Subject: Question about application
Date: Thu, 19 Feb 1998

The bottom of the keel on my searunner tri has a deadwood,it was covered with fiberglass, looks like the planks swelled and split the glass, water got in and rotted some parts.Most of the wood is in good shape,so I would rather not replace the whole thing.I have ground the glass away and removed the rotted wood.What would you recommend as a fix,If I glass after the repairs how do I prevent this from happening again.


Okay, assuming that the wood is reasonably dry, get as much of our Clear Penetrating Epoxy Sealer (CPES) in there as you can. Searunners are usually too big to turn over, but if possible that would let gravity work for you. If upright, just brush on the bare wood as much of the CPES as it will absorb. Allow at least 4 or 5 days for the carrier solvents in the CPES to evaporate and the epoxy to set; if you soak it in with the boat upside down I'd allow a couple of weeks for the evaporation/curing process. The CPES will kill/encapsulate any remaining rot fungi and protect the unaffected wood.

Following that, you fill the vacant space. Normally a shipwright might suggest a wood piece, but I'd seriously consider an epoxy fill, resin mixed with micro-balloons or cabosil. This would have the advantage of giving you a filled structure that is at least in part non-wood and therefore not subject to expansion/contraction due to moisture. Any resin you select for the fill will bond molecularly with the CPES for a bonded structure to the existing wood. As demonstrated on our web site, our Layup & Laminating Resin cures with a little more flexibility than standard resins, but is more expensive. We believe it would be the best solution, but a standard resin would work.

Then re-glass and you're finished. For the future, you can only hope. In new construction wood usually shrinks a tiny bit, so one has to wonder if perhaps the water didn't get in somehow and cause the swelling. Theoretically, if that part of the structure were completely sealed, there should have been no expansion or contraction. Is it possible that moisture seeped in from above? Or some small hole in the glass let water in from outside? In any case, there's not much you can do about it. Just hope that swelling is over with and check to be sure nothing can get in from inside or outside. My best guess is that you won't have the problem again.

All our products are in stock and we ship same day as order if in before noon. Come back if you have more questions.