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  #1  
Old 07-22-2006, 04:49 PM
justplanecrazy justplanecrazy is offline
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36' fishing trawler in need of magic

Hi there,

I've got a 1960 trawler that needs to be recaulked at minimum. I've been reading up on a few calking and epoxy type covering that will completely seal the hull and glue it together while staying supple. They tend to be used on sailboats only but why wouldn't a large cedar hull work as well? Any experience comments recommondation on product would be appreciated.
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  #2  
Old 07-24-2006, 01:06 AM
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gonzo gonzo is offline
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Fiberglassing over is a quick and dirty solution. If you are not expecting a long life from your boat, it is fine. However, it's been the death of many good boats. It is possible to completely encapsulate a boat inside and out includind decks, but may be more expensive than a proper repair.
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  #3  
Old 07-24-2006, 05:41 AM
hartley hartley is offline
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Justplaincrazy

I am not quite sure what you mean here? do you mean sheathing the whole boat with fibreglass or whatever? if thats the case i'm with Gonzo,dont do it
if not done 100% correctly it will be a huge mess. In my opinion the only way to get this boat into working condition again is to ....re-fasten ..re-caulk and
re-paint ,but then thats just me ......cheers
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  #4  
Old 07-27-2006, 12:46 PM
justplanecrazy justplanecrazy is offline
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I'm thinking of using a new material called Interlux for the cover and Sicaflex for the Caulking, rather than Oakum and underwater paint. Apparently it seals and glues the wood to it being virtually watertight but remains flexible.
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  #5  
Old 07-27-2006, 07:03 PM
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gonzo gonzo is offline
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Interlux is a brand name for paints and other materials. Sikaflex also. They make many products. Which one are you planning on using? Also, the seams have to be prepared to accept whatever material you are using. If the boat leak a lot, it is probably an indication of structural problems. For example, fastening fatigue, corrosion or cracked frames.
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  #6  
Old 07-27-2006, 07:48 PM
Hunter25 Hunter25 is offline
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It is unlikely an old caulked seam wooden boat will have enough dry lumber to gain the adhesion need for a fiberglass skin to stick. If you grind enough lumber away to get at some clean, sort of dry wood, you may be able to keep the fiberglass skin on the boat for a few years before it detaches and traps water between it and the wood, rotting the planking eventually.

There is no magic formula, especially in a can, that will ease the repairs and maintenance your boat needs. There is also no easy way of lowering the maintenance routine needed to keep your boat in leak free condition. Carvel hulls need caulking and if done correctly can keep the boat very dry for years. If the seams are in good shape, annual haul outs performed, proper decommissioning in the fall and commissioning in the spring and the boat is not suffering from other structural problems because of timely repairs, she will last a long time. If neglected even for a short time or a wonder material is used in an attempt to ward off some of the maintenance requirements of these types of boat, then she will not be long lived.

Hire a good surveyor or boat carpenter to look her through and through. This investment will tell you everything she needs to have done and probably how to get it done right.
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  #7  
Old 07-29-2006, 12:48 AM
justplanecrazy justplanecrazy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gonzo
Interlux is a brand name for paints and other materials. Sikaflex also. They make many products. Which one are you planning on using? Also, the seams have to be prepared to accept whatever material you are using. If the boat leak a lot, it is probably an indication of structural problems. For example, fastening fatigue, corrosion or cracked frames.
I was planning on using Sikaflex 291 for the caulking and Interlux Antifoul for the cover all below the waterline. What sort of preparation is required besides pulling out the Oakum, pressure washing and sanding?
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  #8  
Old 07-30-2006, 12:30 AM
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If you pull out the oakum (rake the seams) you will have to put it back in. It's main purpose is to create a structural panel out of the planking. A soft material like 291 may keep the water out, but the planks will be all loose and the hull will fail.
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  #9  
Old 07-30-2006, 01:38 AM
justplanecrazy justplanecrazy is offline
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How would the planks be held together with Oakum and be loose with a caulking glue like 291 that has a tensile strength strong enough to hold a car to the bottom of a bridge? What are you suggesting, to just do it the old way with Oakum or to seal the joint over top of the Oakum? Thanks again for the info.
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  #10  
Old 07-30-2006, 09:00 PM
Hunter25 Hunter25 is offline
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When the oakum is pounded into the plank seams, it wedges them tightly against each other. The hull sides literally become a single unit. Moisture also causes slight swelling of the wood at the seams which squishes the caulking tighter, making an even more water tight joint.

Stick-um in a tube will seal the seams, but you will have no mechanical connection between the planks. They will be free to test the flexibility of the stick-um as the planks move around, while the boat is stressed underway. This will soon result in fasteners tearing loose from the planks and frames, rot in the fasteners holes, broken frames, etc.; a big, expensive mess.

There are other methods besides using traditional pounded in caulk, but they also restore the plank to plank edge compression, the original method provided. A well caulked boat stays dry. A lawyer friend of mine has a 1961 John Atkins 36' trawler. It had a few bottom planks replaced and its seams repaired and recaulked 3 years ago. It has been in the water ever since and the bilge has dust in it, not water. If done right, it works better then you can imagine and probably why it has been a favorite method, on smooth planked hulls for hundreds of years.
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  #11  
Old 08-14-2006, 06:01 PM
justplanecrazy justplanecrazy is offline
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What should I use to remove the Oakum? Should I pressure wash it after? Thanks again for all the input.
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  #12  
Old 08-14-2006, 09:15 PM
Hunter25 Hunter25 is offline
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I got into boat repairs just like most people, I had a boat and it needed work. I had an old carvel trawler and decided to recaulk her myself, how hard could it be. I removed the paying compound and caulk. I read books and cleaned up the seams as best as I could and hammered new string into the seams and covered this with compound. She leaked badly and I noticed several broken frames, cupped and split planks and a couple of butt blocks that were not attached to one end of the joined planks. They were fine before I started my caulk job.

By accident I ran into a guy doing a survey on another boat and we talked about my boat. He quickly looked her over and said the caulker screwed up my boat and I should consider legal action to get it fixed right. I did not tell him who caulked the boat, but did call him a month later when I hauled the boat again. Eventually he learned the truth and since he has fixed that boat and a couple of others I have had. We have become friends and he great to learn things from.

Moral of story is you can easily screw things up if the methods and materials are not workable with your project. I pay him big bucks, but he does the work right, and I have not had to call him back about a thing he has worked on. I look at it like a good automotive mechanic, they are hard to find, especially one you can trust and is fair, but when you do, you stick to him like glue. Find a good boat carpenter and get him on the project, before you break frames, etc. by hammering too much caulk into a seam because you did not know any better. I have watched this guy work, it is an art form and a true skilled profession, if you want results that last.
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  #13  
Old 08-15-2006, 04:32 AM
hansp77 hansp77 is offline
 
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Amongst the others, Hunter25 has given you some good advice.
"find a good boat carpenter"
even if you end up doing the work yourself, you really have to get some good on the ground advice.
You should also be able to get a bigger total picture of everything that needs to be done- rather than discovering jobs and problems as you go along and learn about it.

it seems like you really don't know very much at all about your boat and the needs of its construction. (I really don't mean to be insulting here)
Considering this. DON'T DO ANYTHING UNTIL YOU HAVE LEARNT MORE FOR YOURSELF.
Study up on the construction methods and maintence needs of your kind of boat.
This will mean that any decision you make is educated- and any advice you get from a 'expert' or 'boat carpenter' can at least be measured against your own knowledge.
I don't mean to be negative. If you find out a bit more yourself first, it will just put you in a much better position. You will also be less inclined to fall for products or advice that claim a quick easy fix- or magic formula.
I think it can be universally claimed that there is no magic bullet.
Good luck.
and post us a photo or two.
Hans.

P.S.
Have you just got this boat? Have you had many others? Have you done any repairs or maintenence on this boat (or your others)?
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  #14  
Old 08-15-2006, 01:16 PM
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gonzo gonzo is offline
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A combination of traditional caulking with modern putties works well.
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  #15  
Old 09-07-2006, 01:46 AM
justplanecrazy justplanecrazy is offline
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What is best used for the caulking compound over the Oakum? Specifically below the water line on some of the larger gaps where the seams have been corked numerous times and widening to 1/4". I've heard of using Portland cement or mixing this with fibergum which I believe to be a roof patching sealant. Any advise on the present day traditional form of corking is appreciated.
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