The Rot Doctor


Subject: Keep it wet??
Date: Sun, 24 Nov 2002

Well I did it. I just bought my first wooden boat, a Cape Cod Launch built in the '50s. It has had extensive renovation and repair and does not appear to have any rot. I plan to replace the engine and in so doing will probably replace the floor (sole). When it's open, is there an advantage to coating the inside with your CPES as a safeguard? Also, the owner has been keeping it moist with wet burlap. What should I expect if I allow it to dry in order to work on it and possibly apply CPES?

Welcome to the world of wooden boats! If you're thorough and patient it can be a lot of fun.

The previous owner has been keeping it wet because he knows that if she dries out the seams will open, the caulk fall out, and then you're in for a lot of work to get it back again. I've been though this process many times and it's a struggle. KEEP IT WET!

At this point I would not think too much about CPES. Keep her damp, replace the engine, the flooring...and while doing so keep your eye open for soft or discolored wood. When you find it, that is the time to the open the CPES and apply it to that local area.

CPES always helps preserve wood, so, yes, coating the inside with a coat would be helpful. What is especially helpful in these situations is the treatment of what you can't see -- the hidden wood under the frames, etc. CPES is very thin and will penetrate a long way.

But, as noted, I'd let this go for now and concentrate on your major repairs. If you see bad wood, make a note of it and then get back to it later with the CPES.

I should also mention that new wood going into a boat can be protected from future rot if it is treated with CPES after it has been cut and trimmed and is ready for installation. All drilled fastener holes should also be slopped with CPES before the fastener is installed.

Good luck with your new boat, and feel free to come back at any time if you have questions. We will also look at pictures if they are sent to us via e-mail as jpeg images.