Epoxy with no varnish


I recently bought an older canoe to restore. I have built several strippers as well as lapstrake canoes using either East System or West System epoxies. The epoxy on this paticular canoe,built in 1983 by a Mr. R. C. Hamilton, smells like the stuff I used to use years ago for auto-body repair,a very strong chemical smell. It is extreemly hard to sand and it appears to be the only coat on top of the cloth...no varnish coats. I removed all the woodwork and sanded the inside which wasn't in too bad shape and varnished it and it looks great. The outside of the hull has a lot of small areas and gouges that are dicoloured right down to the wood. My question is will East or West epoxy bond to this other stuff after I sand through the 2 layers of cloth down to the cedar? Thanks...Jeff
The old resin on the boat isn't epoxy, it's polyester resin. Some polyesters have more U.V. resistance than epoxies, but the canoe would last longer with U.V. filters provided by a varnish topcoat. In any case, epoxy resin will stick better to both exposed wood and any remaining old polyester resin than more polyester resin will, so use epoxy for the repairs. Then varnish it with a good marine varnish with U.V. inhibitors to protect the epoxy and turn any areas where you sanded the surface back to transparent.