Subject: Hi
Date: Wed, 11 Mar 1998

Alf H. wrote:

Thank you for an interesting page.
I very much appreciated your considerations on epoxies and old boats, as I own a 1960 traditional wooden motor cruiser, where there have been made a few cheap repairs done that cost me a lot of work to fix. I was lucky to find local expertise (the importers of West system, serious boatbuilders) who gave me useful hints especially on where NOT to use their products. It just seems to pop up more and more ugly examples on people thinking epoxy is the answer to all their problems, when in fact it can be the start of even more problems. There are pros and cons to both epoxy and other products promising miracles.
Had an awful experience with a substance called Coelan, a sort of plastic coating, supposedly allowing the wood to breathe (a gore-tex for wood). Absolutely disastrous. Took over the boat four years after the stuff had been applied, and spent weeks removing the goo to rescue my mahogany, which looked pale and sick, suffocating under a layer of coelan. Some people may have good experiences with this stuff even though I haven't heard of any, and if this stuff is sold in the U.S market, a warning is hereby issued... Anyway, thanks for an interesting page, will there be updates soon?
Again, keep up the good work, and have a nice boating season!
Alf H.


I have not heard of Coelan, but there are a number of products out there that claim to restore bad wood and not many of them work well or last very long.

We got into this whole epoxy repair business with the Clear Penetrating Epoxy Sealer (CPES) because I'd used it so successfully. Under the right conditions and applied carefully with proper follow-up procedures it did restore wood, or form the base for a strong epoxy matrix that bonded to the good wood that was left. Just haphazardly slinging epoxy at wood rarely works. It has to be a precise process with just the right products applied under the right conditions.

We catch some flack from the surveyors and shipwrights for our position on epoxies. They seem not to understand that we too agree that replacing wood is always a better solution. I think boat owners who buy and use our products know that, and they come to us because it is the only option left to them that they can afford and/or manage to carry out. Then too, our pages have a slightly off-hand character about them and this annoys people who take their lives and work VERY seriously.

We sometimes tell people not to use out products. We also spend a LOT of time on e-mail leading wood boat owners through the exact and proper steps required to use our epoxies/fillers in wood repair. The last thing we want to do is sell a customer a product he/she doesn't know how to use properly.

Yes, we will be updating the pages before too much longer. We are expanding our base web site and so all creative time has gone into that. The fun pages will come next.

Thanks again, and happy summer cruising to you!