Decision Time... (dry rot - repair, or...)

Discussion in 'Wooden Boat Building and Restoration' started by flylooper, Feb 13, 2010.

  1. flylooper
    Joined: Feb 2010
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    Location: Jefferson, Oregon

    flylooper New Member

    This is probably the 1,357th Noobie "What Should I Do?" thread you've seen, so let me just add to the pile--and solicit the opinions of you fellows who are far more knowledgeable than I:

    This is my first boat. I bought it last season from a young fellow. It was in great visual shape when I bought it but a few trips down one of our shallow rivers with three heavyweights in it resulted in some deep gouges.

    Well, I got it turned over this afternoon and started sanding, thinking I would just "patch and go." But as I got into it, a bunch of dry rot turned up. Then I got an ice pick and poked around. In each of the pictures below there is some rot (not too deep I don't think) extending out about 5 inches from these gouges. The one picture where the bottom meets the batten you can see the condition of the wood pretty well.

    I'd much rather fish than repair, but I'd also like to be safe in the water. Do y'all think I should just bite the bullet and put a new bottom on this thing or patch the damage?

    In all other respects the boat seems in good shape.

    Attached Files:

  2. alan white
    Joined: Mar 2007
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    Location: maine

    alan white Senior Member

    It's likely there's more rot hidden in the inner plies elsewhere. It's time to either put the boat to rest or redo the bottom. No matter what you do to the known rot areas, you will still have issues. The sum total of the labor you spend to patch it will soon become more troublesome than re-skinning.
    The question is what is the condition of the frame?
  3. flylooper
    Joined: Feb 2010
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    Location: Jefferson, Oregon

    flylooper New Member

    Thanks for the comeback Alan. From the inside the frame *appears* to be in good shape. But I won't know definitively until I tear off the bottom. From what you say (and from want I fear) putting a new bottom on it is probably the best thing to do. I agree that there is probably more rot than I could find....

    Drat! :)
  4. Boston

    Boston Previous Member

    if you compress the photos we can blow them up as needed and get a lot better look at it than if you just post huge photos
    <mod note: good point - changed photos in first post so they don't stretch page off screen>

    just a thought

    you might drill a few exploratory holes in the frames by the keel, floors, keelsons, transom and stem etc. to see what you have

    also pick out some of the plugs and see whats under there

    If you have a practiced ear you can take the but end of a hammer and tap around
    you can hear rot if your good
    its kinda got a duller sound than solid wood

    best of luck
  5. flyinwall
    Joined: Feb 2008
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    Location: Cooroy Queensland Australia

    flyinwall Junior Member

    can you show us a pis of the whole boat so we can get a better idea as to the best way to replace the bottom
  6. thudpucker
    Joined: Jul 2007
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    Location: Al.

    thudpucker Senior Member

    I'm assuming we are discussing a Drift boat here. A McKenzie River knock off.
    The bottom of a Drift boat is all that normally takes a beating.
    If the boat was designed well, re-skinning the bottom is not a long dreary process.
    A couple guys with Screws and Drill drivers and some beer, you can get it on in one evening.

    Especially if you have the wood handy when you pull the old skin off.
    Calk, don't Glue. Just plan on replacing it again.

    Remember this. It can leak a little. It wont sink. Even if you have a bunch of Rot in some places.

    If the Rot is in a side board, you can replace part of the side with a little creative patching. There you can use Glue.

  7. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
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    Location: Milwaukee, WI

    gonzo Senior Member

    Plywood is relatively easy to patch. You can cut off the bad areas and replace them. If cosmetics are not high in your list of priorities, a butt block behind the seams will work fine.
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