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Old 02-09-2014
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Wood hull -- sealing question?

I am almost dreading asking this, but here goes.

I have a 1949 32' Monk Cruiser located in Vancouver BC. I have the boat out on the hard for a few items and want to caulk a number of the wood hull seams.

My question is whether someone here knows whether Sikaflex (291?) will bond with damp seams? My read of their literature says all wood must be completely dry; but several local folk claim it can be used successfully on damp (i.e. somewhat dry) seams.

Current weather is approx. 1-8 degrees C/ 32-45 degrees F; and the boat is out of the rain under a partially enclosed work barn.

I am hoping for advise from people who have actual experience with this situation,

Thanks folks,

Brian
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Old 02-09-2014
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Re: Wood hull -- sealing question?

some folks VS. manufacturer's instructions !

No it won't work. Yes, I've lots of experience with the product.
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Re: Wood hull -- sealing question?

Thanks, that's generally my thinking. Still, I wanted to confirm whether or not the mfg's information is consistent with field experience,

Brian
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Old 02-09-2014
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Re: Wood hull -- sealing question?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian_vancouver View Post
My question is whether someone here knows whether Sikaflex (291?) will bond with damp seams? My read of their literature says all wood must be completely dry; but several local folk claim it can be used successfully on damp (i.e. somewhat dry) seams.
No, it won't. If you try it it might even look like it does, but once it's gone off it's pretty easy to remove. What's worse, if used below the waterline it will actually trap moisture behind it corroding fastenings and/or encouraging rot.

Are you re-doing above-water or below-water seams?
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Re: Wood hull -- sealing question?

you don't want to caulk wet seams. or damp seams. Classic knows of what he speaks.
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Old 02-10-2014
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Re: Wood hull -- sealing question?

You need to do a lot more that stick some goo in the seams of an old wooden boat, if you want to protect the boat and make her watertight.
Possibly, and you might need a professional's help to determine the condition of your caulking, you may need to reef out the old caulking (not just the putty, but the cotton and oakum too), put in a layer of oakum, using proper caulking irons, then a layer of cotton, again set with a caulking iron, then the product designed for the job; underwater seam compound.
Unfortunately for all wooden boat owners, the government has outlawed the best products for your situation and none of the fancy new products can hold a candle to just plain red lead paint, as a seam preparation agent. I would use extremely cheap high copper content oil based commercial bottom paint to paint the seams before caulking, but I doubt you'll be allowed, so find any oil based paint that is toxic to toredoes; there must be something available.
I used to make my own seam compound using linseed oil putty, red lead powder, zinc powder and red lead paint, trying to keep the toredoes out of my wood. Once in a while they ate through that toxic mixture, so I've little hope the modern stuff will work at all, but one works with what one has.
Good luck.
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