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Best clear for the bottom of a BSB

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Old 03-19-2013, 03:51 AM
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James c harrell
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Default Best clear for the bottom of a BSB

I picked up a Big Swamp Buggy that was partially built. The hull was built and painted and I finished the rest. I want to keep the color (red) but I think I need to put something other thn just the paint on the bottom. I may run it on snow or wet grass a little. What are you guys useing for a good hard clear on the bottom of your air-boats? I have made a cover for the huge hole in the top and finished the prop ring, painted and cleared them with lustercoat crystal clear but don't think that will provide much protection for the bottom. I can glass or use Z-Poxy but I think that is going to yellow or disscolor. Just figured I would check with some-one who has exp. Thanks.
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Old 03-19-2013, 05:08 AM
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Default RE: Best clear for the bottom of a BSB

It's the bottom...who cares as long as it's protected. I would epoxy the bottom and sand to a smooth finish.
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Old 03-19-2013, 10:52 AM
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Default RE: Best clear for the bottom of a BSB

I used heavy glass cloth with polester resin trying to squeeze out as much resin as possible without starving the cloth, I painted over mine but as I recall it turned out pretty clear with a hint of yellow. By the 3rd run in snow the glass cloth on the insides of the sponsons was fraying - that inside edge gets punnished on ground running.
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Old 03-19-2013, 02:21 PM
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Default RE: Best clear for the bottom of a BSB

i use automotive clear or marine spar varnish
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Old 03-19-2013, 07:59 PM
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Default RE: Best clear for the bottom of a BSB

Appreciate the tips. I looked into the auto clear and my body shop man recomended a urethane spar by Minnwax. Still debating!
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Old 03-20-2013, 05:53 AM
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Default RE: Best clear for the bottom of a BSB

Epoxy is far and away better than any urethane, varnish, lacquer, or polyester.

Epoxy is much stronger than polyester, Dave.

Sand the paint with 240 grit before coating to ensure adhesion. Before coating with epoxy, clean surface well with methanol, acetone, or other paint-safe solvent. Epoxy gives off a wax as it cures so if doing a second coat, sand with 80 grit, wipe with acetone, and coat again. Dust nibs are a PITA to not get so do the coating/wiping in a dust free environment.

Zap epoxy finishing resin is what I use, $14 for 12 fl oz combined. Works well and is quite durable. All of my boats were coated with it.
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Old 03-28-2013, 06:40 PM
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Default RE: Best clear for the bottom of a BSB

Epoxy.
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Old 03-30-2013, 08:53 PM
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Default RE: Best clear for the bottom of a BSB

Steel Flex 9000. I've done a hand full of personal experiments and this is the best. Its a 2 part mix 50/50. I laid up a small 1/8" thick piece of wood with it and I used different methods such as sand papaer, rocks, pocket knife and I even opened my knife and held it about 2 fet above the plank and let it fall under its own momentum and the blade didnt pierce the finish which I applied Im guessing at about 1/16 thick as a matter of fact it berely knicked it. I mean if the full size manufacturers have been using it for years then it must hold up. The only Down side is that its a 24 hour curing process but its solid to the touch in about 1/2 the time.
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Old 03-30-2013, 10:04 PM
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Default RE: Best clear for the bottom of a BSB

Well I had some Urethane Spar so I went with it and it did a real nice looking job. How-ever, my first outing with an air-boat was quite a windy day. 15-20 winds is not the day to test an air boat it seems and I discovered that they don't tend to steer so well unless you are on the throttle and the wind will push you around quite a bit. Like into the rocks around the boat landing! I guess the urethane held up O.K. No Hull damage in about four decent rock attacks! Quite a few places that did require attention. Two more coats and some touch up paint did the trick. I think I will wait for a calmer day to get this one trimmed up a little!! By the way, it is powered by an O.S. 55 AX which I think may be a little much for it. The one time I got her close to opened up it took off. Good flight, bad landing. Nose in and instant stop. Again, wind I think. I will epoxy the next one with Z-Poxy and compare. No doubt I will continue to find rocks and such. My motto, If you ain't on the edge, you are taking up to much room!
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