The Rot Doctor


Subject: rot on wood keel
Date: Wed, 15 Jan 2003

Dear Doc,
What if I filled the bilge area with CPES to treat the wood keel of my schooner? Most of the surface rot was carved away by the prior owner and I'm worried about carving any more surface off. The affected area is an amidships section approx. 5 feet long and is bridged by 3 floors. The frames are unaffected ditto the floors. Where the keel timber used to present a nice uniform flat face it now looks like a gnawed bone. The problem area also holds several keel bolts but the wood directly around them is hard and seems ok. Perhaps that's because the bolt holes were epoxied when the keel bolts were renewed 10 yrs ago. Thanks, Alex

Well, I don't think that I would fill the entire bilge with CPES, but you could make sure the wood is pretty dry and brush that "gnawed bone" of a keel timber with as much CPES as it wants to soak up. After this cures, some Layup & Laminating Resin for any deep narrow cracks, and some Fill-It Epoxy Filler to fill in the missing wood and you are back in business. As strong or stronger than before.

This is what we did with the horn timber on our 1889 tug Delta, and it works fine. It'll glue in any bolts or other fastenings so hard you will have to drill/cut them to get them out.

Any more questions, please let me know.