The Rot Doctor


Subject: Can your product help?
Date: Wed, 01 Mar 2000

I have just purchased a 1960 Matthews stock cruiser. She is a beautiful boat and I loved her the first time I saw her. Unfortunately the kid who owned her previously (fortunately for a very brief period) had other priorities than taking care of Flying Dutchman. The hull is solid with the exception of where he backed the swim platform into a dock. She is currently out of the water and I have been filling the bilge as much as possible to keep her from drying too much. She loaks slowly from the bolts at the cutlass bearing plates and from the keel amidship. What I am planning to do is:
1. sandblast the hull below the w/l to bare wood.
2. remove any loose caulk
3. fill the seams with 5200
4. coat the hull with your cpes
5. trowel on 5200
6. place glass cloth on below the w/l using the 5200 above
7. wet the cloth with one of your epoxies.
8. paint

Does this sound like a reasonable plan? Could I skip steps 5 through 7? She is 42' loa, probably 36' or so lwl, with about 12' beam and 4' draft (keel is about 18" of that). Any ideas on amounts of your product needed? I am somewhat limited in funds, but I want to do this right. I would really appreciate a response.

Robert W.


Overall, I am not an enthusiast of sheathing old wood hulls, with 5200 or epoxy or anything else. The downside risks are -- to my thinking -- greater than the upside benefits. I think if one MUST go in this direction, it would require s long-time haul, drying the hull out entirely, and then epoxy laminate a couple of layers of new wood sheathing over the whole exterior hull. This has been done effectively, but it is a long-term and expensive process.

In your case, the leaks can be fairly easily stopped at the bearing bolts and chances are that the leak at the amidships keel are due to inadequate caulking in that area. So, my suggestion would be to go ahead and strip the hull, reef the garboard seams next to the keel, re-caulk, and then cover all wood with the CPES. Then repaint. Old wood boats leak, so it's mostly a matter of keeping it to a reasonable level. I know this from long experience.

On treating the hull with CPES, you can expect to cover around 200 sq ft per gallon. You must allow the wood to absorb all that it can. Give it a couple of days to dry/cure and then go with the bottom paint.

In specific areas where CPES alone is not all that is needed, get back to us and we can help you with particular products applied in specific ways. Take lots of pictures and maybe we can do a piece for our 'Zine.

Stay in touch. Those old Matthews were lovely boats.