Boulder Yacht Club

Bud Meade's Lesson Learned - Uncured Epoxy

We bought a 94 Seaward 25 in the middle of March. I have been working on fixing various things for the last couple of months. Re-wiring, re-insulating the ice box, re-plumbing, making new galley counter top, relocating sink, installing set of drawers and door under galley. Then there was the problem with mast compression. The fix involved a lot of reinforcing of the bulkhead area. On Thursday, May 22 I used epoxy to glue in some reinforcement between the cabin top and the bulkhead. It was cool, I mixed a big batch which was way more than I needed. Added filler so that it was thicker than peanut butter. Tossed the remainder in a locker along with the paper towels I used to clean up after the epoxy job. A little while later, when I was driving away I noticed smoke billowing out of the companionway. Ran to the house, called 911 and asked for the fire dept to come to the house. Put together 3 hoses to try to reach the boat which was out in the street. By then, flames and black smoke were pouring out of the boat.

By the time the fire dept arrived from town, it was really engulfed in flames. There was a strong wind blowing from the north which took the flames across the boat from stbd to port. Took the fire dept about 20 minutes of spraying, 2 hoses, to knock the flames down. They stayed about an hour and continued to pour water on it to be sure all of the hot spots between the hull and liner were out.

Needless to say, the boat is a complete loss. See attached picture. Have since heard from several others about having fires from epoxy kicking off and creating a lot of heat.

My advice. Don't leave any mixed, uncured epoxy on boat. Better it flame up outside than burn your boat up.

The good news. No one hurt. House didn't catch of fire.

Bud and Nancy

PS Can make a great package deal to someone who wants to build a boat from a bare hull up.

May 27, 2003


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