mix ratios of 1:4 or 1:5
even a tiny error on the ‘one' side will greatly alter that actual mix ratio and might result in a mixture that will never harden.

Some epoxy companies like to sell inexpensive 'pumps' to measure out units of epoxy base and cure. I think it is more of a gimmick (and money maker). I would rather measure out the epoxy in disposable paper or plastic cups (two cups of A to one cup of B). Throw away the cups when they become 'messy' or even use new cups with every batch.

The pump issue came up on the WoodenBoat boatbuilding forum (11/19/01) "Temp and Epoxy Cure." Here's what was said about those pumps:

Those "lotion pumps," as they are known in the trade, are unreliable in that they can lose their prime, so-to-speak, partially, and the first shot may be short, compared to the next one, if much time has elapsed since the previous use. This can happen from a jellied goober of material, or even a fat hair, becoming lodged in the ball-check-valve assembly. While rare, it does occasionally happen. Further, in colder weather, when viscosity increases, they take longer to fully recharge and a second shot close after a first one will be short compared to a second shot a few minutes later. Thus, three squirts of A [or B] in quick succession will be different in hot or cold weather, depending on just how much time elapses between squirts. Such dispensing equipment is a practical solution to an inexpensive consumer-grade metering system for a product hose mixing ratio is critical, but it does have its shortcomings.

Repairing Hairline Cracks in old fiberglass hulls


All old fiberglass hulls seem to have them - lots and lots of tiny spider web like, gel coat cracks. These hairline cracks are ugly and can let moisture into the hull.

Here's my thoughts (and tests) on how to repair:

1) sand the hull cracks smooth (as these crack age they seem to sometimes lift and curl along the crack edges).

2) coat the area with our Aluthane aluminum primer. The very thin Aluthane will be drawn into the crack to help seal it and at the same time prime the surrounding fiberglass.

3) paint hull with a coat of our very brushable, 100% solids (0% VOC) Low V epoxy. This will actually cover the cracks and vanish them under a layer of epoxy.

4) sand the epoxy/hull smooth

5) paint the hull. If using our LPU MARINE polyurethane you'll need at least two coats to cover the aluminum color of the Aluthane.

No Sand Epoxy Surfaces

Epoxy will not stick to the poly bags we wrap our epoxy cans with for shipping. Simply apply the epoxy and evenly press the plastic across the wet epoxy and wait for the epoxy to harden. Then peel off the plastic.



Application of  "apply underwater" epoxy paint and putty

for repair and as an adhesive. Underwater swimming pool

epoxy paint and repairs - Wet surface painting.

 Yes, you can apply some special epoxy paint/puttty coatings UNDERWATER


1)  application of underwater epoxy paint (photograph) ----- uwpaint.html

2)  underwater repair epoxy saves sinking yacht  ----- cs_boat.html

3)  history of underwater paint putty epoxy ----- uwhistory.html

4)  description / buy links to underwater epoxy paint putty adhesive  ----- under4u.html

5)  epoxy and non epoxies that can be used  (not applied) underwater  ----- immerse.html

Contact Page (phone or email us)

Links to online storefront for buying UNDERWATER EPOXY

Splash Zone A-788 -- Wet Dry 700 -- Corro Coat fc2100A -- Water Gard 300

Third Party article about underwater epoxies







ONLINE STORE Purchase Here ------ or CALL 603 435 7199  ------  HOME PAGE


Marine Catalog

* home page of marine catalog section (blue background)

* table of contents page for marine catalog section




Section Four EPOXY PAINTS (barrier coats)








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Hello Paul Oman/Progressive Epoxy Polymers ( 603/435-7199);

Thanks for your advice and products. I stripped the hull with a 'green' paint stripper, sanded it with 120 grit, chipped old Bondo that had been used to fair the keel, re-faired the keel with your Wet Dry 700 epoxy kevlar (tm) putty, and then applied 2 coats of your ESP 155 epoxy primer, 2 coats of your CM 15 epoxy paint and 2 coats of Micron CSC with 1/2 ob of your copper powder per gallon of CSC. I also chased out the gelcoat cracks and filled with Wet Dry 700 epoxy putty. The hull came out beautifully.

I like working with your products. They are predictable and seem to hold to spec well. Your advice - even when I was half way through the job and made my 'lack of confidence call' (confidence in me) to you on a Saturday night was met with a quick call-back and clear map for success. I really don't know of any other supplier I would receive that from...

Kind regards --  Randall -- Mirage 35 (July 2015)

"Salvaged 45' sailboat. Purchased all my epoxy from you. I've been in the water two years and time to redo the bottom. Very happy with all the advise and delighted with how good the bottom held up. Started with 155, epoxy cream, `155 and three coats of Cm15 for barrier coat." MASON 11/16


One of our marine epoxy competitors (now a mere impersonal, product line sub-division within a big industrial corporation) claims a 30% savings in time using non blushing marine epoxies. Non blushing marine epoxies do not require washing or sanding between epoxy coats or top coating with other paints. Note that we offer Basic No Blush marine epoxy with fast, slow and regular curing agents (and it also includes bubble breakers for a more perfect finish). Our Premium No Bush epoxy is Nonyl free and uses an special curing agent is can be air shipped (shipped without restrictions). 


Epoxy Crazing Notice/Warning

There are two types of Marine Epoxy Vendors: 1) discount, bulk, REPACKAGERS who simple buy drums of raw resin and raw curing agent(s) from the big chemical companies and fill plastic jugs for resale; 2) FORMULATORS take the raw epoxy chemicals add to them to enhance and improve the raw "moonshine" into a "fine whiskey". Learn more repackagers/formulators.

Our Basic No Blush (tm) is a formulated non blushing epoxy by Progressive Epoxy Polymers, Inc. (homepage). that includes additions for reduced brittleness and exclusive (only we have it)  bubble breakers for a more perfect looking finish. Basic No Blush is the least expensive of the formulated epoxies and considered the best marine epoxy by many ex-users of the other formulated epoxies.

REPACKAGED EPOXY WARNING: Over the years I have seen and had reports of non-formulated, raw resin/cure epoxies (which are extremely hard and brittle) becoming crazed with millions of cracks (like shattered safety glass) in outdoor settings that experience big changes in temperature. Formulated epoxies  all seem to be 'fixed' to allow for this expansion and contraction without cracking by making them less brittle and better able to handle internal stresses.

Marine Catalog  ///// Stitch n Glue ///// Epoxy Only Google Search ///// Epoxy Guru Help Site ///// Marine Boat Epoxy Etc. Links

"I've been using the Basic No Blush epoxy on all my own stuff, and using up all the West epoxy on most customers boats. When the West is finally gone I'll only be using your epoxies. Good stuff. I'm rebuilding an old Rybovich so a big order in the future..." Patrick (comment with on-line order 9/4/07)  ----  Order No Blush online



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RETURNS: call or email for authorization to return. Returns are subject to a 25% restock fee. Customer pays return shipping and must comply with federal DOT shipping requirement/labeling for hazmat epoxies under penalty of fines and legal action.

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