View Full Version : Ice protection on wooden boat???

Bobby Jenkins
01-28-2003, 08:10 AM
I fish throught the winter on the chesapeake bay and on ocasion have to break thin ice to get out which of course eats up the wooden hull. I want to put sheet copper around the water line and hear that will work but was wondering if I do that will it cause me any rot,electrolsys or any other problems. should I just screw it on or should I put something like 5200 behind it and then screw it on. Past minor ice damage was repaired with West system and has held up fine over 5 years but I would like to take care of this problem once and for all.

Thanks for any help

Bobby Jenkins

Ian McColgin
01-28-2003, 10:04 AM
Depends on your fastenings but there would be electrolysis if you've ferrous fastenings somehow exposed. In general though it should not be too big a problem as it's really no harder to allow for than copper based bottom paint.

Thing is, copper's not all that tough. It might be more cost effective to have verticly mounted sacrificial strips that go a bit above and below the water line.


01-28-2003, 01:38 PM
The classic way to put on copper has been to put down a layer of tar, then a layer of Irish felt (similar to building paper or roofing paper), then another layer of goo, then nail the copper on with copper nails. (Typically in square sheets that are lapped). Try searching on "copper bottom". Makes a nice tight seal, even prevents rot, but never seen it just around the waterline.

[ 01-28-2003, 01:39 PM: Message edited by: WWheeler ]

Frank Wentzel
01-28-2003, 08:37 PM

I seem to remember that ships in icy areas used a few sacrificial planks installed over the regular planking at the waterline. These planks would be much more resistant to damage than copper plating and could be removed at the end of ice season.

/// Frank ///

01-28-2003, 10:16 PM
Go talk to a commercial plastics distributor, a place that sells lexan, plexi, etc. The baymen around here used some type of plastic similar to teflon. IIRC it is about 1/8" thick and can be bent around tight bends with a heat gun. Some installed it with just 5200 but most seem to put screws around the edges. It is very tough stuff and holds up much better than copper.

Pekka Huhta
01-29-2003, 09:42 AM
The bigger wooden ships around here use copper plating around the waterline because most of them stay in the water all year round. Teredo doesn't live in the Baltic so there's no use plating them all around but they definitely need an "ice plating" for winter. Moving ice on the mooring eats wood like a chain saw. Once they freeze in the movements of the ship tend to "rip" the outer layer off the planking without plating.

Smaller wooden boats (30-45') that are used for commercial fishing have either a SS ice plating or they can be sheathed with GRP from waterline down. Some old fishers prefer wooden boats for winter fishing because there aren't any problems with condensation and the boat is easy to keep warm. The old guys order new ice-going wooden boats still a few a year.

It's definitely an odd sight seeing a varnished fishing boat fighting its way out the harbour through half a meter thick layer of crushed ice and slush. It belongs there... and then not.


Bobby Jenkins
01-29-2003, 11:12 AM
Thanks for all the ideas guys. Im going to look into a couple of them and see which one I think will work best for me. Though my boat is a workhorse I keep her shiny and looking good so astetics will play a big part in my diecision making.

Thanks again for all the good info an ideas.

Allen Foote
01-31-2003, 05:26 PM
Hey Bobby...you want to use 16 ounce copper. Find a roofing professional that does churches and slate roofs. Your looking for 16 ounce copper rolls 12 inches by 25 feet. Cut 3 foot long pieces to make it managable. Use copper or bronze ring shank nails...3/4 to 1 inch depending on the plank thickness. Put down a layer of roofing tar, then staple tar paper on top, another layer of tar and then the copper.

02-01-2003, 09:19 PM
One thing no one mentioned was the use of oak at the waterline, I'm in Mass and from here up to Maine wood work boats are fitted with "ice sheathing" if they're in late or year round. A little windowpane ice does alot of damage quick as you already know. I went through a little ice the Dec. before last but pulled out just before the bay froze. Anyhow you could use 1 1/2" x 1/2" or so strips of oak and screw it into the planking that you had to fix before. Its sacrificial but will wear better than you planks did. and at least around here it's a traditional simple solution.

02-02-2003, 01:02 AM
Years ago around San Francisco Bay some Alaska fishermen used to come south to fish salmon and albacore off the coast. They stopped in for repairs occasionally, and a common job was to replace ice sheathing at the waterline. They all specified ironbark, a dense, hard wood, bedded and screwed onto the planking. It would last at least five or six seasons in Alaska, and was fairly easy to replace. I would think oak or any other hard wood would work. This is less expensive than metal, takes less labor to install, and if it is well bedded and fastened, there is less danger of rot than what goes on under metal.

Pekka Huhta
02-17-2003, 02:57 AM
Again to the old subject. On past weekend I found a few photos about a ice-sheathed fishing boat. That's how it's done in Finland:


And where they go with that kind of wooden boats:


You bet that's "cool" out there :cool:


Ace Dragon
08-12-2012, 03:58 PM
I am an industrial polyurea applicator. We just created the first coating to stand up to the silt filled ice of Cook Inlet. We are using K5 from Specialty-Products inc.
Find a qualified applicator in your area at www.pda.com
Surface prep is always of upmost importance, that is a good way to test an applicator. Great Stuff, good luck.

wizbang 13
08-12-2012, 05:16 PM
9 year old thread.
either he fixed it or got cut in half by now.

Ace Dragon
08-13-2012, 12:10 PM
9 year old thread.
either he fixed it or got cut in half by now.

Ya, I noticed after my responce. NO harm done.