Rot Doctor


Subject: wellcraft rotted deck
Date: Sat, 07 Aug 1999

Hi doc,

I just purchased a 1989 wellcraft 233 eclipse that has been sitting (uncovered) for 4–7 years. First order of business was striping the seats out and finding the soft spots in the deck. There is one aft by the engine and the deck in the cabin (where the table leg holder is), I suspect once the carpet is up I will only be satisfied if I replace the entire deck and re-carpet it. Next I am going to rip the carpet and I was going to cut the rot and replace the plywood deck and seal w/glass until I found your website. The boat is fiberglass w/wood deck(covered w/glass). After reading some Q&A from your site I am curious what course of action to take on the deck.

1st time boat repairer

Hi. Well, you have a little project ahead, but doesn’t sound like anything too serious. I agree with you, basically. As long as you’re going to tear things up to get at the problem, you should replace wood wherever possible. If not possible (or fairly easy) you can use our CPES (Clear Penetrating Epoxy Sealer) applied generously to dry deteriorated wood to reconstitute it. If there is missing wood then the vacancies should be filled with our Epoxy Filler. That and the CPES bond together for a strong structure.

Where you do replace the wood, be SURE and treat the cut pieces just before installation with CPES, especially the edges. It won’t take a whole lot of CPES but it will give the wood good rot protection for the future. Cutting out sections and replacing them with new wood is fine, just so you remember to give the new piece good structural support underneath or at the sides. On the old wood around the replacement cut, be sure to treat that well with the CPES. The rot fungi (or their reproductive spores) are still there and you need to take care of them.

I’m not really a fan of covering ply with glass cloth and resin unless the structural strength is required, which it usually isn't. I’d rather see good sturdy exterior grade or marine ply put down after it has been CPES treated, and then with a final coat of the CPES on the top surface, and then carpeting. This gives the wood some space to breathe, and avoids the problem of having water get trapped between the glass covering and the wood, which is where the rot gets started. It’s also quicker and easier and cheaper.

If you’ve got more questions then come on back.