View Full Version : Advice needed please....
01-04-2003, 06:47 PM
Okay, I decided it was time to start working on Kindred Spirit before spring springs and I want to take her out to the lake. The question I have is, she's been drying out for a few months now, and cracks are opening up between the cedar strips. I'm not too worried about the cracks except that when I paint again, and the paint gets between the planks via the open cracks, will the planks have a hard time sealing the next time it swells? If so, what are my options? I just now got a humidifier to help swell it a bit, but if I do that, then paint, the paint will end up just cracking again as she dries out in a few weeks. I could just paint then keep the humidifier goin, which might be the way to go.
If I was to decide to maybe canvass her someday, what sort of prep would I need to do? Would the existing paint have to come off? Is glassing the bottom properly an option or should I forget that line?
A big pre-thanks for any help I can get. Everyone has been so great in the past I'm not too worried about getting many options.
[ 01-04-2003, 07:49 PM: Message edited by: lumberdude ]
Peter Malcolm Jardine
01-04-2003, 07:47 PM
We used to spray the inside of the boat with a hose a week or so before going in... but I can't conclusively say that helped... but that was the theory. Unless you have left the boat out longer than usual, a good paint should be able to "stretch" some when it comes to soaking up time.Depends on the paint, and how old it is.
01-05-2003, 07:32 AM
*Ahem* *knock*knock*knock* "Anyone there?" (besides Peter)
Heck if you don't have any suggestions would someone please hijack that thread or something? ;)
Peter, It has been out of the water for an extended period from what it was used to last summer. That and the dry conditions we are haveing now aren't helping much. I used Kirby paint on her last summer, but thought I would add a couple coats and fix the scuffs and gouges. Missouri rocks can be hell on the bottom of boats despite how carefull you try to be.
I await everyone else's reply, I realize we have all been way too busy down in the bilges trying to clean up the muck. tongue.gif
01-05-2003, 07:38 AM
Okay, I will stick my neck out here. We have used burlap bags in the past and wet them down. Try two layers in the bilge. Is this boat on a trailer, do you have an area in your side yard that you can put the boat on the bare ground and make tent over it with a high strong back and tarp? Is this the runabout?
Kory; I think I'd paint it and forget it,....It'll be fine. It hink there's a tendency to make these projects more complicated then they really are!
01-05-2003, 10:12 AM
Sorry, I wasn't ingoring you so much as practicing discression. See, all my boats are plywood encapsulated in glass so I've never had that problem. tongue.gif
01-05-2003, 01:36 PM
Just paint it- the wood will still swell and seal just fine.
01-05-2003, 02:16 PM
Would it help me to add a layer of 4oz or 6oz cloth? Would I have to strip off the paint to bare wood to do that?
01-05-2003, 02:28 PM
On the Lester F. Hall, which I look after for Atlantic Challenge, (clinker built Cow horn schooner), we put her in the water at her moorage with an 110 v. sump pump plugged into shore power. Worked like a charm, all the planks took up within a week. Not a lick of epoxy anywhere, and she's all nice and tight, except for the stuffing box which leaks like a sieve.
I assume you've got a canoe or skiff, you could run a garden sprinkler over her.
01-05-2003, 03:47 PM
Call Dick Pulsifer in Brunswick, Maine. He advertises in WB. He (dry) strip builds his Pulsifer Hampton boats and probably has to deal with painting from time to time. He'll be able to answer your question.
Tell him 'Dave 2 from the A-shop' says hi and told you to call.
01-05-2003, 04:03 PM
Okay Dave, I'll try to do just that!
01-05-2003, 11:17 PM
It is not often on this forum that a question can be answered with one word. However, there are such occasions, and this is one. But before the answer is revealed, some discussion. What is called for is a substance that will fill the seams sufficiently to stem the leaking until the planks swell. It must be pliable enough to compress and not damage the planks as they swell. It must not adhere so well that scraping off last year's application of substance is difficult. It must never get hard and brittle. It must be paintable so that your expensive bottom paint isn't compromised. It must be easy to apply, and not be dangerous to you or the environment. And finally, it must be cheap. Or at least not expensive. And as a bonus, it would be nice if it is a proven product has been around for years, wherever old wooden boats and people of modest means are found.
When I bought my first wooden boat many years ago, and the former owner turned over the sails and meager equipment that came with her, he also gave us a half used container of the substance with its instruction for use. The boat being transferred was a Dragon, a sleek, 29' Danish built racer, an Olympis-class thoroughbred painted black with a mahogany deckhouse, a long slender mast with jumpers and running backstays, bottom action winches, dual headstays with tackles below deck allowing the luff of the headsail to be pulled into a straight line. This craft also had beautiful narrow fir planking that ran stem to stern without a single butt. The boat had everything. Except caulking. The planks were nicely fitted square to one another without outgage. Hauled out, she looked awful with wide spaces between each plank. When commissioned, after swelling up, she hardly leaked. The substance that made this possible was pressed into each seam with a putty knife and a thumb, and painted. Its name: Slickseam. You can still buy it. Jamestown Distributors.
01-06-2003, 05:00 AM
Slickseam is talked about in the newWB this month. The article on fairing with thickened epoxy. It may answed your questions.
01-08-2003, 05:24 PM
Just read your post. Work and vacation and all has kept me away from the forum for awhile. I had (have?) the same dilema as you on my 16 foot M scow. It is carvel planked, 1 layer of 5/16 in cedar over oak frames. When built the seams were filled with some type of glue. It is pretty disappointing after spending a whole year working on her to see all these little cracks form after the first winter. After a few years I worked into the grove of putting a sprinkler under the boat, parked outside on dirt next to the garage, the day before I used the boat. An hour would usually do the trick. However, lines in the paint where always visible, even if the hull didn't leak. I resigned myself to the idea that if I wanted a perfectly smooth hull even after a long dry out time, I should get a fiberglass boat. In other words, cracks between planks and the resulting look in the paint was part of what wooden boats were about. Don't sweat it.
This went on for about 9 years. Bad cracks I would fill with some 5200, most I just left alone and made sure the boat had a pre-moistening before use. However, I was concerned about other damage I was causing. Like keeping a hull wet is asking for rot, etc. So last summer I stripped the hull to bare wood and covered it with 4 oz cloth. I can't tell you the results yet. It's covered and the primer is on.
One reason why I went this way is that I know the boat will live on a trailer. It is a choice about what you think is least destructive to the boat. I'm looking forward to the discussion on this one.
01-08-2003, 07:47 PM
Thanks all for the replies. Since I started this thread, the humidifier has been doing it's job and closeing up the cracks, at least for now. Tim, I like your post. It makes me feel like it's really not all that bad. You are probably right. Let me know how the cloth pans out. I'll be following the progress eagerly. Please post some pictures if you can.
Roger, I'll look into the slickseam you mention. Sounds like it would be perfect for my boat.
01-09-2003, 11:40 AM
Another option that I considered was to strip the hull and give it a good coating of linseed oil. I don't have any experience with this but it sounded promising from some of the posts that I read. Linseed oil will keep the wood from drying out. In the end, I rejected the idea because linseed oil also makes wood more tastey to bug type critters and since the boat stays parked on land all week I didn't want that. It would be different if the boat was in the water all the time.
Another plus for the fiberglass route that I finally chose was abrahsion resistence. If your like me, hours can be spent making the hull look "perfect". When the inevitable scratch or ding happened I'd go a little crazy. Not angry, but I'd be back to working on the hull again. Part of this is my personality and I'll always be like this. Therefore, the extra protection of 'glass was the point that finally swayed me that way.
The usual negatives that I've heard against glassing the hull are:
1. Makes repairs much more difficult. - True but with only 4 or 6 oz layer, you can cut through it. It won't make repairs impossible. The strip-construction nature of your boat makes repairs much more difficult than 'glass will.
2. Water will get trapped underneath and lead to rot. Yes. Ideally the boat should be completely encapsulated. You can't do that to yours, I couldn't to mine. If the glass job is done well (easier on a small boat) then the water barrier should be good. It will not be perfect. But considering how the boat will be used: not kept in the water, you will be diligent to keep it covered with no water in it, plenty of airflow to dry it, the water barrier should be good enough. When I stripped my boat down last summer I found that there was some rot started in the bilge board box. Probably from all the sprinkler sessions. Fortunately a small dutchman solved the problem.
3. Glass won't fix existing problems. True - glassing a hull to solve leak problems or hide rot will only hasten the demise of a boat. All your pictures indicate that your boat is in great condition, so it doesn't look like this is an issue. But if there are any soft spots, make sure they are dealt with first.
4. Glass will zipper when the wood swells, leading to #2. Yes. But again, your boat is small with thin planking. You use it in a way that results in the wood being dry almost all the time. E-glass and some of the epoxys available have some small amount of stretch.
I remember a WB article by Peter Specter in which he stated that wooden boats exist in 3 conditions: pristene, usable and dead. Any boat can transition from any condition to any other condition (some transactions cost alot more than others). All wooden boats naturally and continuously transition to the dead state. Therefore the job of the wooden boat owner is to slow that transition down as much as possible.
In short, the only way to keep your boat pristene is to put it in a museum. If you want to use it, then choose the lesser of evils.
01-09-2003, 11:57 AM
Thank you Tim. A very well thought out post. I agree.
I defenitely got the boat to use, understanding that that will lead to scratches, scuffs, cracks and all sorts of unmentionables. In fact, one of the first instances happened when, during a cast, the reel seized and the lead sinker plunked right down on my beautiful varnish job! I came to terms with that after about 30 seconds of looking around at the beautiful spring day, and smelling the fresh air. (of course, it would have been easier if I would have actually caught something)
I don't mind the leaks as long as the water doesn't get above the frames. If it's coming in faster than that, I'll pull her in the varnish booth and start returning her to the pristine state. I like how Peter Specter puts that by the way.
I think I'll hold off on the fiberglassing. I'd rather keep her as is for now and tolerate the little annoyances. I'm really not looking for perfection with this boat. To me, if you are just going to look at it, why waste the time and effort in restoration. I'll leave that to the historians. Besides, that's what my digital camera is for, so I can see her in her pristine condition!
01-09-2003, 12:08 PM
That is very much the thought process I have gone through. I decided about 5 years ago that at sometime fiberglass or some other drastic change would eventually take place. But I wasn't going to do anything untill the hull needed repainting anyway.
01-09-2003, 05:31 PM
The only reason I'm repainting after just one season is I rushed things a bit last year and trailered the boat way before the paint had cured, which ripped big chunks of the paint off. So I flipped her back over, and touched it up, knowing I'd do a better job this winter.
That's what I get for getting in a hurry. :rolleyes:
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