Six10 Epoxy by West System

This two-part adhesive comes packaged for convenience. "Gear Up" from our January 29, 2009m /SW eNewsletter/

With its caulk gun-ready cartridge and static mixer tip, West System's Six10 brings portability and convenience to the wonderful world of epoxy.

With its caulk gun-ready cartridge and static mixer tip, West System's Six10 brings portability and convenience to the wonderful world of epoxy.Courtesy West System

Epoxy works many wonders on boats, but it does come with a few drawbacks. The traditional method of dispensing resin and hardener from separate containers using spring-loaded pumps can leave you with way more epoxy than you need for a small job. And the system, though precise, isn't all that portable.

West System's Six10 two-part epoxy solves these problems-- and then some-- through a miracle of packaging. The resin and hardener come in separate compartments of a plastic cartridge that fits any standard caulk gun. Remove the cap from the cartridge, screw on the static mixer attachment, place the cartridge in your caulk gun, and squeeze the trigger-- out comes a neat bead of epoxy that has been thoroughly mixed inside the special tip. West System recommends discarding the first little bit of epoxy that comes out, as the ratio could be off. You can trim the tip to size, and there's enough goo inside the cartridge to make a 40-foot-long bead.

While it's theoretically possible to clean the static mixer, it's probably more sensible to use a new one for each project. Another option is to bypass the static mixer altogether, squeeze the epoxy directly into a plastic cup, mix it with a stick, and apply. This is what I decided to do for my project, since I only needed a small amount of epoxy and I preferred to save the static mixer for the remaining 39' 10" of product. That may be the best thing about Six10-- you can use as little as you want and save the rest for later. West System includes a retaining nut and plug that keeps the resin and hardener separate and sealed for long-term storage. To be sure you don't cross pollenate, it's a good idea to mark the side of the plug that goes in the resin.

Chemically speaking, Six10 comes pre-mixed with filler, has a 40-minute working period, and cures to a solid in four to six hours. The consistency lies somewhere between the stretchiness of West System's G/flex formula and the stiffness of its 105 Resin-based epoxies.

If you've been lugging around a cardboard box filled with resin, hardener, pumps, and mixing cups, you might consider swapping it all out for a caulk gun and a cartridge of Six10. It just might lighten the load for your next regatta.