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senior member (52)senior membersenior member
04/21/2023 11:26AM  
I am part way through refinishing my well traveled Seneca. I’ve scraped all the loose chunks off of it and sanded once with 150 grit. I was wondering if I should coat with resin since I have it stripped down pretty far right now or just go with marine varnish as it has very little damage to the bottom of the boat right now?

Attached are a few pictures that may/may not give much clarity to the question at hand.

Thanks in advance for any advice……Justin
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04/21/2023 12:03PM  
I've been advised by a seller that the proper material to refinish a Wenonah is vinyl ester. They did not advise epoxy. I don't know why, I just followed their advice.
04/21/2023 01:28PM  
I would go with vinyl ester resin to the waterline, hit the rest with varnish if it needs it. It looks to me like a fair amount of cloth has been exposed. Make certain the entire area of the hull in which you apply resin has been roughed up- any areas in which sanding was insufficient the new resin will flake off making the next fix much more difficult.
senior member (52)senior membersenior member
04/21/2023 01:37PM  
Thank you for your advice. Sounds like resin it is. What grit sandpaper or other product would you recommend to rough up the canoe bottom with prior to applying the resin?
distinguished member (396)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
04/21/2023 03:13PM  
JustinLinnell1: "Thank you for your advice. Sounds like resin it is. What grit sandpaper or other product would you recommend to rough up the canoe bottom with prior to applying the resin?"

I went straight to 200 grit when I re-finished my Souris River, it turned out ok. Any blemishes I had were because I had the heat/humidity all wrong in the garage and it didn't cure the way I had hoped.

As for product, Epoxy resin is just fine for any Kevlar re-finish and some manufacturers use it in house (Savage River, Souris River). What I have read is NOT recommended, is to use a vinylester resin over epoxy, something to do with improper curing and adhering. Not sure what Wenonah has used historically, but if it's already vinylester resin, maybe stick with that.

With that said, Epoxy resin is more durable for scratch and impact resistance, but has less UV protection some other products and will degrade and change color with prolonged sun exposure (we're talking years though). You can purchase UV protectant coatings to apply to the canoe after refinishing that will help combat that. If you go with Epoxy, West Systems is the best.

04/21/2023 03:57PM  
I recently refinished my Seneca as well and had great results using the west system. I used 180 grit sandpaper being as careful as I could to not get into the kevlar. After researching a number of outfitters and threads on this site I followed the step by step instructions from the souris river dealer in the link posted below.

04/21/2023 09:29PM  
You may find this thread useful
distinguished member (270)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
04/23/2023 08:00PM  
You can use epoxy on vinyl ester but not vinyl ester on epoxy, it won’t adhere well. I would not use vanish on a canoe. You cannot repair with vinyl ester if it has vanish on it, it will bubble up no matter how well you sand it, found that out the hard way. If the canoe has been vanished epoxy will need to be used for any repairs.
Best luck with your repair.

distinguished member(2970)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
04/24/2023 07:35AM  
I believe vinyl ester is used by the big companies due to it being less expensive than epoxy. Wear a respirator with a charcoal filter!

UV protection comes from additives in the resin. West System 207 hardener has UV inhibitors in the hardener. West System is epoxy not vinyl ester. It's an incredibly tough product.

Spar Varnish used over epoxy will provide a higher degree of UV protection. Any composite canoe should not be stored outside as the resin will break down over time from the sun.

when sanding, a coarse sandpaper to start is a good idea. 80 grit will remove imperfections, then 150 grit +/-. After that 220 or 320 grit. No need to go finer unless you wish to polish the surface.

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