I put a question out to the F-Boat list and received a number of good replies on the subject (one of them mentioning a lower-cost alternative that I had placed by the way-side because it wasn’t a big name). I received the following from Ian Farrier regarding my question… it’s nice to know that I’m worrying about, basically, nothing.. 🙂
The question of the day, however, is what properties are “good” for a boat? At what time does the adhesive become too strong? too weak?
You are worrying way too much about this. The resin properties are not that important as in general I design for basic resins such as polyesters and hence an epoxy or vinylester is a bonus – the boat will end up stronger/better than it needs to be.
Epoxies are generally tougher (less brittle), have better adhesive properties, and are more water resistant, so are generally the best, followed by vinylesters, isothalic polyesters, and then orthophalic polyesters (less water resistant).
So the choice comes down to more basic things such as availability, cost, whether you are sensitive to epoxies, or don’t like the smell of polyesters (which can also cause problems with neighbors). Vinylesters/polyesters are faster to work with, though this can also be a problem with large areas and vacuum bagging.
Epoxy is the best option, and must be used where wood is involved, but there are also hundred of boats out there using polyester with great success.
Farrier Marine, Inc.