Good afternoon Paul, I have just spoken to Peter (ex MAS Epoxy), he tells me he now trades as "Black Bear Boating & Leisure ", email [hidden email]. He still does the MAS and Black Bear Epoxy. I spoke to him on 07904446306. If past experience with him is a guide, I`m fairly sure he will sell you products separately, particularly if you mention that big new project you are planning. Hope this helps Cheers Him o` t` Rodent Entrapment.
Pete even said we can mix the MAS and Black Bear epoxies, but he is out of stock of the Black Bear and out on the road when I rang. The trade epoxy "SeaFarer" is a lot cheaper, the only difference is the hardener is brown so you won't get a clear coat. But I nearly always add workshop mix thickener which ends up brown anyway.
At the moment Homebase Decking Stain is my covering of choice. Looks good after 2 or 3 coats, easy to touch up, low VOC, brushes clean in water, and guess what....it's brown.
MilliBee's outwhales on the port side have seen a good innings. But recently the paint started flaking off. I think storage outside with the port side catching the prevailing rain and sun, even when covered, has affected the wood. It got a bit damp because condensation inside the tarp had dribbled water permanently into cracks in the hard epoxy shell. Then the epoxy detached from the outwhales, probably aided by hitting a few lock walls, moorings and the eclectic HBBR fleet. Ahh, I also forgot to put undercoat on the outwhales.
So last season I chipped all of the paint off and gave it two coats of decking stain. The moisture content is better now as the wood can breathe. A quick rub down and 4 minutes per coat, or two, then job done for this season.
Pete was very helpful and will do a deal on 1 litre of his trade hardener "for a tenner" and 1 litre of resin, which will balance out with my odd collection of about 0.7 litre of medium resin and 0.25 litre of thin resin.
Over the years I have brought small quantities of epoxy resin for repairs on my own boat, helping with repairs on other peoples boats and more recently for building a new row boat.
I dont know whether the problem is with me or with the material but I had terrible trouble with West brand epoxies - failure of one layer to stick to another due, presumably, to 'amine blush' and 'fishpooling' which ruins the finish when using resin to coat timber. I did not have these problems when I switched to MAAS resin which does seem good, but unless you are an industrial chemist with a testing laboratory how do you really know?. More recently I have been buying my epoxy for the rowing boat from a local epoxy wholesaler - Reactive Resins - which happens to be in Cornwall so relatively local which saves me the delivery cost and gives me the opportunity to ask them about the various options. So far I have had good results with the Reactive Resins which actually seem very similar to MAAS - similar colour (lack of) and same mix ratio - wonder if they are actually the same substances. I chose the Reactive Resins EPAF grade which is the second lowest viscosity for their range of resins, my thought is that a low viscosity should help the resin soak into timber and allow the resin to be used in cooler temperatures.
Reactive Resins charge £23 +VAT for a 1.5kg pack containing resin and hardener, £103 + VAT for a 7.5kg pack. They also do a neat little electronic balance for only a few pounds - I have found that handy for various things. So, £10 for 2 litres, which is presumably just over 2kg, does sound like a bargain!
I did actually work professionally in the yacht building industry for a small part of my working life and the two firms I worked for purchased epoxy resin in quantities of at least hundreds of kg at a time. I was not involved in purchasing, my job being more to do with sand papering, but I expect they paid a fraction of the price that we home boat builders would have to pay. We used various brands of resin, some imported from the US, but the general favourite at that time seemed to be Ampreg 20 from Gurit, we used a lot of that for laminating carbon fibre parts for super yachts.
I've used the whole lot: West, International, UK Epoxy Resins and now MAAS. And like you I have settled on MAAS, first for their "no-blush" hardener which is a no-brainer considering how much scrubbing and washing of MilliBee's upturned hull was required with the "guaranteed blush" hardeners. Secondly they had a good range of slow, medium, fast hardeners and thin or thick resin.
Recently Pete (MAAS importer) has switched business names from Chinawind to Black Bear and has slightly cheaper epoxies Black Bear and trade epoxies Blue Dolphin and Sea Farer - yes there was a slight giggle when we mentioned those names on the phone. The Trade is cheaper, works just as well but it is brown instead of clear. Considering I always glue using wood-flour which becomes light brown and large areas get painted I'm not bothered by the brown colouring.
He recently did me a good deal on resin and hardener, to fix my imbalanced stock of about 0.9l resin and almost zero hardener i.e. 1.5 litres of MAAS, and 0.5L Black Bear hardener - but he threw in some 1L pots of silica, wood flour and T-cell into the bargain. Also he included 9 sachets of bio-degradable wipes called Bio-Solv, to clean uncured epoxy, cured paints, adhesives, grease and residue. It's a replacement for Acetone, which has already mangled our DNA since we were teenagers .
Ahh, I love the smell of Acetone in the morning...
PS: Recently I have recycled enough soap dispensers to trial as resin/hardener dispensers. You can pull them apart (be careful the larger sizes have a tiny ball bearing valve) and easily clean all parts thoroughly. It's best to soak them in hand-hot water, too hot and they will melt and shrink! I haven't tried them yet.
I've used UK-epoxy for most of my builds. Great service, reasonable prices and good results. I'm not aware of any blushing problems. I get the impression WEST haven't done any product development for years. Other manufacturers have developed UV resistant and amine blush free epoxies, but west still have the biggest presence in the market place. Such is the power of marketing.