applying graphite 1


One of the things I knew I wanted to do from the beginning was apply the black bottom. This is a mixture of graphite and silica powder in with the epoxy. It gives the bottom of the canoe a finish that is very abrasion resistant and super slick. It does hide the beauty of the wood, but it’s below the waterline so when the canoe is floating it won’t be visible.

I measured up to the projected waterline amidships and picked the strip that was closest to that and chose that as the masking point. Following a strip made the line more aesthetically pleasing than following a straight line I think.


applying graphite 2

Once you mix the graphite and silica into the epoxy it becomes very runny. Definitely a throw away clothes job as well. It went on pretty easy though.

You want to make sure you pull the masking tape off after the black goo has set, but before it’s fully cured. I think it was probably about 4 or 5 hours for me. Environmental conditions (and of course the epoxy you use) will make this vary. If it was fully cured I think you’d be chipping masking tape out with a chisel. And you’d be sharpening that chisel a lot.

Once it’s fully cured it’s rock hard. Really noticeably much harder than the clear epoxy on the rest of the boat.


graphite coated

I did two coats black goo. They are fairly thick coats, but it adds weight so I didn’t want to go overboard.



After the final coat is cured, I buffed the black finish with a scotchbrite pad (aka green scrubbie). Started by hand but then inspiration struck and I put it under the random orbital sander. That made the job go much quicker. The green scrubbie leaves a matte finish which is unbelieveably smooth to the touch. It’s not hard to see how much this will make the boat slide over rocks, weeds and logs more easily.