The Rot Doctor


Subject: '66 Chris Craft Sea Skiff (ply delamination)
Date: Mon, 25 Oct 2004

I have a '66 (I think) Chris Craft Sea Skiff. If you notice in the pictures included, there are some parts where the plywood lamination on the strakes have started to separate. This is only happening on the top layer of the plywood though.

In your honest, not liable, but expert :-) opinion judging by these pictures, can I just inject these areas with epoxy, clamp them back together, and let them cure? Then go through and sand everything back to normal and paint from there?

Do you suggest a step by step product process (i.e. inject CPES, apply filler where needed, sand, then paint)? Also do you have paint that works for this? I want to repaint the entire hull. If not, do you suggest any paint? Thanks for all the help. I will anxiously be awaiting your reply.

Mark C.

plywood delamination plywood delamination


Thanks for the images. They make answering your questions much easier.

And the answer is, it depends. If the delamination hasn't curled too badly, your likelihood of a successful rebonding is quite high, if the job is done right. If the curl is severe, as I see in some places, the chance of the wood pulling apart again is much higher. In these cases it is not the epoxy that fails, but the wood right behind the glue that breaks. The wood is just too used to being in its current shape, and will pull hard until the wood itself breaks.

For severe curl, I would cut the layer away, prime the wood with CPES, and then glue in a new piece of plywood of the correct thickness with some All Wood Glue, or if the missing piece is small enough, just rebuild it with some Fill-It Filler.

As a rule of thumb, if you can press the wood back into shape fairly easily with your hand, you will have good luck re-gluing it. If you would have to use clamps to get the wood in place, I would think about cutting and gluing new wood.

Also you want to keep an eye out for areas that aren't visibly curled or bubbled, but may be delaminated as well. knocking on the wood with the butt of a hammer or wood mallet will often reveal hollow sounding sections in plywood that seems fine to the eye. Sometimes CPES alone will re-glue these areas, but often you need to follow this up with some L & L resin pumped into the crack and then spread around. This is usually harder that fixing the more visible damage.

We do sell some very durable paints that would be fine for your boat. They are a semigloss and come in a limited number of colors. Many boat owners like the high gloss finish that more traditional boat paints provide. There are many high quality polyurethane or epoxy paints that would be fine to use over wood that has been primed with CPES first if you want a high gloss or a color we don't provide.

Please let me know if you have further questions.