The work environment needs to include the following;
Masking tape comes in many different sizes and qualities. Don't use cheap masking tape. Every time we try to save a little money buy using cheap masking tape we regret it. You will use more then you think so have extra on hand.
I've found 1.5" tape is great for keel strips, but 2" will work. The reason for tape vs. cloth is that the edges are bound for a neat job.
We prefer white or black keel strips but you can use other colors. It is very difficult to match the original boat color even if you get the gel from the manufacturer as the boats change color with UV exposure. We don't use resin for keel strips, as gel coat will give a cleaner job and has UV inhibitors.
Gel coat, like polyester resin, comes with or without wax. For polyester resin to cure it must be air free. If the resin or gel coat does not have wax in it then you must cover it with an air barrier. Wax paper or plastic wrap can be used. When two coats are used (as we will do) for the keel strip, the first coat does not use a barrier (or wax), so the second coat can be added without sanding.
Follow the directions for adding the catalyst (which comes with the gel coat). The cure time will be between five and ten minutes depending on the amount of hardener and the outside temperature. Once the gel starts to go off (turns tacky) stop working as you will do more damage than good. It is better to add a drop less hardener then a drop too much. If you use too much hardener, your effective work time will be too short. Be careful though: if you don't add enough hardener, the batch may never cure.
MEKP is a strong irritant. Avoid swallowing and all contact with eyes and skin. Ingestion can be fatal! Discard contaminated clothing. Wash contaminated skin thoroughly with soap and water. If swallowed, take large quantities of milk or water and immediately call a physician. MEKP in the eye may result in irreversible blindness, even if flushed out with water! Flush the eyes immediately with water. SECONDS COUNT! Continue flushing for at least 30 minutes, and call a physician. Do not take chances with this chemical. Wear goggles, gloves, protective clothing, and a respirator, and be careful.
Be sure all promoters and accelerators are thoroughly mixed into the resin before adding MEKP. These agents should never be mixed directly with MEKP. Violent decomposition and fire could result from such mixing or contamination. Stir MEKP into the resin slowly and carefully to avoid splashing.
Atlantic Kayak Tours, Expert Center
Copyright (c) 2014 Atlantic Kayak Tours, Inc. All rights reserved.