The Rot Doctor


Subject: Restoring old E scow
Date: Tue, 23 Jun 1998

Dr. Rot:

I have a 1970 Melges E Scow under restoration and have your clear penetrating epoxy for dealing with some suspect areas in the backbone which can't be replaced practically. The boat is white cedar plank on oak frames and painted. My question relates to using the clear epoxy as a deck sealer.

Other owners have used WEST system and coated the deck planks only to have ugly cracks form as the wood expands and contracts. It appears that WEST cannot "give" as much as the wood does. Can the Clear Penetrating Epoxy Sealer be applied without causing the same problem? The planks are nailed and epoxy glued in place and around seams.

The surface is stripped of prior paint and will be repainted.


Peter S.

Old E Scow, huh? I used to sail on those in Mantolooking, NJ back in 1960. That'll tell you what an old guy I am!

Yup, a standard epoxy resin will crack. It's never a very good idea to put it on bare wood. Now if you want to do an epoxy coating and glass cloth, that's different because the cloth will hold things in place. Still, I wouldn't do that either on a boat like the E scow. It's a relatively thin and fragile hull, and holding the deck to a rigid standard might well cause you bigger problems somewhere else in the hull.

The Clear Penetrating Epoxy Sealer (CPES) will not crack and peel, because it's IN the wood rather than ON the wood. If it were my boat, I'd double coat the bare wood deck with the CPES, and then paint it over with a marine polyurethane paint. Maybe an epoxy paint, although I'm no expert on those. The polyurethane will stick well to the CPES, and expand and contract along with the wood.

It might take as much as 2 gallons of the CPES to do the deck, everything depending on how dry the wood is. The dryer the more it absorbs. The 2nd coat won't take much, but is worth the extra protection. You'd give it a couple of days between coats, and about the same before you apply the paint.

Come back if you have more questions. And have fun! Those scows were fantastic to sail. Shot by everything in the water, back then.