View Full Version : Back in water after 5 years: Hull

04-13-2010, 03:02 PM

I am working on a George Buehler Juno that has weathered the past 5 wisconsin winters out of the water. I am a wooden boat novice and need a lot of help!

My first question is on the hull.

Questions from the picture:
1. The seams were filled 4 years ago and the seam compound is hard as a rock. Will it still serve its purpose or do I need to chip this out and fill the seams with fresh compound? If I need to go fresh, how long can I leave it in before it sees water?
2. On the stem there is an example of one of a few qouges in the wood. How should I attack this? My first thought would be to chip out the broken parts and pack in a wood filler but maybe I should just sand it smooth?

heres another photo for perspective:

Any other suggestions you can make from the pictures? Obviously she needs a fresh coat of bottom paint, and I have read of the merits of wetting the boat before she is dropped in water.

For people doing research, here is another good thread on preparing a boat for the water:
"Wooden Boat back in water after 4 years" - http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthread.php?p=2516459


04-13-2010, 03:36 PM
2. On the stem there is an example of one of a few qouges in the wood.

That doesn't look like a few gouges to me. It looks like rot. I think you need to find out how extensive it is.

I'm not sure what the seam compound is, what does Beuhler recommend?


04-13-2010, 04:27 PM
Hi Steven! Thanks for the help.

You're right, 'gouges' probably wasn't the best word. It probably is caused by rot, but it doesn't feel soft at all. Perhaps it is just on the surface? In this case I should just chip away and fill, correct? What are the pitfalls- I imagine rot in the stem is a crisis waiting to happen...

The seam compound is Interlux Seam Compound for Below the Water Line. Beuhler just remarks that he would use compound until the boat is thoroughly worked and then he would caulk.

I found this good thread on here: Interlux Seam Compound vs Slick Seam - http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthread.php?t=68333
Here Noah writes:
"Interlux Underwater Seam Compound - Nice stuff. It's hard to work when cold, but not terrible when warm. I found that it was easiest to tape both sides of the seam then fill. Once it's dry it sands pretty well. It does dry pretty hard though, and I wonder about compression set in the planks if the interlux has dried out thoroughly. My issue with it was that after a full winter on the hard it was dry and the seams had opened up enough that it would flake and fall out, especially when sanding the bottom. Sometimes it would take the cotton with it. I think that for a boat that stays in the water year round it would be a great solution."

sounds like the same issue, I assume I will have to remove and reapply fresh stuff.


Lew Barrett
04-13-2010, 06:13 PM
It's hard to really tell even with good photos sometimes, but despite Feazer's deep knowledge on these subjects I would look carefully to see if indeed there isn't something also going on with the wood.

Just a cautionary look-see, mind. When the wood has been out of the water for a long time and is very dry, rot can be difficult to ascertain from "hardness" alone. Conversely, wet wood soft woods sometimes feel soft when in fact, they're really just wet.

I would take Feazer's advice in respect to the seam compound as gospel, and wouldn't rule out his other advice, but I'd look carefully at the wood's condition just to be on the safe side.

Make sense?

04-14-2010, 03:25 PM
Thanks for the help!

I will chip away at the questionable spot in the keel and see what I find. Hopefully I can just fill with some wood puddy if all is well.

Also, I will strip the seam compound out and replace with fresh stuff, making sure to get the tops, bottoms, and in betweens.

Then it is anti-foulin time!

I am not sure that I can accomplish a lot of good flooding the bilges because there is concrete poured as internal ballast up to about 3 inches short of the cabin sole. Maybe I would be better off with wet towels and exterior sprinklers

Thanks again!

04-14-2010, 08:12 PM
I like filling wood with wood. I would rather see you using a graving piece or dutchman rather than fill a deep void with super hard putty or bondo. When things swell you may run into problems with the rock hard filler splitting things out.

Lew Barrett
04-14-2010, 08:48 PM
Assuming you do find bad wood, and that is yet to be determined, apd's comments are worth heeding.

04-14-2010, 09:51 PM
On closer look today, the "gouge" is actually small crack in the timber that was filled with a wedge of wood that has been partially forced out .

I see the logic in filling wood with wood and I will research this technique...


Ian McColgin
04-14-2010, 10:01 PM
Dutchmen. We love them. I like to make them in rectangles, sides along the grain normal to the surface and ends beveled. If it's a small dutchman on a flat spot the bevel can be as short as 1:1 - 45 degrees - but 8:1 is best practice, except in spars where 12:1 is really needed.

I don't have a router and living on the boat am off the grid mostly anyhow, so I make mine a chisels. Many will find it faster to knock out the center box with a router to get a nice flat landing, saving the chisel action for the ends.

Once the trough is made, it's pretty simple to make the dutchman to fit in. Make it a little high to plane down - easier to take wood off than add it later.

Epoxy makes it all wonderful.