Should I coat bulkheads with epoxy?

Discussion in 'Boatbuilding' started by mariobrothers88, Dec 12, 2020.

  1. mariobrothers88
    Joined: Sep 2020
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    mariobrothers88 Senior Member

    Hi guys, when I emailed Richard Woods about coating the bulkheads with epoxy, this is what he said:

    "The interior bulkheads can be considered like a kitchen or bathroom in a house. So regular paint is OK. I tend to avoid epoxying anything inside unless it is hidden as part of a watertight compartment for example. I prefer using paint, which might be epoxy, not to be confused with epoxy glue. But again I don't do any coating until the end. But some builders do precoat everything. Choice is yours"

    I'm a little surprised that the bulkheads for the woods flica don't require a coat of epoxy, is this similar to other designers? I actually would rather prefer to coat the bulkheads with epoxy given their structural importance, would there be any downsides of using epoxy vs regular paint (other than cost)?

    Thanks everyone you guys are all amazing!!!
  2. bajansailor
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    bajansailor Marine Surveyor

    As he says, the choice is yours - if you want to, just do it.
    I would be inclined to 'paint' the bulkheads with epoxy (say two coats - the first could be thinned a bit as per what they say here - How do I thin Epoxy for certain applications? ).
    Prior to painting with remaining finishing coats of paint.

    I suppose one 'advantage' of not painting with epoxy is that you don't have to sand the bulkhead so assiduously - once the epoxy has 'gone off', then you will have to sand it well to provide a good 'key' for the first coat of paint (and maybe wash it first, if there is an amine blush).
  3. DCockey
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    DCockey Senior Member

    Coating with epoxy will have minimal, perhaps miniscuale effect of structural properties of the plywood.
  4. mariobrothers88
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    mariobrothers88 Senior Member

    Thanks for your reply DCockey! What I meant was that epoxy would better protect the wood from damage from water than regular house paint. Is this not the case and wouldn't this be important?
  5. Mr Efficiency
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    I think what was mentioned earlier, what would work on a domestic bathroom will be good enough, and epoxy paint is not used. About the only use I ever heard for it on the domestic scene, was on compressed fibre-cement floors.

  6. missinginaction
    Joined: Aug 2007
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    missinginaction Senior Member

    Condensation, water vapor and the inevitable leak are the reasons I coat all of my wooden parts with three coats of resin. Everywhere. I have a dry boat. Took the time to install through hulls properly and use a PSS. Packless Shaft Seals are wonderful. On low humidity summer days I can toss a paper towel into the bilge and it will be dry for days. But, when it's humid and foggy I get small amounts of water in the bilge. Liveaboards know this well. You wake up in the morning and the entire boat is drenched even though it never rained and the sky above the fog is clear.

    My boat isn't big. It wasn't very costly to coat everything three times with resin. Then 2 coats of primer and two coats of Interlux Perfection. There were some places I used Wilsonart HPDL as well. I suppose it all depends on how picky you are. I can tell you that over the past 12 years I've had a couple of leaks to track down but absolutely no issues with dry rot or water infiltration.

    If you plan to keep your boat do it once and do it right.

    Have a great day!

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