To Cheater or Not??

I am going to be doing (epoxy) board 3 and 4 this weekend and would like to get a feel for how people are getting hotcoats to look good. I have had bubbles and fisheyes something terrible on boards 1 and 2 even though I have followed information in the primer as well as the archive (Don’t jump to conclusions, see side note). I am using RR with add F on clark foam and have not been doing a cheater coat prior to hc. I read that a cheater coat will assist on getting the hc smooth but is it neccesary if hc thickness is not an issue??

Just a side note, Obviously operator error plays a big role in this and since I have only done poly I attribute the issues to technique. I am just trying to figure out if a cheater coat is necessary (to overcome the learning curve) and how the population is split on doing one. Thanks for the help!

ive done all cheater coats on 6 boards and it works .

although i tried sanding first this time,

and used a lot less resin to get an even filler coat.

next time im gunna do a light cheater coat with a light microballons brew(definately no leaks that way)

let cure, sand,then a hotocat.

do the cheater…much better (and easier) end result

Warm the resin too. That has been the most important variable for me in laying down good epoxy fill coats. Get it flowing just like water…

I’ve done cheater coats with good results as well. But what I’ve done is… laminated, rough sanded, thick “hot coat,” sand to nearly perfect, then put a very thin “cheater coat” over that. I know it sounds like I’ve got it backwards, but the thicker hot coat over the lam gives you something to sand through to get the smooth, flat surface without hitting the weave. Then the thin, warmed, heavily additive F’d top coat minimizes the final sanding and lets you get a decent shine - you can start with 400, then go to 600… polish and buff for for what it’s worth. (I don’t bother with the polishing unless I’ve done color. It seems to make it pop a little better.)

I think NJ has got it. I’m a little heavy handed with my sander and the times when things have gone awry have been when I’ve tried to skimp on the hotcoat resin. Same theory applies though; warm the resin so that you make the best of the levelling properties, try and hotcoat as soon as possible after the lam has tacked up to avoid fisheyes and do the fill coat in falling temperatures to eliminate blow-throughs and pinholes.

I like the idea of a good even sanding job on a nice thick layer, followed by the thinned, heavy Ad. F. gloss layer. Only found that I get bad fisheyes when I’m trying to lay down a coating on a layer that hasn’t been sanded; thick hotcoat solves this. And if you wanna be absolutely sure that your hotcoat goes down nicely, lam the bottom; apply a light cheater, when that’s done flip; lam the deck; apply a HEAVY cheater (this’ll be your hotcoat); once that’s solid, flip, rough sand; hotcoat bottom. Now finish sand and lay down your gloss or cheater as per NJ’s recommendation. You’ll for sure have fewer pinholes, fewer fisheyes and fewer sand-throughs.


Howzit GWN, I work with poly and do cheater coats after the lamination on the rails and bottom with a squeegee which seals any air and makes a smooth coat.Aloha,Kokua