The Rot Doctor


Subject: Re: Cavalier
Date: Sat, 02 Jan 1999

Dr. Rot, On Dec. 24th. I contacted you about covering the bottom of my boat with wood/fiberglass in order to strengthen and to provide a smoother surface for painting. After reading your reply, I decided to take you advice and repair the existing bottom with the "Judicious us of a belt sander" and "A bit of Expoxy Filler here and there for gaps and cracks".
When I install plywood patches to the bottom and the sides of the hull (the patches will be rabbited in) what kind of adhesive should I use ( in addition to screws )? I know I will need some of your CPES, and Clean-up solvent, but I would like to know what adhesive I should use for the patches, and what I should use for fairing compound.
I looked at a lot of sites before finding yours, and I want you to know that it's been an education, and a tremendous help.
Scott B.
PS. I plan to have this boat in the water by July 99, and I will send you before, during, and after pictures.


I think you've made the good decision and will be happy with the result. You'll have a strong boat and not a bit heavier than it was designed to be. And yes! please DO send us pictures. We like to put them up in our Reader's Corner so others can benefit by your experiences.

For adhesive I would suggest our Tropical Hardwood Epoxy Adhesive. It's a really good epoxy adhesive that retains just that bit of flexibility -- just like the wood it's bonding to -- that the more traditional epoxy adhesives lack. Pricewise it's competitive with any premium epoxy adhesive from any major manufacturer. This is the stuff the City of New York bought for their new railing around Battery Park. It'll stick to anything. Easy to use. Long pot life. We used it for a new stern rub rail aboard DELTA. You use it first and then come back and apply the CPES after it has cured. I'd suggest using the THEA wherever wood touches wood on your rebuild.

I'm not quite sure what you mean by "fairing compound". If you're talking about cracks and holes, then I would suggest our Epoxy Filler, as it will bond molecularly with the CPES-treated wood. If you're talking about a fairing for the whole hull to ensure a smooth paintable surface, then check at you local marine store and buy one of the fairing compounds specifically designed for that. You could use our Epoxy Filler, but that could be a lot of filler and get expensive.

For fairing, most folks looking for that nice final finish will use a combination of the Epoxy Filler for the deeper cracks and such and then sand that down smooth and come back before painting with the overall pre-paint filler. It all depends on how smooth you want your hull to be. You can sand the CPES treated wood lightly to smooth it out as well. The whole final finish issue can be a hassle, and I usually end up saying, "Hey! This looks good enough to me!". The guys who are paying big bucks to have someone else do it want perfection, and that's why you see the premium boats in closed sheds and guys running around with spray equipment.

Thanks for the kind comments on our web site -- I'll pass them along to the people who create it and maintain it on the net. Come back if you have additional questions. We want to be as helpful as we can.