How To: Repairing a buoyancy tank with WEST SYSTEM epoxy
There could be all sorts of reasons why your buoyancy tank needs mending. Maybe you’ve had an accident when transporting your boat? Perhaps the weather hasn’t been kind to it. Or maybe just the passing of time has taken its toll. Whatever underpins the problem, here we explain how to repair your buoyancy tank in nine easy steps.
1. Begin by cutting out the damage with a jig saw. Then feather the edge to a gradual taper with a sanding disk on the angle grinder.
2. Clean the area to remove any dirt on the surface, making a cardboard template of the repair area whilst the substrates are drying.
3. Cut the plywood replacement into shape. You can use a cardboard template of the repair area to help you with this.
4. The replacement panel can now be coated with a mix of WEST SYSTEM 105 Resin® and 206 Slow Hardener®. Ensure that all the edges are thoroughly sealed. The coating will provide a great moisture barrier and protect the plywood.
5. You can now bond the battens into position on the panel and then go over the area using an 80 grade abrasive.
6. The replacement panel then needs to be bonded to the existing fibreglass structure. Reinforce the joint with WEST SYSTEM 729 Plain Weave 25mm Glass Tape® which weighs 175g/m2 and is available on the roll.
7. Cut the tape approximately to length and then mix up a batch of WEST SYSTEM 105 Resin® and 206 Slow Hardener® and transfer it to a roller tray ready for use.
8. With a stippling action, use a brush to wet out two layers of tape around the panel in position on the boat.*
That’s all there is to it. Try it out should your buoyancy tank need some attention!
A note about point 8…
* Once the epoxy has cured where the replacement panel meets the front of the buoyancy tank, you might find that there is a step between the two panels. This will cause the tape to bridge the gap, creating a void behind the glass into which water could settle. If this happens, carefully cut out this glass and use a thickened mix of WEST SYSTEM 105 Resin® and 206 Slow Hardener® and 405 Filleting Blend® to create a radius before re-applying glass tape along that edge.
Looking for the right epoxy products to fix your buoyancy tank? You can find all of the products mentioned above on our website.
Looking for other tricks of the epoxy trade? Check out all of our Trade Secrets.