The Rot Doctor


Subject: shrimpboat
Date: Tue, 14 Jul 1998

I need your help and advice on a problem I have on my wooden boat.It is a 50'x17' plank on frame shrimp boat built in Rockport,Texas in 1958. This year she is 40 years old and starting to show it. She is hauled out now for repairs and the problem I am having is in the frames. There are a few that are very soft and will not hold nails. I need to know if I can use some of your products to repair thease frames well enough to hold fasteners and thus the planks . I am in the same boat as everyone else in that I don't have a lot of money to spend or I would have a shipwright come in and do the work for me. Any suggestions that you might have would be a great help.


The bottom line is, yes, you can use the Clear Penetrating Epoxy Sealer (CPES) to repair frames to the extent that they will hold nails/screws. We've done it on our 50' converted tug (hull built 1889).

What you do depends on what you're looking at. Your boat is large enough to have frames that should be pre-drilled every 5-7 inches for the CPES access. The wood needs to be reasonably dry. The CPES is injected into the holes, as much as the wood will accept. The surface and sides of the frames are also saturated with the CPES. If in drilling access holes you run into situations where there are gaps or hollows, you will need to come back after the CPES and apply our Layup & Laminating Resin to fill. You may want to do this twice, allowing a couple of days between applications.

Often the frames have cracks and breaks. These should be filled with either the L & L Resin (if the situation will allow it to settle) or our Fill-It Epoxy Filler if you need to push something in. It will bond at the molecular level with the CPES-saturated wood. But the CPES saturation comes first.

After the CPES, you should wait about a week before attempting to apply fastners. The epoxy needs to throughly cure.

Even if later on you need to sister some of the frames, the CPES will strengthen what is there substantially. So far our frames are holding very well with just the CPES/resin treatment.

You can test the situation if you like. Treat one frame, allow the epoxy to cure out, and then come back with nails. I would use ring-shank nails in this situation -- better grip on the epoxy/wood.

We'd all like to be rich enough to hire shipwrights, but the man with the working boat usually isn't.

Come back if you have more questions.