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ENCAPSULATION is defined as “enclosing in an envelope.” That is exactly what a coating of marine epoxy resin does to (and for) the wood in a boat.

For most amateurs, plywood is the material of choice. Plywood is one of the cheapest and easiest building materials, one that the average do-it-yourselfer is both familiar and comfortable with. Plywood is also, pound for pound, stronger than steel. Because of its high strength to weight, plywood construction yields a boat that is much lighter and performs better than a “chopper gun” fiberglass boat.

When used with the GLEN-L Epoxy Encapsulation System, plywood is as long lasting and as low in maintenance as any other material.


If you intend to encapsulate your boat with epoxy, when should you encapsulate? It is most often recommended that you encapsulate frames before planking so that the bottoms and edges can be coated while they are still accessible. Because interrupting the building process to coat slows momentum and seems more time consuming, many builders coat the rest of the inside of the hull after planking, and the hull is right-side up. This may, however, not be as time saving or as easy as it seems.

Any epoxy coated surfaces that will be exposed to sunlight must be painted or varnished. In order to paint, you must first clean off the amine blush of the epoxy and then sand thoroughly. This can be a knuckle busting experience when you have to sand around frames and longitudinals.

A better way is to coat frames with two or three coats of epoxy and sand on a table or other flat surface prior to putting them on the building form. After the planking is fitted, but before it is installed, coat with two to three coats and sand on a flat surface. Sanding this way is quicker and easier than sanding after assembly. Epoxy sticks well to epoxy as long as the amine blush is removed and the surface is sanded.

To be sure, encapsulation is an optional procedure and is not required. Encapsulation is done primarily to protect the wood. Any holes made in the epoxy surface should be sealed to prevent access by water.


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