The Rot Doctor


Subject: Deck leaks and balsa core rot.1980 sailboat.
Date: Sat, 27 Feb 1999

I recently discovered deck leaks ,and balsa core rot, where hardware,eg. chainplates and fuel /water fillups ,go through the decks.Furthermore the balsa core was wet to approx. 6 inches around the holes.My question is: Do I remove all of the rotten and wet balsa,and fill with epoxy, or should I attempt to dry the core, and just fill around the holes with epoxy? Any suggestions appreciated.

H.C., NF.Canada

Well, either way, really. Drying wet balsa is going to take some time, and maybe the use of a heat/blower source, such as a hairdryer. I would probably hook out as much of the wet wood as possible, just to accelerate the drying process. Once dry you can add the epoxy, preferably our CPES, which will penetrate a lot further than other epoxies, including competitive penetrating epoxies. Following that, and after the CPES has cured, you can go back in with a thick epoxy resin, one that has airballs added, and fill. Finish off with a thick airball/epoxy mix or a standard epoxy filler, such as out Fill-It Epoxy Filler.

You should know that we cannot ship CPES across the Canadian border. It's a problem with the US carriers, because CPES is classified as a Hazardous Material. Our Canadian customers have us ship it to some point on the US/Canada border and then they drive it across. We supply all necessary paperwork, including NAFTA.

Come back if you have additional questions.