The Rot Doctor


Subject: I think I have a crafty boat deck repair method
Date: Wed, 28 Apr 1999

Hello Rotdoctor,
For the purposes of repairing a rotted boat deck, I think I have a neat idea which is an improvement upon the method of drilling multiple holes into the deck followed by application of the clear penetrating epoxy material.

My idea is as follows:
First the objective of drilling holes is to provide access to the wood core, providing as much hole "surface area" as possible, but not to big a hole that too much material is removed. Here's where my idea might be an improvement. Cut narrow slots into the deck with a circular saw or router with small diameter straight bit. The depth of the slot would be less than the deck thickness, say 1/2 to 3/4 of deck thickness. The width would be the width of the saw blade or router bit. This would provide a LOT of surface area for penetrating sealer access, and would remove very little deck material. After applying as much penetrating sealer as the deck will absorb, follow up with an appropriate thickened layup resin to fill the slots, and finish the job as you would the conventional way.

What do you think of this technique? Do you see any flaws? I believe that cutting the slots would also be much less time consuming than drilling holes, particularly over a large surface area. Please feed back your comments.
Jeff M.

You know, actually you're right. I think your idea is an excellent one. Furthermore, it would allow increased air circulation and drying of the wood core. And in fact, if the wood was totally gone, your method would allow some of the bad wood to be hooked out and replaced with an epoxy/micro-balloon mix.

Very good thinking. Can we borrow your concept?