The Rot Doctor


Subject: Wood Boat Interior
Date: Sun, 28 Feb 1999


I have been reading about your products, and have a preventive maintenance question. I have a 1976 Palmer Custom Bay built. She is 37' long, and in good shape. I am getting ready to have her hauled for the bottom paint to be done. My question is in regard to the inside. I am thinking for extra added protection to use a penetrating epoxy on the interior bottom and sides, as it is bare wood. Then using a sealer, seal the wood. First, is there any benefit to this?, and Second, will it hurt the wood by covering or sealing it? I have heard many different opinions on this. Some say you should not cover or seal the wood on the inside, because it needs to breath. Yet I have seen older boats with it painted and sealed. Would appreciate some guidance, and if there is a benefit to doing it, product recommendation (yours of course).



Here's where the confusion lies: When boat people speak of epoxy they are often speaking of a standard epoxy resin. These are thick and when applied generously to wood they do seal it off from the air, and hence its ability to *breathe*. They are correct in saying that this is generally not a good idea because too many bad things can happen to the wood UNDER the epoxy and you can never see it because OF the epoxy. We don't recommend it either. Paint and most *wood sealers* will pass air and hence allow the wood to breathe, so they are generally not a problem.

Our penetrating epoxy (CPES) is very thin and penetrates the wood. It does not seal it from air transmission, although it retains all the durability and protective qualities of an epoxy. With one coating the wood can still *breathe* after the epoxy has cured. It's big advantage is its ability to penetrate deeply into any end-grain, cracks and crevices between planks, between planks and floors, etc., where rot and bacterial wood deterioration problems usually begin. It does protect the wood. If it were my boat and she had dry wood (or reasonably dry) on the inside I would apply just one coating of the CPES, again taking care to get especially at the cracks and joints. It's worth the money and worth the effort.

If you do it wear an organic filter mask. Those carrier solvent fumes are powerful until they evaporate away. After a few days there is no lingering odor.

Come back if you have more questions.