Marine-Tex ITW Polymers Coatings North America. Protect your boat from a sea of trouble.
How To...

Click below for more information on working with epoxies and
learn which Marine-Tex is ideal for your specific repair.

Go to this HOW TO... Handle epoxies properly Fix an inflatable dinghy Bond a transducer to a fiberglass, metal or wooden hull
Prepare surfaces for
bonding or filling
Make underwater repairs Bond a transducer to a polyethylene hull (as in a kayak)
Proportion epoxies correctly Fix leaks in aluminum hulls Restore the strength of loose or stripped fasteners
Remove excess epoxy Seal leaks in decks Repair cracks or gouges
in fiberglass
Use gelcoat on Marine Tex
(epoxy surfaces)
Clean teak trim Protect an aluminum tank
against corrosion
Join PVC pipe at a joint Bond or seal polyethylene
plastic joints
Removal of Amine Blush
Fair voids and depressions Expedite cure time using heat

How to handle epoxies properly:

-Always protect eyes and skin, observe all safety requirements.

-Be sure all bonding surfaces are free of dirt and grease (see How to prepare surfaces below.)

-Use the recommended proportions (1:1, 2:1, or 5:1). An epoxy's cure can not be manipulated like other resin materials. If too much resin or hardener is used the product will not cure correctly, or at all.

-Check your temperatures. Epoxies are temperature sensitive so be sure the material is kept at room temperature and warm up the surface to be bonded if necessary.

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How to prepare surfaces for bonding:

-Remove all rust, scale, paint and loose materials from the surface.

-Clean all surfaces so that any dirt, grease, oil, wax, etc is completely removed. (Lacquer thinner or acetone are excellent cleaners for many surfaces.)

-Sand a profile into the surface with 80-100 grit sandpaper to abrade the surface and provide a 'texture' for a mechanical seal.

-Wipe with solvent once more to be sure sanding dust hasn't contaminated the repair.

-Please DO NOT use soap! Soaps and regular detergents leave behind a residue that can cause a problem with adhesion.

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How to proportion epoxies correctly:

-Please keep in mind that our epoxy materials are proportioned correctly at the factory. It is possible to mix an entire kit at one time. Only mix material that will be used within 30 minutes to one hour (depending on the product and the temperatures.)

-Marine Tex epoxy mix ratios are listed by volume, not by weight.

-Begin with a clean mixing board (or cup if a using a liquid epoxy, see below) and two or more mixing sticks.

-Remove hardener component and place a scoop of it on the board with one mixing stick. Only take a small amount out of the container if not using the entire kit at one time. Judge the size or volume of the scoop of hardener component carefully, you will need to measure the resin off of this amount.

-Remove resin from jar with second mixing stick, try to match the original volume of the hardener. This will produce a one to one ratio (one part resin to one part hardener.)

-Continue placing dollops (scoops) of resin the same size as the hardener scoop for increased portions. For a five to one ratio (5:1) place five same size scoops of resin around the original scoop of hardener.

-For liquid resin and hardeners use a beaker or cup or tablespoon for measuring epoxy.

-Always stir liquid resins before proportioning because they may separate or settle in transit.

-Pour hardener into your measuring container. Keep in mind how much or how many spoonfuls of hardener are placed in the mixing cup.

-Depending on the proportions, add resin in equal volume to the hardener until all parts are added.

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How to remove excess epoxy off of tools:

-If epoxy is still wet, soap and warm water work well as clean up materials. Be sure to wash down all tools and surfaces before the epoxy cures.

-Rubbing alcohol can also be used.

How to remove excess epoxy off of application:

-Use a small amount of water on your fingers (encased in surgical-type latex gloves) to smooth uncured epoxy.

-Dipping the trowel or mixing stick in water also works. The water breaks the surface tension allowing you to mold the epoxy as needed.

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How to apply gelcoat over epoxies (Marine Tex):

-Applying polyester resin (like gelcoat) over epoxy is very tricky and must be done extremely carefully. The smaller the repair, the easier it is to coat epoxy with gelcoat. The larger the area, the polyester will be more difficult to work with and more likely to malfunction (not cure).

-Mix and apply the epoxy to the surface to be repaired. Be sure to use the correct proportions and keep the application at a minimum of 70˚F.

-Let the epoxy cure for a minimum of 48 hours. Leave more time for curing if temperatures are between 60˚F - 68˚F. (At least 72 - 96 hours.) This time for curing allows the amine blush (a waxy surfactant) to come to the surface.

-Clean the surface with warm, soapy water.

-Rinse with fresh water.

-Check to see if the blush is completely removed.

-Lightly sand with 120 grit sandpaper, clean again.

-You will now be ready to apply the gelcoat.

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How to make underwater repairs:

-Product: Marine-Tex Flex Set

-Materials: Clean mixing board and mixing stick or trowel, wet/dry sandpaper, wax paper or plastic wrap

-Conditions: Minimum 65˚F water temperature, 48 hours to fully cure at 65˚F

-Read instructions on product packaging. Substitute wet/dry sanding for surface preparation. Mix product for 2-3 minutes, then deposit it on wax paper or plastic wrap. Slide the wax paper or plastic wrap onto palm of hand with epoxy facing up. Take it below the water line and apply to surface. Be careful not to smack or pancake the product onto the surface, this will trap water under the epoxy. Instead, roll the epoxy onto the repair to push water out of the way. Leave wax paper/plastic wrap on the repair while full cure takes place for best results.

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How to fix leaks in aluminum hulls:

-Product: Gluvit Epoxy Sealer

-Materials: Aluminum prep wash, solvent for cleaning (acetone or lacquer thinner work well), 100 grit sandpaper, a good quality paint brush, 1/4" nap paint roller (if needed), a large mixing cup (if only using a portion of the kit) and a mixing stick

-Conditions: Minimum 65˚F temperature, 48 hours to fully cure at 65˚F

-Read instructions on product packaging. Clean surface with solvent then sand. An aluminum prep wash can be used to profile the aluminum surface. Mix material per directions (5:1 ratio by volume). The working time is one hour at 70˚F. Apply the material with a brush or roller directly to the surface, a primer is not needed. The long open time allows the product to seep deep into pin holes and hairline cracks around seams and rivets. A second coat can be used by mixing additional material 12 hours after the first application, if desired. This product does not have any ultraviolet inhibitors. A coat of epoxy friendly paint that is suitable for your application must be applied if treated area is in direct contact with sunlight. Contact your paint supplier to insure your are using the proper paint for your application.

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How to seal leaks in decks:

-Product: Gluvit Epoxy Sealer

-Materials: 80-100 grit sandpaper, a good quality paint brush, 1/4" nap paint roller, a large mixing cup (if only using a portion of the kit) and a mixing stick

-Conditions: Minimum 65˚F temperature, 48 hours to fully cure at 65˚F

-Read instructions on product packaging. Sand areas to be coated, sweep all dust and debris away. Mix material per directions (5:1 ratio by volume). The working time is one hour at 70˚F (less working time at higher temperatures). Apply the material with a brush or roller directly to the surface, a primer is not needed. Protect areas below from drop through. A second coat can be used by mixing additional material 12 hours after the first application, if desired. This product does not have any ultraviolet inhibitors. A coat of epoxy friendly paint that is suitable for your application must be applied if treated area is in direct contact with sunlight. Contact your paint supplier to insure your are using the proper paint for your application.

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How to clean teak trim:

-Product: TE-KA 'Scrubless' Teak Cleaner

-Materials: Fresh water in a spray bottle, 3M® pad, small detail brush

-Conditions: Minimum 65˚F temperature, not to exceed 90˚F

-Read instructions on product packaging. Surrounding areas should be masked off with tape before application of TE-KA. Fiberglass can be harmed by TE-KA Part 'A'. Spray water over the area to be treated. The trim should be slightly moist, yet not soaking wet. Put TE-KA Part 'A' on the scrub pad or brush and apply to the trim. Allow to sit on the surface for a minute, then rub into the wood with applicator for another minute or two. (Do not let the TE-KA Part 'A' to sit on the surface and dry. If the surface appears to be drying quickly, spray more water to keep it moist.) Apply the TE-KA Part 'B' to the surface with a second applicator to neutralize the Part 'A'. Wash the surface with water to rinse away all dirt and debris. Be cautious of run-off.

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How to bond a transducer to a fiberglass, metal or wooden hull:

-Product: White Marine-Tex Epoxy Putty 'The Mighty Repair Kit'

-Materials: Solvent for cleaning (acetone or lacquer thinner work well), 80-100 grit sandpaper, clean mixing board, two mixing sticks and a trowel

-Conditions: Minimum 60˚F temperature, 48 hours to fully cure at 60˚F, 24 hours to fully cure at 70˚F

-Read instructions on packaging. Prep all bonding areas as directed. Mix Marine-Tex in the proper proportions (5:1 ratio by volume). Apply the Marine-Tex to the transducer and attach to surface of hull. Use mechanical means to support contact between the transducer and the hull while the epoxy cures. Let the application sit for the full cure time.

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How to bond a transducer to a polyethylene hull (as in a kayak):

-Product: Marine-Tex FlexSet

-Materials: Solvent for cleaning transducer's bonding surface, 80-100 grit sandpaper, propane torch with spreader

-Conditions: Minimum 65˚F temperature, 48 hours to fully cure

-Read instructions on packaging. Prep bonding surface of transducer with solvent and sanding. Prep polyethylene by using the 'flame-treatment' method. There is a one hour window to bond the materials after flame treating the polyethylene. Apply epoxy to the surface of the transducer's bonding surface and attach to hull. Use mechanical means to support contact between the transducer and the hull while the epoxy cures. Let the application sit for the full cure time.

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How to restore the strength of loose or stripped fasteners:

-Product: White or Gray Marine-Tex Epoxy Putty 'The Mighty Repair Kit'

-Materials: 80-100 grit sandpaper, a drill-bit slightly larger than the original fastener hole, WD-40 or other silicone lubricant, wrench or screwdriver for removal after cure

-Conditions: Minimum 60˚F temperature, 48 hours to fully cure at 60˚F, 24 hours to fully cure at 70˚F

-Read instructions on product packaging. Drill a slightly oversized hole, slightly shorter than the new fastener, to remove any soft or deteriorated material. Clean debris from the hole. Apply a little penetrating oil or a silicone spray (like WD-40) to the new fastener to act as a release agent; wipe off excess film. Mix Marine-Tex White or Gray and fill the hole 3/4ths deep. Apply a small amount of Marine Tex to the fastener, being sure to fill in around the threads. With a slight twisting motion, insert the fastener in to the hole and allow the epoxy to cure for the full 24 hours. Marine-Tex will have the threads cast into it, and the fastener can be backed out if necessary. A wrench or a screwdriver with a little extra elbow grease may be needed the very first time the re-inserted fastener is removed since it will stick the first time it is backed out.

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How to repair cracks or gouges in fiberglass:

-Product: Marine-Tex Epoxy Putty 'The Mighty Repair Kit' White

-Materials: Solvent for cleaning (acetone or lacquer thinner work well), 80-100 grit sandpaper, clean mixing board, two mixing sticks and a trowel

-Conditions: Minimum 60˚F temperature, 48 hours to fully cure at 60˚F, 24 hours to fully cure at 70˚F

-Read instructions on product packaging. Prepare surface for bonding by checking fibers of glass for any deterioration. Dig out any weak material until solid fibers are reached. (If dealing with a hair-line crack, use a Drimmel tool to 'V' the crack. This will increase surface contact of the epoxy to the repair, creating a more secure application.) Tape off the areas around the crack or gouge, leaving open a perimeter of at least 1/4" around the entire repair for the epoxy to overlap. Clean the entire area with a wipe of solvent and lightly sand the perimeter area, clean again. Mix Marine-Tex White in the proper proportions (5:1 ratio by volume) and apply to the surface. Be sure to overlap the epoxy on to the perimeter area so that a water tight repair is created. Water or a piece of plastic wrap can be used to smooth the epoxy. This will save time in sanding later. Allow epoxy to fully cure. Remove plastic and/or tape from the surrounding areas. Clean and sand the Marine Tex if applying a coat of paint to the surface. (Marine-Tex does not require a coating for UV or waterproofing capabilities. Any coating would be for cosmetic reasons only.) Follow specific 'gelcoat' directions if applying a polyester gelcoat to the surface of Marine Tex.

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How to join PVC pipe at a joint:

-Product: Marine-Tex Flex Set

-Materials: Solvent for cleaning (acetone or lacquer thinner work well), 80-100 grit sandpaper, clean mixing board, a mixing stick and a trowel

-Read instructions on product packaging. Prep surfaces for bonding. Mix material for 2-3 minutes. Apply to clean, well-sanded PVC in a generous amount (male joint). Leave approximately 1/32" - 1/16" of epoxy around the perimeter of the PVC. Cover joint with second piece of PVC (female joint). Hold joint in place with mechanical means while the epoxy fully cures 24 hours at 72F; longer cure times at lower temperatures.

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How to fair voids and depressions:

-Product: Marine-Tex Epoxy Putty 'The Mighty Repair Kit' White or Gray

-Materials: 80-100 grit sandpaper

-Conditions: Minimum 60˚F temperature, 48 hours to fully cure at 60˚F, 24 hours to fully cure at 70˚F

-Read instructions on product packaging. Prep area to be faired out. Mix Marine-Tex in the proper proportions (5:1 ratio by volume.) With a trowel, apply Marine-Tex to the surface and work into all voids and depressions. To minimize sanding, remove excess epoxy with trowel before it cures. Use water to smooth to the desired shape. Let cure for the full amount of time.

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How to fix an inflatable dinghy:

-Product: Marine-Tex Flex Set

-Materials: MEK solvent (Methyl Ethyl Ketone), 80-100 grit sandpaper, clean mixing board, a mixing stick, a trowel and a piece of canvas or Hypalon® material cut slightly larger than repair

-Conditions: Minimum temperature 65˚F, 48 hours to fully cure

-Read instructions on product packaging. Clean the repair surface with MEK and lightly sand to create a profile. Apply the mixed FlexSet to the clean patch and smooth over the damaged Hypalon®. Let cure for the full amount of time.

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How to bond or seal polyethylene plastic joints:

-Product: Marine-Tex FlexSet

-Materials: Propane torch with flame spreader, small cup of water.

-Conditions: Minimum 65˚F temperature, 48 hours to fully cure

-Read instructions on packaging. Prep polyethylene by using the 'flame-treatment' method. There is a one hour window to bond the materials after flame treating the polyethylene. Apply epoxy to the bonding surface, leaving minimum of 1/16" of material between joint. Use mechanical means to support contact between the joints while the epoxy cures. Let the application sit for the full cure time.

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How to protect an aluminum tank against corrosion:

-Product: Gluvit Epoxy Sealer

-Materials: Solvent for cleaning (acetone or lacquer thinner work well), aluminum prep wash, 100 grit sandpaper, a good quality paint brush, 1/4" nap paint roller (if needed)

-Conditions: Minimum 60˚F temperature, 72 hours to fully cure at 60˚F, 48 hours to fully cure at 70˚F

-Read instructions on packaging. Clean surface with solvent and sand. An aluminum prep wash can be used to profile the aluminum surface. Mix material per directions (5:1 ratio by volume). The working time is one hour at 70˚F. Apply the material with a brush or roller directly to the surface, a primer is not needed. The long open time allows the product to seep deep into pin holes and corroded areas. A second coat can be used by mixing additional material 12 hours after the first application, if desired. This product does not have any ultraviolet inhibitors. A coat of epoxy friendly paint that is suitable for your application must be applied if treated area is in direct contact with sunlight. Contact your paint supplier to insure your are using the proper paint for your application.

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How to remove amine blush:

When epoxy cures, a wax-like film called Amine blush may appear. It is merely a byproduct of the curing process and can be easily removed. It is a good idea to assume that it has formed on any cured epoxy surface.

To remove Amine blush, wash the cured epoxy surface with an abrasive pad and warm, soapy water and rinse well. Dry the surface with a cloth or paper towels to insure removal of the dissolved Amine blush. Be sure to thoroughly dry the surface before the blush has a chance to dry. Sand any remaining glossy areas with 80 grit sandpaper. Wet sanding will also remove the Amine blush.

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How to expedite cure time using heat:

As epoxy cures it transforms from a liquid or gel/putty state to a solid state. The warmer the temperature of the curing epoxy, the faster it will cure. The curing timeframe is determined by ambient temperature, as well as the exothermic heat produced by the epoxy's cure.

Ambient temperature is the temperature of the air or material in contact with the epoxy. Most of the time, air temperature is the ambient temperature. Sometimes however, the epoxy can be applied to a surface that is different in temperature than the air temperature. This application surface will then indicate the ambient temperature.

Exothermic heat is generated by the chemical reaction that enables the epoxy to cure. The amount of exothermic heat generated depends on the thickness or surface area of the epoxy. A thicker epoxy mass will retain more heat and result in a faster reaction or cure and subsequently a thin layer of epoxy will dissipate the exothermic heat causing a slower cure time. The thinner the layer of curing epoxy, the less it is affected by exothermic heat and the slower it will cure.

To expedite cure time you can introduce supplemental heat to the curing epoxy area. A heat lamp or shop lamp is a good tool to utilize to expedite cure time. Place the lamp about 18" away from the surface of the curing epoxy. Do not place the lamp too close to the epoxy as this could aversely affect the epoxy performance. Allow the epoxy to cure for at least 18 hours.

It is important to note that this method is only a suggestion and that conditions and applications vary. It is always a good idea to allow epoxies to fully cure in the timeframe recommended per product.

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