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PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2011 1:17 pm 
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I have a 1988 H18 with black EPO carbon fiber rudder blades. The finish on the blades has weathered and some fibers are becoming visible in the middle of the sides of the blades. I am thinking of painting these blades with gelcoat paint, but have some doubts about the material since they are carbon fiber instead of fiberglass. Can someone please confirm that gelcoat is appropriate or advise which type of paint should be used? Thanks!


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2011 3:50 pm 
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This has been covered extensively, but I think the general consensus is, use epoxy appliance spraypaint for a cheap solution, or recoat with epoxy mixed with graphite powder.

If there are fibers showing, the epoxy is the way to go since you need to address that anyway.

Here's a how-to courtesy of Jeremy at Surf City Catamarans:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jNwMgX48uwQ


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2011 3:51 pm 
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Location: Jersey Shore
Original EPOs (from 1988) are NOT carbon fiber. They are fiberglass with black pigmented epoxy.

Don't use gelcoat. You should use epoxy to refurb them. Lightly sand the surface of the blades, wipe with acetone, and then paint with epoxy resin. You can add black pigment to the resin, or you can use clear resin and then paint with flat black spray paint, or you can just leave the clear resin unpainted (but it will likely yellow over time if left uncovered).

sm


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2011 4:09 pm 
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Location: SE Michigan / NE Indiana
Check article starting on page 18 of the spring 2011 Hotline here: http://www.w1dm.com/projects/HOTLINE/Hotline.html
Lots of good info.

_________________
Jeff R
'88 H18 Jolly Mon
'10 F18 Closely Called
Sail Michigan's Great Lakes in 2014
cramsailing.com


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2011 9:53 am 
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rehmbo wrote:
Check article starting on page 18 of the spring 2011 Hotline here: http://www.w1dm.com/projects/HOTLINE/Hotline.html
Lots of good info.


That was an excellent writeup. One thing I would add having refinished mine the quick and inexpensive way (light sand, then sprayed three light coats of high gloss black appliance epoxy enamel from a rattle can) is don't make the mistake I made by overbuilding the application in the area you see highlighted in diagram #10. I have the older-style castings and with only three light coats of paint I discovered I could barely get the freshly painted rudders back into the castings. And once I did it was difficult to get the rudders to move up and down. Figured they would "break in" after a couple of sails but no go -Reboot!! :lol: In my case I elected to remove the rudders and sand off the top 3" of freshly applied paint (left the top 3" unfinished). Not the perfect solution but after two seasons I was and still am happy results.


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