Projects: Building my ‘Daydream’ with epoxy resin – by Keith McIlwain
Following a period of ill health and a realization that ‘you only live once’ Keith McIlwain decided that he needed a change in direction in his career. The Boat Building Academy in Lyme Regis gave Keith the skills and confidence he needed to build ‘Daydream,’ his 20’” Golant Ketch, using epoxy resin.
How did the project come about?
I decided I wanted a trailer sailer that I could sail around the coastline of the South West of the UK or trail to new sailing grounds as time and funds allowed. So the Golant Ketch, designed by Roger Dongray, was my go-to choice.
Which WEST SYSTEM or PRO-SET epoxy products did you use? How did they help?
WEST SYSTEM epoxy was used in many ways throughout the build. Sometimes neat for gluing or sheathing the hull in glass cloth, with colloidal silica for structural fillets or with 409 Microsphere for filling and faring. Once I had learnt the appropriate techniques for the different tasks I found the epoxy very easy to use. I am absolutely confident that the resulting boat will stand the test of time.
What was the most rewarding part of the project?
The successful launch of ‘Daydream’ was intensely rewarding, however, the most satisfying stage of the build process itself came about when the hull received its final coat of paint. Preparation is everything where finishing is concerned. The final coat of paint was applied following more than a week of filling, faring and sanding by many willing hands. Hopefully the finish achieved reflects the time invested!
What’s your top tip for boatbuilders looking to start a similar project?
- Through the inevitable ups and downs of a build remind yourself often that you are incredibly lucky to be undertaking such a task.
- Plan diligently but adapt as necessary.
- Gather a good team around you.
Keith is now established as the independent boat builder, ‘Daydream boats’. He’s currently working on his first commission, the renovation of a 1930 International 12 Dingy. Best of luck Keith!
All photos: Nigel Sharp.