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Old 06-05-2007, 21:24   #1
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Wet Rot? Dry rot? fungus?

I've got this boat. Teak decks. The previous owners removed all the caulk three years ago. She has been covered, but some water did get it.

There is some rot, but only in areas where the wood is completely saturated with water. In some places it is dry and I can push a screw driver through it.

The rot is very confined. The overall structure of the interior is fine.

I've just been letting the water evaporate, then I chip away the lose wood and seal the area.

I've been told rot is a fungus, and if I don't inject it with gitrot or a similar product that the rot will quickly spread to all the wood in the boat and life as I know it will be over!

A lot of this wood that is rotting has been covered by a layer of fiberglass, so there was no way for the water to escape. is that rot? or is that just really old and wet wood falling apart?

Thanks for the help!

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Old 06-05-2007, 21:35   #2
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I am not a big fan of "Git Rot" - All it takes is for a few spores to be missed and you are back to square one, only now the new rot is probably further away and harder to get at. After 30+ years of owning a wooden boat I came to the conclusion that the best remedy for rot was a sharp chisel. Once the rot is fully cut away the choice can then be made to splice in a new piece of wood or fill the void with something like epoxy putty. Kinda like the old saw - "a stitch in time"....

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Old 06-05-2007, 21:57   #3
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It's a cancer to wood

If it's in a structural area, it has to be cut out and replaced. Cosmetically it still may need to be cut out. If it's under FG then you'll have some work ahead of you. Their are a couple cures, anti-microbial or white vinegar. Salt water will stop the rot as long as it stays in the saltwater.

Usually the rot will only progress to other wood touching the infected area. But the spores will spread to other saturated wood.

It's most commonly found around deck areas of the transom corners, bulwark, cabin attachments and bow stem woods.
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Old 06-05-2007, 22:31   #4
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I am assuming we are talking about the substrate here, not the Teak. Rot needs three things to grow. Water, Air and poor light. It is very hard to get rot under FG cloth. Not always impossible, but very difficult. So chances are, the ply (if that is the stuff that has gone soft) is just excessively wet. You need to get that FG off the ply and allow it to dry thoroughly. After it has dried out really well, you can then test it with a hammer or screw driver and see what is soft. Rotten ply is easy to see anyway. It turns to mush.
After the ply has dried out and is hard again and any soft spots removed and filled, you can then apply a good coat of Epiglass evidure or similar product. This is a very thin epoxy resin with heaps of thinners in it as well as a fungiside. This stuff soaks in deep to the wood and will then harden and toughen up old soft wood, plus kill and protect from future rot. Then you re-glass over top and then your deck can go back down.

For God so loved the world..........He didn't send a committee.
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Old 07-05-2007, 08:02   #5
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When working on a boat that has been closed for a while... from personal experience, I just spend 1 week out, and 2 days hospitalized from the bacteria on the boat, while cleaning it. I have read so many threads regarding differente methods to deal with Rot, different products, I am strongly starting to believe in the cutting out and replacing the affected area. all depends on the severity, but most of all, while dealing inside wear a good Mask, HvLIte had warned me, but I thought of just cleaning a little, what a mistake.

1984 Beneteau First 30es fractional rig "Evolution"
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Old 07-05-2007, 13:52   #6

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Danny is right.

I went into the doctor's for an unrelated mishap and found out I had pnemonia (sp??) last summer. Turns out it was the mold growing in our boat that did it to me. The damage the toxins and spores do to you is just incredible. I was unable to walk quickly without losing my breath... very scary. Before that, I had been allergic to nothing and had no history of asthma. I even was in decent cardiovascular shape from snowboarding a lot and doing centuries (100 mile rides) on bicycles in the past.

Now that I have become a mold removal expert, I have gained back my lung function. That stuff can *definitely* kill you over time. No doubt about it. I'm just glad I went in to the doctor's and found out about the problems I was having in time to fix them by getting rid of the mold. It was no easy task (a week of scrubbing - there ARE no shortcuts), but now we're mold free and I'm back to normal.

Scares me to think what kind of permanent damage I have done to my lungs...

Of course - if this is rot on the outside, it's not a big deal. It's inside spores that get you.

I think we had a boating healthy/safety thread somewhere... mold is definitely a HUGE health threat for cruisers.

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