Dealing with Mold and Rot inside a Wood Hull

Discussion in 'Wooden Boat Building and Restoration' started by TheSound, Mar 25, 2007.

  1. TheSound
    Joined: Sep 2006
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    Location: New York

    TheSound Junior Member

    Does anyone have any advice on correctly removing mold from inside the hull of my wooden boat? It looks like white powder clinging to the painted wood inside the billage. I think it's mold... :?:
     
  2. VKRUE
    Joined: Mar 2006
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    Location: Central Illinois

    VKRUE Just another boat lover

    White Powder... ???

    Hey TheSound:

    It doesn't sound like mold. Not an expert here but, sounds like old (cheap) latex paint. There are many here that know more than I and by all means, if I'm wrong then someone please speak out.

    Seriously though, it sounds like old latex paint. Have you ever been close to something (my old house for instance) and rub up against it and notice the powder residue left behind on you or your cloths ? Could this be what you have ? If it is in fact mold, you can (using the search mode about 3/4 of the way over on the menu bar at top of page) type in "removing mold" and you'll get a wealth of information. You obviously want to be sure that it's mold though... right :)

    Also:

    What kind of boat...?

    How old is the boat... ?

    More details make it easier for someone "in the know" to help you out.
     
  3. charmc
    Joined: Jan 2007
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    charmc Senior Member

    It might be a form of mildew, which is a product of mold, and is called, interestingly enough, "white mildew" (as opposed to green or black mildew).

    In any event, Vic is right, the search function can lead you to a wealth of information on removing mold and mildew, then on protecting from reoccurance.

    I restored a classic wood boat once, it was the source of many joys and frustrations, but a great experience! Best of luck.

    Charlie
     
  4. TerryKing
    Joined: Feb 2007
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    Location: Topsham, Vermont

    TerryKing On The Water SOON

    Dealing with Mold and Rot

    I built an inboard Cuddy Cabin boat in 1978 that is still running. It is mahogany frames, plywood, glass-epoxy below the waterline, original glass-polyester resin above.

    Over the years I have had serious rot in the oak main stringers/motor mount and a few frames, and the transom. I have cut out and replaced/epoxied the worst of it, and added another 1/2" marine plywood bottom skin and transom about 10 years ago, with glass-epoxy.

    BUT I had some minor areas, often painted, that grew more fungus/rot every year, and the original inside transom was really bad that way. Cute little fungus thingies in the Spring.

    THEN I read Dave Carnell. I have used his approach ever since, every Winter layup and every Spring refit. And I have had ZERO active rot anywhere since.

    See: http://www.angelfire.com/nc3/davecarnell/rot.html

    This is considered blasphemy by some, and it is so cheap to do yourself that no one will commercialize it. And some worry about toxicity. Hey, I USED to use PCP "Penta-Chlor" when it was available from the boatyard. That's MUCH more toxic!

    Works For Me, and I bet Expedition would be dead without it...
     
  5. TheSound
    Joined: Sep 2006
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    Location: New York

    TheSound Junior Member

    In response to all three of you - I'm just going to take a picture of it and post it with my next reply.... then everyone can have a look...

    The boat is 1941 custom made 30 foot gaff rig double ender.. made of cedar and oak. I think the paint is good stuff... not latex...

    I checked out the search function for "mold" but kept coming up with boat building molds.. in any event, mildew might lead to something...

    I will check out that book... there is some rot in the boat..

    Thanks for the help.
     
  6. VKRUE
    Joined: Mar 2006
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    Location: Central Illinois

    VKRUE Just another boat lover

    Rot Hmmmm

    Rot, on the other hand is a different story but, still... not desirsble.

    Wow, I just read Terry's link about rot and treating it... I would never have guessed.
    Excelent link Terry.

    Personally, I am concerned about it's connection (or lack of) with epoxy.
    Are any of these properties... Borax or Glycol present in CPES ?
     
  7. TerryKing
    Joined: Feb 2007
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    TerryKing On The Water SOON

    Dave Carnell's article fits with my experience with a 29-year-old wooden framed boat. I have used the Thin-Epoxy products in the past (Git-Rot) and found that two years later there was NEW rot under the treated/epoxied area. As Far As I Know there is no rot-killing chemicals added to these epoxy products.

    Parnell's point is that wet wood will not accept Epoxy. IF you could get the area totally dry (a long time) and really epoxy-saturated, AND you could keep it dry thereafter, the Epoxy treatment would work. The difficulty is getting it really dry without giving the rot organisms a happy place to grow in the meantime. The Glycol will mix with water and diffuse into it, even diffusing thru paint into the wood...

    In The Old Days: I would carefully block my boat up in a dry garage, sponge it totally dry, run a blower on it for 2 or 3 weeks, leave it most uncovered, and when I started in in the Spring, I had little Fungus things sprouting :(

    Since I have been attacking the bugs with Glycol twice a year, all those growing things have died and gone looking for a 1988 Bayliner in the afterlife.

    Personally, I'd scrub whatever was on my boat hard with detergent and bleach, dry it for a couple days, set my glycol hand 'sprayer' for 'spurt NOT spray' (you don't want a glycol mist), and hit all the cracks and holes and questionable parts I could find. In the Fall I'd wash the boat real well inside, dry it for a couple of days and hit it again before layup. (I'm in Vermont with cold Winters), you situation may be different, but you want to STOP the growing things. Don't leave any pools of glycol anywhere, for a 5 pound cat to lap up; it WILL kill them if they get very much.

    I have a horrible section of my original transom (now with an added 3/4 inch Treated wood/epoxy transom on the outside) which is pretty much rotted plywood. I drilled 1/4 inch holes into it starting at the upper section that was still solid. I put a 1/4" (probably 1/8 inch ID) hose onto my hand sprayer and filled all those holes with glycol. 5 years later, (treated every year) nothing is growing. The rot hasn't healed itself! But it hasn't progressed at all. I know I should dig all that crappy part out and put a new piece in. Maybe I will this May when I get back. But I know it's not getting any worse...

    "TheSound" - you seem lucky.. you don't have significant rot yet. Just don't let it have more time to reproduce!

    Just one experience on one boat... Your Mileage may grow differently...
     
  8. charmc
    Joined: Jan 2007
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    Location: FL, USA

    charmc Senior Member

    Terry,

    Many thanks for posting that link to the Dave Carnell article. Like you, I was a user of epoxy-based products like Git Rot. I understood the process (or thought I did), how they worked, and it made sense. The one thing I could not grasp was how the rot continued to spread, albeit more slowly. I should have realized :eek: :confused: that the resistance to water that sealed the repaired areas prevented any diffusion of the epoxy into nearby damaged areas.

    Vic, I don't think there is any glycol in CPES. I think what makes it effective in treating new wood is the combination with carrier solvents that thin out the solution, helping it penetrate better. The manufacturer's own words seem to support this, " Nothing will bond with wood better or longer than epoxy and no epoxy mix will penetrate wood better than CPES. CPES is composed of a premium, wood-derived epoxy and a complex mixture of carrier solvents which carry the resin into the wood. The carrier solvents gas-off and leave the wood fibers encapsulated with epoxy resin. Any paint, varnish, epoxy resin or polyurethane can then be used as a final coating." I don't know enough chemistry firsthand to validate all of the claims myself, but I know enough to see that it's sound.

    CPES seems very good as an initial treatment, the key being that fresh wood will be relatively dry, allowing deep penetration. It might prevent most rot. But for any wood in which rot has begun, the ability of glycol to mix with water should allow it to penetrate more fully, carrying its toxicity to the mold organisms. The discussion of repair/restoration on the CPES website seems to bear out what Dave Carnell said. I suspect that the success of CPES in repair has more to do with extensive removal of rotted wood so the CPES is able to penetrate into remaining dry wood. The key to its effectiveness, I believe, is the blending with carrier solvents, so it penetrates dry wood and encapsulates the cellulose fiber structure to resist future moisture penetration better than traditional epoxies have been able to do. That in itself is a major improvement over traditional epoxy treatments.

    Thesound, I'm looking forward to photos of your boat. Your description makes her sound like a classic beauty. I'm a sucker for the beauty of older wood boats, power and sail. Last week I stayed at a small hotel on the St John's river in NE FL. A group of classic runabout owners stopped there also. Too bad I didn't have my camera!! Beautiful boats. There was a 1927 Hacker, gorgeous. Imagine, a planing powerboat nearly a century old.

    Here's to you folks with the desire, time, and skill to keep those old beauties looking good.

    Cheers,

    Charlie
     
  9. VKRUE
    Joined: Mar 2006
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    VKRUE Just another boat lover

    Thanks Terry & Charlie.

    I have learned sooo much and yet, I know so little.
    What's nice though is that I've got a long journey ahead of me so, I should learn more !
     
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  10. TheSound
    Joined: Sep 2006
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    Location: New York

    TheSound Junior Member

    Gentlemen:

    Here is a picture of the sailboat! These were taken back in the late 40's early 50's I believe.

    That was really a great article on rot... I'm going to give my boat a bath in that solution!
     

    Attached Files:

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  11. TerryKing
    Joined: Feb 2007
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    TerryKing On The Water SOON

    Vic, with that attitude, you can do anything! We all started knowing nothing. And, looking at your boat-blog, you also have patience, which any boatbuilder has to have! Looking forward to seeing that boat in the water!
     
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  12. charmc
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    charmc Senior Member

    Hey, Vic,

    It's pretty obvious that you're a lot more than just a guy who bought a boat. Abbeygirl looks as though she's getting a thorough overhaul and rebuild. Lots of skill evident from your pictures. Pretty evident that you're a good Dad, too. That's even more important.

    I'm looking forward to your contributions, and to seeing Abbeygirl in the water.

    Best,

    Charlie
     
  13. VKRUE
    Joined: Mar 2006
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    VKRUE Just another boat lover

    Good Dad ? Huh !

    Dear Mr. Charlie...

    I have no kids... and reading back through the posts I, for the life of me, can not figure what prompted you to say this... I AM MISSING SOMETHING NOW. How do you figure that I'm a dad ? My cat, Abbeygirle, does not call me Dad. She just says Meoooooowwwwwww and Purrrrrrrrrrrrrrr !

    Yes, I've named my boat after my cat. This cat (kitten) appeared out of no where. I pulled her from out of under my pickup truck after arriving home from work one evening last fall. She had wedged herself in between the cab and bed above the frame rail. This cat has since claimed me as hers and my garage is here home... particularly my boat. She thinks that the boat is hers. She actually prefers to be in the garage rather than the house. She has always got to be involved with my work too. I have to lock her out of the garage when I'm using anything toxic... epoxy, CPES or whatever.

    She even climbs into the shower (REALLY) with me or the wife... and doesn't even care about the water. I figure that she'll go to the lake with us when the boat is finished...She absolutely loves WATER.

    Thanks for the flowers though regarding my boat and alledged skills. No skill yet... just a trucker. She is getting the thorough overhaul though. Looks like it's going to be another year again yet before she gets finished... Financial limitations at present.

    I can honestly say that everything I've learned... I've learned either from one of the 3 books that I purchased (listed on my blog) or right here on this forum from people like you. There is of course TRIAL & ERROR too.

    Thanks again...
     
  14. charmc
    Joined: Jan 2007
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    Location: FL, USA

    charmc Senior Member

    Vic,

    Sorry, I misunderstood. So who's Crystal?? Those photos posted by Victor K of Crystal and the big truck looked to me like they were posted by a dad.

    Charlie
     

  15. VKRUE
    Joined: Mar 2006
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    Location: Central Illinois

    VKRUE Just another boat lover

    Crystal.......... Ahhhh yes !

    "I see", said the blind man to his deaf wife as he was reaching for his hammer.

    Yes, Crystal... my wife's daughter.

    I forgot that those pic's were there and even still... I thought that you were refering to something that I said in the posts on this thread... silly me !

    She's in college now. Good kid too, just not mine. (That's a long story... not for here and now).
     
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