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PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2019 7:30 am 
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My rudders and daggers are in fairly good condition. My rudders have some fiber showing here and there though.

It seems like all I need would be a fresh layer of gelcoat.

I've found some brush applied vinylester gelcoat in black, and white is also available.

I think I just have to make sure it has, or can have wax so that it cures hard on the surface.

Any reason not to go with this?

I can also just get regular vinylester, and buy pigment and wax to add to it, but gelcoat just seem like it could be 'one and done'


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2019 9:02 am 
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Are they EPO rudders?

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2019 9:05 am 
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Yes, they are the first gen black EPO rudders


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2019 10:10 am 
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Well that would sure be easier than epoxy and graphite powder, but I think the rudders were originally epoxy, and unfortunately I don't think polyester or vinylester adheres well to an epoxy substrate. Also, as I understand it, the graphite was intended to block the UV rays from penetrating too deep into the material and attacking the fibers, I wonder if gel coat pigment would be as effective?

Come to think of it, the real mess from refinishing my rudders wasn't in the mixing and pouring, it was in the sanding. That dust was MISERABLE! Not only that, but it took a half dozen coats because after rolling it on, it always cured with an uneven surface and had a ton of bubbles in it that required almost the entire coat to be sanded back down again. It was totally worth it though, my original EPOs have looked like new for a good 5 years! (I keep them covered and take them off the boat after every sail, which is a major PITA, but it's kept the rudders in damn good condition! :D

I imagine though that using a gel coat and letting it cure will probably give you a much better finish and less sanding, as it's thinner and there's less mixing involved and therefore no bubbles. If you spray it on, you'll probably have less sanding still!

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2019 10:22 am 
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I recall a Hobie Hotline article about refinishing rudders that inferred that they were vinylester.

Spring 2011 - Matt B: "On the blade surface, vinylester
is preferred since it’s the same hardness as the
surrounding material"

These are the ones with the label 'EPO 864'

Matt B will have the final say. I guess...


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2019 10:55 am 
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tedcool wrote:
I recall a Hobie Hotline article about refinishing rudders that inferred that they were vinylester.

Spring 2011 - Matt B: "On the blade surface, vinylester
is preferred since it’s the same hardness as the
surrounding material"

These are the ones with the label 'EPO 864'

Matt B will have the final say. I guess...


Yep, I just found that same issue. You're right, they're vinylester. Guess I missed that detail and refinished mine with the wrong material! :shock: I suppose they'll be nice and strong, but not as UV resistant as original. The fairing wasn't too difficult, seeing as I recoated them in their entirety, but man did I pay for that added hardness when it came time to sand! :lol: Oh well, too late to redo it now!

So I imagine a vinylester gelcoat would do just fine then, if that's the original material. Only reason I could think not to go with it would be if you wanted to control the amount of pigment added, but you could always add more to it. Not sure how much the pigment does in terms of blocking UV anyways, so that may be a moot point.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2019 12:53 pm 
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1st gen EPOs, if the surface is generally in good shape and only light areas of fiber exposed, I would wet sand with 220 grit or thereabout, then shoot with several coats of rattle can spray paint, then wet sand with at least 600, possibly up to 1000 grit depending on how far you want to take it.

If there is excessive fiber exposure, I would rough sand with 60-100 grit to knock off all loose fibers. Wipe with acetone and then brush on a coat of your favorite brand of epoxy resin on each side. After full cure, sand both sides up to 220 grit and then paint per the above.

I have done this on several sets of 1st gen EPOs with good, lasting results.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2019 8:34 am 
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srm wrote:
1st gen EPOs, if the surface is generally in good shape and only light areas of fiber exposed, I would wet sand with 220 grit or thereabout, then shoot with several coats of rattle can spray paint...

When I first got my 1st gen EPO's, they looked great! But after a couple of uses they began peeling horribly... the entire leading edge started to peel off, and at speed I could look at the rudder and see that a good 50% of the surface had flow separation... it looked like sheets of air enveloping the rudders! That's why I had to refinish them, the spray paint just peeled horribly. I'm sure a big part of the issue there is poor surface prep, but I still don't trust spray paint. It sure is easier than the epoxy though!

Also, OP, I forgot that I had previously asked the same question you did on a previous thread. That discussion, and pictures of my EPOs, can be found here: https://www.hobie.com/forums/viewtopic. ... &hilit=epo

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'79 H18 standard 'Rocketman II' sail #14921


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2019 9:01 am 
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Surface prep is key regardless of whether you are applying paint or epoxy. The surface needs to be clean and roughened up to get good mechanical and/or chemical bond.

I’ve used flat black spray paint from Home Depot and been impressed at how well it’s held up on both comptips and rudders. The comptip needed a sanding and recoat after a few years of exposure in direct sunlight. But the paint on the EPO’s has held up fine since they are either covered in a sailbox or in the shade.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2019 9:12 am 
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I've read that you should wash before sanding to prevent driving dirt deeper.

I figure to give the boards a soapy scrub, rinse and dry. Then a wipedown with acetone. Then the sanding begins!


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