when to caulk a wooden boat.

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when to caulk a wooden boat.

Postby JoeP » Fri Oct 27, 2006 6:53 pm

Hi Guys, I made this post on the boat forum as well. I just got a wooden
scull boat. It is in very good condition however there are some things
to be done. I need to caulk, paint, and soak. Is there a certain order these
things should be done? Caulk, paint then soak, or soak, caulk, then paint?
There are a few gaps between the floor boards at the seams, etc. It is a
plank built whitney. Any help is appreciated! :help:

Joe P
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caulking boat

Postby IrishEyes » Sun Oct 29, 2006 7:17 am

I assume you want to caulk the boat with traditional caulking(oakum) and not some squirt stuff out of a tube.
If it is a new boat to yu I would go slow and soak it first to see where the real problem areas are. You can turn it up-side down and run a sprinkler over it for a day or throw it in the water and wait. Then get it on the trailer and fill it with water and see where it leaks....don't FILL it up or you will wrack it and maybe even break it. Use a carpenters pencil to find all the big leaks.
Caulking is not hard when you know how. You need special tools to jam the rolled oakum into the cracks and it should be done wen the boat is dry then when it gets wet and swells the expanding wood squeezes the oakum to make a dry fit.

This type of caulking works for boats thet stay in the water. If you plan to trailer the boat it will shrink when you take it home then leak until it swells again and that might not be until after you are ready to go home.

A better solution may be to cover the bottom with fiberglass cloth or mat. Sand the bottom smooth to get all the old paint off...especially any copper bottom paint. You can get info anywhere on how to glass the bottom. If you want to pretreat the bottom with a hot coat of resin make sure your using unwxed production resin and overcoat with a waxed resin. If you have any questions send me a private message. I worked for years in a boat yard where we reglassed calm boats, when there were clams tobe had in NY.
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Postby JoeP » Sun Oct 29, 2006 4:50 pm

Thanks Irisheyes :thumbsup: Since this is a classic I would like to hold
off as long as I can from glassing it. As you said, I would like to take my
time and do it right, and do what ever I can to preserve the boat. For
some reason when I think of water and wood I think of rot.

Tell me what you think of this. I have been asking any old timer here in
Gloucester MA (The Fishing Capital Of The US, The Movie "Perfect Storm"
just to give you an idea where I live) what they think of this. A few guys
said to use petit seam compound, sand it, wipe it down with terpentine,
use interlux primer, then a good marine enamel paint? Does this make
sense to you? I know that the old way is not always the best way through
trial and error. Also a guy on the boat forum said to try 5200 for a caulk?
What do you think, does this make any sense. Thanks ahead of time.

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Postby Lundman » Sun Oct 29, 2006 11:19 pm

If you put 5200 on she will never leak again....But you wont ever get the planks off either. When we used to caulk our wooden lobster boats we would use the cotton caulking. Just remember don't over do it for you can actually open a seam BIGGER with to much caulking. Get yourself a good chinking iron and a wooden chinking hammer and find an old fisherman or boat builder and they will be glad to show you how...it is be coming a lost art these days.
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Cool old boat

Postby ToppDogg » Mon Oct 30, 2006 6:02 am

Post your question over here: http://www.duckboats.net/forum/wwwboard.html

You'll get guys fighting each other to come to your house to help!
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Postby JoeP » Mon Oct 30, 2006 9:01 am

thanks guys for your reply. I spoke to Buster Prout last night who is one
of the last guys around that are still building Merrymeeting Bay sculls.
He told me what he has been doing for years, and he hasnt had any
problems and he said his boats have lasted for years. I am going to go
for it starting today. Cant wait to get her wet, just want to do it right.

Thanks again, JoeP
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fiberglass

Postby jpm49878 » Sun Nov 05, 2006 8:02 am

i would fiberglass it instead of calking it. do the whole bottom, then you will know every crack will be filled.
I WAS BORN IN THE MARSH, I WILL DIE IN THE MARSH
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Right about 5200

Postby IrishEyes » Sun Nov 05, 2006 2:48 pm

forget ever getting a plank out. I never used the Petit seam compound but it is probably newer technology and better than oakum caulking. Before you do it get a reaming tool to get the old caulk out. You do't want broken or missing seams of old caulk in the seams because then it doesn't allow the wood to swell to a tight seal.
I've had woden boats that would fit in a garage and they are a pure pleasure and a thing of pride. Large boats thet sit outside and present acres of wood to worry about are things that will put you in the grave. Keep your classic boat classic and you might want to go to the wooden boat web site and you will get all the help you could want. Good luck....if it was my boat I wound want to keep it classic. If you just want something to shoot out of your probably better off with aluminum or fiberglass.
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