Do I need to paint the boat if I use Epoxy with UV inhibitors?

  • I'm not sure if this should go in the builders forum, or if it's more suitable here, but any which way, I'm wondering about painting (rather, not painting) my boat.  I'm using the Raka Epoxy that has UV inhibitors.  I have two reasons for not wanting to paint the boat - I love the natural wood colour, and secondly I want to do the least work possible to get on the water.  I know some people double their buidl time with the finishing, but I really want to get out there camping and exploring as quickly as possible.

  • This is a bit of a yes and no answer.  Epoxy is not well suited for dealing with UV exposure.  Some polymers, such acyrylic are naturally UV resistant, however, epoxy is at the other end of the spectrum.  Adding UV inhibitors does help, but doesn't make the epoxy impervious to UV degradation.  I'd recomend at least giving it a couple of coats of good paint, and the epoxy will then be fully protected.  You could perhaps get away without any paint or varnish if the boat is covered for most of the year, and you're not out in the sun more than about a couple of weeks anually (combined with UV inhibitors).  Overall, however, I'd recommend simply finishing it as simply as possible.

  • With my last boat, I just gave the thing a quick sanding with 100 grit using my random orbital sander (probably spend about 2-3 hours sanding), and then gave it two coats of white over the entire boat.  In total, time spent finishing was less than 8 hours.  Granted, it wasn't perfect - lots of lumps and bumps under the paint, but the reality is it will perform just as well and last just as long as someone who spends 80 hours finishing.

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