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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 08-14-2010
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Termites in my C30

Hello all,
I'm in the Coast Guard, and I just now got reaquainted with my boat after 6 months of being termporarily assigned to various places away from home. The boat's on the hard following her third cross-country move in December. When I came back to my beloved vessel, there was a looooot of sawdust in the head. The boatyard went to look at the sawdust and informed me that I had termites in my boat. I don't know if they're in the wood cored deck, or just the teak trim. Who's to say I guess. They haven't come up with a quote yet, but it involves tenting and fumigating.

My Boat US insurance won't cover it.

Suggestions?????

Boat: 1984 Catalina 30, Tall Rig, Bow Sprit
Location: Nelson's Boat Yard, Alameda, CA

Can I just pull my cushions out and bug bomb the interior? Why the tent???

Thanks,
Hunter
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Old 08-14-2010
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I had dry wood termites in my interior in 1987. Ther tent is a stupid idea for a boat and only suggested by those pest professionals that are accustomed to tenting houses...NO TENT! I'm sure that with a little work, some pieces of foam and duct tape, you can seal your boat. I did pay the local Terminex crew to fumigate by vessel after I sealed it. They used the access of my dorade vents that were esily resealed and we left it closed by their timing,- I don't recall the number of days. The entire job with my own sealing and the small space cost me about $100. Take care and joy, Aythya crew
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Old 08-14-2010
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Remember it could be worse - you could have a wood boat.
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Old 08-14-2010
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Don't know what BoatUS includes in their coverage but I'd be surprised any insurer would consider this normal wear and tear or normal deterioration or, regardless, exempt this type damage. Always read the policy yourself to verify. Did they cite a specific clause in your policy?

The eradication isn't that difficult or expensive; it's the consequential damage that may have happened that's the issue
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Old 08-17-2010
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Thanks much for the no tent input. Tenting did seem really unnecessary. Terminix won't touch boats, but this orange oil company I found is happy to look at it. These guys supposedly use less toxic stuff, and they don't fumigate, they apply product directly to problem areas. I'm not so sure, sort of inclined to find someon who will gas it for me after I seal it up, as advised above.

As for boatus, the guy read me the exact clause indicating that there's no coverage animals or insects, including termites. I guess I'll look at my copy to verify its actually there.

Thanks for the input.
Hunter
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Old 08-17-2010
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Try injecting orange oil everywhere you suspect termites
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Old 08-17-2010
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The problem with termites on a fiberglass boat is that much of the interior is often plywood or wood. The interior gives the boat much of its strength and rigidity, and if the termite damage is serious enough, you will need to replace bulkheads and such. Fumigating the boat is a good idea, but you will need to inspect the boat and check to see how much structural damage has been done. In rare cases, I've heard of termites managing to get through the fiberglass into the balsa cored areas of the boat...and that is a real nightmare.

Good luck.
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Old 08-18-2010
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Would termites leave sawdust? My impression has always been that they eat the wood, not just chew it out of the way. Is it possible it's a different insect that makes homes in wood, like carpenter ants or carpenter bees?

I always thought that termites can't stand exposure to the sun, so they either make mud tunnels to reach their next meal, or crawl up behind sidings or such that are making contact with the ground. I can't see a boat that's off the ground on metal stilts getting a termite infestation that way.
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Old 08-18-2010
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The dry wood termites will fly about to invade new areas. You often see their shed wings accumulated where they are destroying your wood.
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Old 08-19-2010
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I talked to a termite expert the other day. He said to look for mud tunnels. Apparently termites like the ground and wood and don't like to be exposed, so they will construct mud tunnels over areas they cannot borrow into. So if you see mud tunnels anywhere, that may be a good sign. Termietes are everywhere and swarm all the time. The trick is finding out if they are lving in your wood. Good luck. Get someone in there to verify for the presence of termites. And then get a second or third opinon. Just my 2 cents. I have heard thay carpenter ants do more damage than termites.
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