The Rot Doctor


Subject: where to start? (restoration)
Date: Mon, 05 Feb 2001

I have recently acquired a 1970 25' Carver. The boat has been out of the water and stored indoors for the past 10 years. What would you recommend for the hull of this boat. It is in relatively good shape. There is not any noticeable rot or decay. From my inspection of the hull it appears that it needs only a good paint job. However, I was afraid that having this boat sit out for such an extended period of time that perhaps it has dried out too much. I am very new to the wood boat scene and am looking forward to this restoration project. Just need a few tips to get started. Thanks,
Jeremy L.


Well, welcome to the club!

A boat that is out of the water that period of time is almost the perfect candidate for restoration. Hopefully just paint will be required.

You didn't say whether you were planning to take the hull exterior down to bare wood, or just sand it smooth and repaint. Repainting over existing paint is one thing, going down to wood is quite another. If you plan to start from scratch on the exterior, let me know and I'll give you some advice.

Beyond that, you need to CAREFULLY inspect both the interior and the exterior of the hull, looking for any soft, deteriorated or rotten wood. Look carefully, because you'll never have a better opportunity to make the repair. Take a knife or other sharp object with you and use it to probe, especially in and behind hull frames and beams. On the outside look carefully at the deck, and deck/cabin joints. Look at the transom and especially at the areas where the transom joints the hull.

And look for open cracks or seams on the exterior. This is where the water will come in when you re-float her. If you find any, fill them with a polyurethane sealant. We sell one, Dymonic® FC, but others are available as well, especially at marine stores.

Beyond these general suggestions, I would need more info before I could make more specific suggestions, including how the boat is going to be stored between uses (in the water or ashore?). But this will get you started, and feel free to come back with any further questions.