View Full Version : Let Me Get This Straight

07-23-2005, 12:20 PM
No amount of water, salt, fresh, or rain, will cause rot if there are no organisms in it, is that right?

07-23-2005, 12:37 PM
No amount of water, salt, fresh, or rain, will cause rot if there are no organisms in it, is that right?Errr. A highly theoretical statement. But for the sake of argument, let's assume that you could somehow "purify" water before it touches wood in your boat. It is possible that there could be rot spores in the wood. The "purified" water could induce the required conditions for rot and thereby could be said to cause the rot.

Several years ago, a well-known classic cruiser was replanked here in Seattle. The wood, evidently unbeknowst to the boatwright, was down wood. When the wood got wet the spores were activated. The new bottom was "scoop it out with your hands" rotten within three years. Owner was hoppin' mad.

Scott P
07-23-2005, 12:41 PM
Yes, absolutely but I don't think you can afford to go sailing in distilled water. Also I believe wood has all these organisms in them as they grow so there is no real way to eliminate them permanently.

07-23-2005, 01:21 PM
So the wood itself contains the seeds of its own destruction. Does that mean fresh wood is more prone to rot than old wood?

Rot spores, what's that?

07-23-2005, 01:32 PM
Many books have been written on the subject of wood distroying fungi. I have received brand new lumber from a local yard and found active mycelium(fungus roots) growing between the planks. Pick a mushroom anywhere and place it, gills down, on a piece of glass and in just a few hours you will be able to see the spore print. The spores are as small as cornstarch powder and will float on the air until they encounter a surface. If that surface is right, and the temperature and moisture conditions are right, then the spore will grow and feed on the wood. So we choose wood that does not present a good growth base or we poison the wood. The spores can lay dormant for tweny years or more until the conditions are right for growth.

07-25-2005, 11:20 AM
fungal spores are unlikely to actually be inside the wood when cut, however, fungal spores are small enough to be carried in the air and are literally floating around everywhere looking for the right conditions. Fungal spores are basically very small seeds. Just don't provide the right conditions. Dry wood won't rot (the oldest know wooden boat is in Egypt and was kept dry for several thousand years), wood in salt water won't rot (fungus doesn't grow in salt water), some woods are more rot resistant (ie not good food for fungus, example teak), and some chemicals are poisonous to fungus and can stop or prevent rot (although most of these are poisonous to other animals such as people, and some don't last long or penetrate well)