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  #1  
Old 11-25-2010
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Wet Wood Epoxy?

Has anyone had ANY experience with this stuff?


I have a small area of wet core around this chain plate (maybe 10 sq inches).

The manufacturer's promise that it is;
Quote:
a two-part liquid epoxy that cures in the presence of water. It adds strength and stability to wood decks, and fills under buckled and warped planking, eliminating the need to replace planks...
... is very appealing.

My plan is to
  1. remove the U bolt (done)
  2. cut two 1" holes in the outer deck (around each leg) of the U bolt (done - the wood is wet, and dark, but firm)
  3. use an allen wrench, keyed in a drill chuck, to remove as much wet/rotted wood as possible
  4. vacuum out all the crud
  5. tape the bottom of the holes through the deck
  6. use Wet Wood Epoxy to seal the wood.
To restore the deck, I plan to
  1. use West Six10 epoxy (in a tube) to fill the holes (9600 psi compressive modulus)
  2. cover the patched area with Evercoat Polyester Gel-paste
  3. re-bore the holes for the U bolt legs
  4. countersink the holes
  5. re bed the chainplate with Butyl Tape
  6. replace nuts and washers

However, I have Googled the product and can find NO reviews of it anywhere. (I have found pointers to reviews that ended up as dead ends. This make me very suspicious...

Pointers and past experience would be greatly appreciated.

TIA
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Last edited by eherlihy; 11-25-2010 at 06:58 PM.
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Old 11-25-2010
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You're really better off replacing the core material. Wet core takes forever to dry out and injecting epoxy just makes doing a proper repair much more difficult in the end.
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Old 11-25-2010
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As long as the core (balsa?) is wet it will rot eventually, epoxy surrounded or not. And when you fix it properly next time the epoxy you used this time will only make the repair harder. I think the wet core should be removed and replaced with new dry core.
West System has G-Flex epoxy which also sticks to wet wood and even works underwater. http://westsystem.com/ss/assets/Uplo...Flex-Epoxy.pdf
But I don't think I would use it as you wish to.
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If wood is firm - it can't be balsa Balsa is fairly soft even when dry, and becomes soggy-cardboard-consistency as soon as it's even slightly wet, more so if it's dark.
Is the deck soft?
Is there delamination?

If it's plywood and is wet but firm, there is no delamination and deck is otherwise in ok shape - it might be best to remove only some, replace with thickened epoxy to seal the edge and put it all back together. That will hold for a long long time and you can always do a proper repair (from below, replacing core) later on if/when things get worse (and they may just stay as is)

Also, I see in this photo a stanchion base with failed seal and a fill cap whose seal is unknown (but generally I assume these things to be inserted right into the hole in cored deck and sealed with silicone - yes, I know, assume the worst ).
So, if the area really has ingress of moisture, you probably need to seal those other items too - or else the work may be in vain.

In fact, I find that most moisture gets into decks not by way of larger openings like chaiplates (where water can often drain down below) but by way of smaller holes made by directly screwed in fasteners, where water has no way to drain below and travels through core to find an outlet.

Last edited by brak; 11-25-2010 at 07:58 PM.
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I'd point out that the stanchion base appears to have a GASKET, and they tend to be the worst way to "seal" the stanchion to the deck.
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Old 11-25-2010
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Thanks Guys,

Yes, the core is balsa... (and I said firm, not hard). To be clear, however, there is NO flexing on the deck, the balsa and glass are still laminated, and the balsa, while moist, is not spongy (yet).

As I mentioned above, the area that I am concerned about is currently only 10" square (approx 3" x 3"). I would hate to rip open the entire deck for such a small area. I would wait for a larger area to get mushy before I start such an onerous repair...

Also, I have had an off line conversation with MS about another boat that had moisture in decks. The impression that I was left with is that so long as the situation isn't bad, or getting worse, a little moisture (note that the needle isn't pegged) is not the end of the deck. (Although I may have miss interpreted him. - MS please feel free to set me straight.)

brak and 'Dog- Thanks for noticing the other stuff in the picture. I agree the gasket has got to go. Also, the PO of this vessel was the king of silicone... I plan to re-bed EVERYTHING before winter is over (and we're just getting started) Fortunately, she's under shrink wrap, and I have room to work under there.

I have read that a cure for the fungus that attacks the wood is to treat it with (and I know that you're going to love this)...
Propylene Glycol! (aka Anti-freeze). I haven't decided to do it, but I can only imaging that putting Prestone in the hole is just going to make the balsa more wet.

I looked at the both the West G-Flex, and this stuff. Of the two, Boatlife really markets the wet wood characteristics of the product. Maybe I'm drinking their Kool-aid...

I agree with 'Dog that it may take forever to dry out (especially if I put anti-freeze in there).

Again, has anyone out there ever used the stuff pictured in my first post? I believe that it has been around since before 2005, but I can not find any first hand experience (good or bad) on it, other than the manufacturer's claim.

Last edited by eherlihy; 11-25-2010 at 08:45 PM.
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It is hard to find out much about the Boatlife product. Jamestown and a few other online discounters sell it but it is not on the Boatlife website as far as I can tell. But their other famous product is - Git-Rot. And it specifies dry wood only. Petrified rot? The Wet Wood Epoxy sounds like a miracle product. I have been around long enough and seen enough claims go unfulfilled that I don't believe in miracles anymore - if I ever did.
If it is not a large area and is not really wet, as the meter shows, I think you would be better to leave it and monitor it rather than go for the miracle cure. Fix it properly in the future by replacing the core. But certainly rebed the stanchion base properly with overdrilled holes epoxy filled and countersink the bolt holes before using butyl or whatever you choose.

My first thought about anti-freeze is that I don't think much will stick to it after that treatment.
You say the deck doesn't flex. It is a small area and if the inner and outer skins are thick enough - as they are in my CS27 - wet core doesn't create a soft spot unless it is very large. My boats wet areas are visible by meter but no flexing anywhere.
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Old 11-26-2010
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I share your skepticism.

I did find a (really poorly written) How To Use sheet, filed under Technical Info, on their site. Come to think of it, their entire site is rather incomplete... both of which are warning signs...

I may give it a go, if for no other reason, just to post my experience here.
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Old 11-26-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eherlihy View Post
I share your skepticism.

I did find a (really poorly written) How To Use sheet, filed under Technical Info, on their site. Come to think of it, their entire site is rather incomplete... both of which are warning signs...

I may give it a go, if for no other reason, just to post my experience here.
From that how-to it sounds like the product is designed for wood decks rather than FRP wood core anyway.
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Great, I nominate you head of questionable product research or



Quote:
Originally Posted by eherlihy View Post
I share your skepticism.

I did find a (really poorly written) How To Use sheet, filed under Technical Info, on their site. Come to think of it, their entire site is rather incomplete... both of which are warning signs...

I may give it a go, if for no other reason, just to post my experience here.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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