The Rot Doctor


Subject: New Y-Flyer
Date: Tue, 16 Mar 1999

Doc , I am building new Y-Flyers. The first one was of Douglas fir plywood , which I covered every piece with West System Epoxy. I think West System is very good for gluing the pieces together , however I'm not sold on the idea of coating each piece. I am thinking of building the next Y-Flyer of Okoume plywood. What do you think of the idea of saturating(with CPES) the full 4x8 Okoume panel before cutting out the various pieces? Will I be able to use the West System to glue the different pieces together?
You may be interested to know that a Y-Flyer is a 18ft scow . It is amazing how little waste is left out of 8 sheets of 4X8 plywood. When building a Y-Flyer one most be very careful of not adding too much weight. Therefore I'm not sure that adding layers of West System is all that great.
If one were to saturate the new wood with CPES could he maintain the inside of the floatation tanks by spraying the insides with linseed oil ? The flotation tanks are very difficult to maintain against rot once the boat is build because they are sealed. (however water still gets inside)
John & Mary B.

West products are of high quality, and certainly many quality boats have been built with them and should last many years. As good as they are, West's resin is petroleum based. All our resins are chiefly a wood derived resin which has MUCH more flexibility than petro resins. This allows the wood to "give" a little without the worry of delamination of the glue. This is especially important in lightly built boats. If you are using hard and/or oily woods like teak, mahogany, even oak, we strongly recommend using our Tropical Hardwood Epoxy Adhesive. It was especially formulated to build boats out of laminations of oily hardwoods and adheres extremely well to oily woods. It also has a high degree of flexibility to prevent delamination upon flexing. When using hardwoods it is best to glue first, then soak the finished product in CPES. When using softwoods we prefer to saturate the pieces in CPES (after they've been cut so as to soak the end grain as well) then glue them together. In softwoods, the CPES helps the glue to "bite" down into the wood, giving a stronger bond.

Okoume is a wood that I am not familiar with, so I can't say which method (soft or hardwood) I would recommend. If it is a softwood, I would have no problem with saturating the wood in CPES then gluing with the glue of your choice. We like our glues better, but West would bond well with the CPES. For hardwoods we much prefer the bond of our Tropical Hardwood Epoxy Adhesive since it is specifically formulated for this job.

As far as your flotation chambers, our thoughts are why mess around with linseed oil? Several coats of CPES will resist rot and waterproof the wood at the same time. Linseed oil would add nothing to the wood that CPES hadn't already done.

Please let us know if we can answer any further questions.